Post # 1
I’m trying to pick out an apologetic book to dig through (i grab a Christian book every once in awhile…the most recent was a weirdo one my dad gave me that was a HUGE turn off) and i was wondering if anyone had any personal recommendation for an apologetic (also known as a rational basis for Christian faith)
So far I’m considering:
The Case For Faith: A journalist investigates the toughest objections to christianity
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth & Apologetics
Has Christianity Failed You?
Post # 3
Well, I don’t know anything about the three that you posted there, but I would heartily recommend anything by C. S. Lewis, particularly Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce (The Problem of Pain is a good one too). The problem I have with so many modern Christian works is that they seem to have no academic grounding, or in the worst cases, even scoff at the idea that an intellectual study of the bible can add anything to our faith. It’s a trend that is very disturbing to me, no in the least because I am of the opinion that God didn’t give us all brains only to demand that we refuse to use them when it comes to something as important as faith.
C. S. Lewis is good because he is coming from an academic background, as well as writing in a time before this anti-intellectual trend really took off, so you can see in the writing that he has a solid grounding in theology. He also strikes a nice balance between drawing on the wisdom of tradition while still realizing that modern thought has a lot to offer as well. I don’t agree with everything he argues (his views on gender seem particularly out of date to me, among other things) but what’s more important to me is a book that uses an approach to these questions that I can respect, even if I sometimes disagree with the conclusions.
I’m also a big fan of Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp, though that’s probably more about christian living than apologetics.
I’ve very interested in seeing what others have to recommend on this thread. It can be so hard to find good christian books, especially when the book stores are dominated by those flavor-of-the-month books that are supposed to change the way we all think about faith (Prayer of Jabez anyone?) which more often than not are incredibly shallow.
Post # 5
I really like Case of Faith, and I know a lot of others who have too. Have you seen Case for Christ? I don’t remember which came first, but they’re by the same author and written in the same vein.
Have you read Lewis’ Mere Christianity? That’s another good one.
Also, you might enjoy The Everlasting Man by GK Chesterton. It’s not exactly apologetics, but it’s a really interesting read.
Post # 6
I don’t know if this is exactly what you are looking for but I really enjoyed reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies – Some Thoughts on Faith. It’s basically a memoir of her struggle with her faith. I read it for a seminar back in college, didn’t think I would like it and ended up loving it.
Post # 7
Also, this has NOTHING to do with apologetics, but this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and I’m recommending it to everyone I know, haha. The only caveat I’ll give is that it IS written by my former pastor and her husband, so I may be a teensy bit biased. But if you’re religious, it really is worth the read.
Post # 8
I also really like CS Lewis – The problem of pain – might be a good one
And this isn’t quite the same thing but I think East of Eden has some really neat insights into Christianity.
Post # 9
Thanks for the recommendations. I was trying to avoid any of the “popular/trendy” books but found myself on amazon and barnes and noble’s bestsellers with consistently high reviews.
@greenleafmountain, I really prefer stuff that is less opinionated, more factual and proof or intellectual based (i am a scientist underneath it all)….I’m not a fan of the solely commentary type books. Read a few of those–they’re just not my style.
Post # 10
Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches and sermons are fantastic both for Christian and non-Christians, he uses the roots of Christianity to express commonsense ideas – Loving your Enemies – I think is a must read (or listen). And if you want youtube the debate between King and Malcolm X – it’s a really neat debate.
If you want something a bit of the opposite, but for me strengthens why I think what I think, read Richard Dawkins ‘The God Delusion’, he’s a decent scientist but not much of a philosopher and it should be easy to see the flaws in his argument, which I think help build rational arguments.
Post # 11
Have you read The Reason For God by Tim Keller? It’s comparable to Mere Christianity in themes, although may be more accessible/less challenging for a modern reader. So it all depends on how much time and intellectual energy you want to invest in the book.
As an aside, even though it’s not apologetics, if you’re looking for a great book, Keller’s Prodigal God is awesome. I highly, highly recommend it. It’s another short, quick read, but it really impacted the way I view the gospel message.
Post # 12
@MelanieAnne, The Reason For God is actually in my Cart. I didn’t list it because it’s a sure purchase =]
Post # 13
I have read some of these modern apologetics and found them dissatisfying because I harbored the attitude of wanting a sure proof (which was a wrong perspective, I admit). Although those books present good evidence, the arguments and evidence are all circumstantial. They’re far from proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a class in college, I did read Mediatations on First philosophy by Descartes, which turned out to be quite satisfying (although after intensive class discussion, we concluded that his logic was circular, but I still liked it). I have been told that other apologetics work by early Chruch fathers, e.g. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) would also be good. Of course, these are intense reads (at least for me) and I probably can’t pick them up casually after a busy day at work, for example.
Post # 14
@MelanieAnne: ooooh yes, Keller. I can’t believe I forgot Keller!
Post # 15
I think The Case for Christ is a better apologetics book than The Case for Faith but that’s just me!
Post # 16
I just finished a marc driscoll book that i thought was good in terms of defending Jesus called Vintage Jesus.