Book Review: Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics
Come Let Us Reason accomplishes what editors Copan and Craig hoped it would as stated in the preface of the book. It raises classical questions in the philosophy of religion and apologetics, but does so in a fresh way, while addressing current topics not typically covered in standard apologetics books (iv).
Divided into five parts, the book’s first section, entitled Apologetics, Culture and the Kingdom of God, offers essays by Gregory Ganssle, J. P. Moreland and Toni Allen. Ganssle’s practical chapter on applied apologetics kicks off the book. His purpose, he says, is to “help (readers) think better about how to make the gospel connection with those who are not yet believers” (5). He begins by suggesting that apologists are diagnosticians of the human condition. Noting that “shallow diagnosis results in shallow and short-sighted recommendations and anemic articulations of gospel solutions” (7), the author says we need to cultivate our ability to discern the real problems of individuals and meet their crucial needs. He offers three useful tools to help us do so.
In chapter 2, Moreland tackles the four degrees of postmodernism – ontic, alethic, epistemic and axiological. These, he says, refer to degrees of ingression. The more deeply ingressed one’s postmodernism, the more pervasive the impact of postmodernism throughout one’s worldview (17). Moreland’s essay is a challenging read for the non-philosopher, but not impossible to grasp, and well worth the effort as he takes the reader deep into the postmodern mind, looking at such topics as the correspondence theory of truth, truth-denial, objectivity and folk empiricism along the way.
Toni Allen addresses the topic of women in apologetics, noting that there are several key issues that tend to keep them from practising the discipline. One is conflict and the natural tendency of women to avoid it (37). Second is the fact that women often depend on their experience and emotional connection with God as the primary justification for the beliefs they hold (40). Allen offers sample questions and helpful suggestions to encourage both men and women in the defense of their faith…
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