review by Lenny Esposito
Michael C. Sherrard’s new book Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth is an important work that will help any believer seeking to share his or her faith with kindness as well as conviction. It provides wonderful instruction stressing how to communicate and build relationships with those we want to see come to faith, making it an excellent launching pad to teach Christians how to winsomely witness to their family, friends, and co-workers.
Apologetics is a Christian discipline that has come into its own over the last 30 years or so with an abundance of books already published outlining the major arguments for topics like God’s existence and the historicity of the Resurrection. But in Relational Apologetics, Sherrard takes a different approach. Relational Apologetics is more focused on the method of communicating apologetics as opposed to being a compilation of arguments. (Disclaimer: I was sent the book to review but with total freedom as to the review’s positive or negative tone.)
Sherrard opens the book by explaining the important role apologetics plays today. Most people are so unfamiliar with the basic concepts of truth that Christian evangelism strikes them as a foreign language. Thus, apologetics is as crucial in our evangelism efforts as being able to speak a foreign language is to overseas missionaries. It’s this concern for how the Christian message is received that makes the book shine.
The book is broken into four main sections. The first, Who You Are, coaches the reader on his own character and attitude, counseling “when your lifestyle is holy, evangelism is much less awkward. It starts happening naturally” (p.30). The second section, What You Do, targets the actual interaction with others, emphasizing listening and asking questions as ways to…
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