Tactics: A Game Plan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Book Review)

by Luke Nix

I was introduced to the apologetic work of Greg Koukl almost ten years ago. I remember when his book “Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions” (softcover, Kindle) was released I could not wait to get my copy. I was still trying to get my footing on how to defend the Christian worldview, and this book provided a foundation for my approach that has lasted since then. Because it was so important and vital to my confidence in sharing the reasons for the hope that I have, I decided to bring it out again and do a review for those who are not yet aware of the value of this book for, not just apologists but, every Christian. This review will be a chapter-by-chapter summary of the contents of the book. I have deliberately left out many details but given enough to hopefully pique your curiosity enough to get your own copy to read and be blessed by.

Part One: The Game Plan
Chapter 1: Diplomacy or D-Day?
Koukl introduces his book by describing a situation that seems all-too-common for Christians: even though we have been called by Christ to tell people about Him, we do not out of fear of not being able to defend what we believe. Koukl explains that this fear is unnecessary and demonstrates by recounting a conversation he had with a skeptic. He uses various tactics in maneuvering through the conversation that kept the exchange natural, comfortable for both parties, yet caused the skeptic to question her worldview. Koukl reminds the Christian that it is important to maintain a calm and collected demeanor while discussing, and he explains that the keys to that is to be prepared. Preparation includes having some working knowledge and being able to skillfully steer the conversation.

If Christianity is true, then the Christian has nothing to fear from discussing worldviews. If they pay close attention to the skeptic’s claims they can not only identify the faulty reasoning but be able to highlight it in a way that causes the skeptic to think hard about the implications of their view. Koukl offers several tactics that he will explain throughout the book to help the Christian gain confidence to winsomely initiate and navigate discussion regarding the Gospel.

Chapter 2: Reservations
Several concerns often arise when promoting the idea of developing “tactics” in presenting the Gospel. Koukl’s “tactics” are part of defending the Christian faith, formally called “apologetics.” Apologetics involves arguing for the truth of the Christian worldview. However, the “arguing” is not the “fighting” type that threatens unity (as many Christians fear apologetics is); it is rather a presentation of accepted facts in a reasonable way to soundly conclude the truth of Christianity. Koukl explains that if arguing (in the proper sense) is discouraged in  the Church, then no real knowledge can be obtained, so it is necessary if we wish to grow in our faith…


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