I have been given the opportunity to do some reviews on some books from a few different publishers. Some of them do not quite fit into the focus I have for Living Infuzion, but obviously have some good information. Here are some of my perspectives on some pretty good books! Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith By Alister E. McGrath

I have been reading apologetics books for about 25 years.  I have always thought that it was a good idea to be able to answer people when they had questions about the Christian faith.  Some people listen, while other people are just plotting their next part of the argument. 

Mere Apologetics starts with section to just help a new reader understand what apologetics is.  He discusses some of the limits of the art (and science as he puts it), and goes over some of the keep ideas of how to apologetics can be applied.

This next section is where I found most interesting.  McGrath tries to show how there has been a shift in Western culture towards post-modernism.  Defining the term is difficult, but most people show how it tries to hold all perspectives as equal, and how it tries to avoid reason in favour of tolerance and story.  This was an excellent idea because most of the apologetics books I have read are well reasoned and very logical... but to the modern younger person, that makes them almost unpalatable.

There are discussions of adapting the method of delivering the message of the Gospel to the audience that it is being spoken to.  He goes to show a few examples from the Scriptures, especially from Paul speaking to different churches in different cultures.

Dr. McGrath discusses some things that he calls pointers to faith... those things that just sort of nudge us all towards the God of the universe.  He talks about some ways to discuss and demonstrate the reasonability of the Gospel in a postmodern culture.  Most communication is done in stories and images to demonstrate a point rather than to go through reasoned arguments head-on.

He addresses a few of the common objections to faith in Christ, and then he moves on to another section that I found helpful.  McGrath makes some suggestions as to how to become an apologist.  This section was great.

As Dr. McGrath says himself, this is by no means an exhaustive apologetics book, but if I was just starting out in the study, this would be an excellent first book to read.  I also noted that there are lots of quotations from books by C.S. Lewis.  When he was writing, it was the height of modernism.  It is amazing to see how his writing is still relevant now.

This is a book very worth the read.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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