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Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith Paperback – November, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Greg L. Bahnsen was the scholar-in-residence at the Southern California Center for Christian Studies and an ordained minister iin the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California, specializing in the field of epistemology (theory of Knowledge). He also received M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Dr. Bahnsen was the author of numerous books and published articles and was a popular conference speaker. He was also a renowned public debater as evidenced in his interchanges with Muslims, Roman Catholics, Jews, and atheists. A complete list of his over 1,700 audio tapes, videos, articles, and books is available from the Covenant Media Foundation.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Media Press (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915815281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915815289
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Joseph W. Hyink on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Greg Bahnsen's book, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, a collection of classroom materials and articles, makes many of the difficult concepts of Biblical apologetics accessible to believers who never went to seminary. One of the greatest minds in evangelical scholarship in the twentieth century, Bahnsen interpreted, popularized, and made practical the groundbreaking work of Cornelius Van Til in what is known as presuppositional apologetics. The book under discussion lays the Biblical foundation of apologetics and gives direction for engaging in discussion with unbelievers. The popular view of apologetics suggests that believers find common, neutral ground with unbelievers in order to convince them of the plausibility of Christianity. In contrast, Bahnsen's basic contention is that believers must maintain the same Scriptural foundation in their encounters with unbelievers as they do in all theological discussion.

Bahnsen begins by dispelling the idea that neutral ground exists between believers and unbelievers. When a believer seeks "neutrality," he surrenders "his distinctive religious beliefs" with the result that he becomes "impotent in [his] witness, aimless in [his] walk, and disarmed in [his] battle with the principalities and powers of this world" (4). In contrast, all knowledge and wisdom are found only in Christ (Colossians 2:3), who is the believer's Lord even in the intellectual realm. Believers must have a correct understanding of the thinking of the unbeliever, who "have a vain mind and a darkened understanding" (Ephesians 4:17-18) (12).
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on March 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
For most of my adult life I've considered myself a presuppositionalist, and one of the major reasons for this is the writings and teachings of Greg Bahnsen, as well as those of Cornelius van Til. Years ago when I worked as a videographer for a year, I was privileged to videotape a series of lectures by Bahnsen on presuppositional apologetics. Those lectures, given to college students at a Life Preparation Conference, were nothing short of brilliant!

However, I can only give "Always Ready" 3 stars.

First, the good news. Bahnsen writes clearly for the most part and doesn't typically go over the reader's head. He also gives a pretty good definition of what presuppositional apologetics is all about. When he presents the fact that all of us have presuppositions, exposes the myth of neutrality, and urges us to have the mind of Christ, Bahnsen is at his best. Some of his suggestions for the strategies about how to speak as a presuppositionalist to unbelievers are also helpful. First, we are to understand the unbeliever's worldview and enter into it, but then we are to show how those presuppositions are inconsistent or will lead to consequences the unbeliever can't or won't accept. I'm thankful, as well, that he constantly urges us not only to boldly proclaim Christ and the gospel, but to also manifest a "humble boldness," remembering the grace of God in our lives and that the person we're talking to is made in the image of God.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the book. I, and the students to whom I've taught the book, have been left hungering for more details about how to put presuppositional apologetics into effect. Even though Bahnsen does demonstrate this at the end with his discussion of Acts 17, it's not nearly enough.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on October 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Whenever the topic of pressupositional apologetics comes up, it tends to cause the eyes to gloss over and the mind to immediately assume it is in way over its head. Dr. Bahnsen's works can be some of the most intellectually demanding works of theology one can encounter so it was with some concern when I picked up this book and wondered how it would communicate the topic. Dr. Bahnsen proved that it is possible to boil the topic down into its essential elements for evangelism and make it clear to the average reader and to the philosophy nuts alike. It is a great defense of the methodology as it relates to evangelism and is an invaluable resource for sharing your faith.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
As an advocate of presupposionalism and fan of the late Dr. Greg Bahsnen, I greatly appreciate this book, and must also admit that this school of apologetics is widely misrepresented. And one should not be surprised to find an atheist disagreeing with this method. After reading the book and the most recent review below, apparently Paul Doland has failed to evaluate this work as "best as possible." This book is an excellent example of defending the faith in a presuppositional manner. And Dr. Bahsnen is the guy to turn to if one is looking for a man with explanatory skills, and a faithful student of Van Til. In the book he uses this skill and his Vantilian training to do what Donald said he doesn't.

Doland says he just asserts that non-Christian worldviews are self-contradictory, but does not offer proof. But Bahsnen does demonstrate that all other worldviews cannot make sense of ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology; they suffer from arbitrariness and/or inconsistency.

The things that Bahnsen suggests are to be received as "self-evident" (though I don't think he used that phrase) are final authorities. Bahnsen says that one's final authority is self-authenticating, or self-attesting, in the nature of the case. One can't go behind his final authority (A) to authorize it with B: in that case B would be the final authority. So this is a misreading and misunderstanding of Bahnsen's claims. And, by the way, Bahnsen's example of Jesus' word being self-authenticating is both what scripture teaches as well as an example of a self-authenticating, highest authority (scripture, or God's Word).

The quote by Bahsnen on page 63 in Doland's post is true.
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