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Building Belief: Constructing Faith from the Ground Up Paperback – August 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Take a journey from doubt to belief It can be hard to share your faith with others, especially when people can't agree on whether there is even any actual truth. With that in mind, Chad Meister has developed a simple, logical way for you to help others move past relativism to a place where Christian belief makes sense: the Apologetics Pyramid. In Building Belief, Meister leads you up each step of the pyramid, beginning where many find themselves today--doubting if anything is really true. From there, he powerfully builds a case for absolute truth, the existence of God, universal morals and values, the reliability and divine inspiration of the Bible, the resurrection of Christ, and ultimately, the good news that Jesus is the Son of God who offers salvation to the world. "Join Chad Meister in this concise, clear, and compelling book as he builds a persuasive case for the truth of Christianity."--Lee Strobel, author, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith "An excellent book to lead earnest enquirers from doubt to conviction about the basic truths of the Christian faith."--Norman L. Geisler, dean, Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College "Chad Meister is a force to be reckoned with, and this delightful little book is a timely resource to be studied by Christians and given to non-Christians."--J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology; author, Love Your God with All Your Mind "Building Belief is thoughtful, fresh, and full of personal and practical illustrations. Meister strikes just the right balance, providing a model for how apologetics ought to be done."--Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University "Meister offers both the tools and the method for making discussions with skeptics more fruitful."--Jay W. Richards, research fellow, Acton Institute; coauthor, The Privileged Planet

About the Author

Chad Meister (Ph.D., Marquette University) is the former head of Defenders (now called Truthquest), an apologetics ministry at Willow Creek Community Church.While pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy, Chad developed the Apologetics Pyramid method highlighted in this book. It is based on his own journey from a spiritually seeking engineer to that of a convinced Christian philosopher. He is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at Bethel College in Indiana.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801065690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801065699
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,661,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am Professor of Philosophy at Bethel College in Indiana, USA. I'm a Christian philosopher and most of my books have to do with God or some subject related to God or Christianity. But I also have a deep appreciation for other faith traditions and for thoughtful skeptics, agnostics, and atheists as well. In fact, some of my books include writings of leading thinkers from the major world religions and from those who deny the reality of God altogether. As I see it, there is tremendous value in the dialogue, and much to learn from those with whom we disagree.

I have published 17 books or so, including Evil: A Guide for the Perplexed, Christian Thought: A Historical Introduction, The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity, and The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion. I am also General Editor, with Paul Moser, of the new book series with Cambridge University Press entitled Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Journalist on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to find truth in religion.

Meister is very good a bringing difficult concepts down to the rest of us who don't live in ivory towers.

On top of that, I love the way Meister asks his readers to "use" his book rather than just "read" his book. And he gives both sides of the story regarding religion - which, to me, is paramount when trying to discover what in this life we're going to believe. (And just in case there is any confusion, we should believe what's true.) He prods readers to not just look at evidences for the validity of Christianity, he also encourages readers to check out other world views and concepts contrary to Christianity. He invites further study of Theism, Pantheism and Atheism - the three world views he says every religion can fall into. He even recommends further reading of the best that he's read in each area. And, in the end given all the evidence, he allows you to make your own decision.

While I enjoy Lee Strobel's books - The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, The Case for a Creator - the one criticism I have of them is that Strobel interviews only Christians. Of course, the people he interviews are no doubt learned, top-of-their-game scholars who give a very compelling case for the validity of Christianity.

But Meister challenges readers to explore everything and land where the evidence seems most reasonable regarding religion and where to find truth in religion. He contends there is truth, religious beliefs are not merely subjective and based on our own personal preferences. The book is valuable for Christians and non Christians alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Getz on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you've made the tour of apologetics works, you know that they suffer from various maladies: too boring, too scholarly, too simplistic, etc. Somehow this work cuts through all of that, remaining clear and understandable while also remaining obvious that Meister can do the intellectual heavy lifting (think iceberg).

But perhaps best of all is not just great content and presentation, but the logic of the book is striking and developed throughout. Meister draws his conclusions without overstating the case, and builds a cumulative case for Christianity instead of claiming that each point independently supports Christianity (like a house with too many pillars). It is refreshing to read well-thought-out arguments with the appropriate conclusion made.

All that is to say that this book is an important contribution to the field of apologetics, for Christians and non-Christians alike. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those instances when I think to my self, "Why didn't I come up with this?" That is because Meister puts it all together, presenting biblical Christianity from the ground-up. As he rightly observes, in this culture of pervasive relativism, you can no longer take anything for granted when sharing Christ with others. People regularly and benignly nod their heads and declare, "What you say is wonderful. I'm glad you have found something that works for you. But your belief in Christ is your truth, and I have mine."

To deal with this, Chad has created his 6-tiered Apologetics Pyramid, which begins where you must these days: with the concept of objective truth itself. As he accurately points out, a stated disbelief in objective truth is self-defeating (as well as, often, a smokescreen), since that affirmation is itself an objective truth claim! Following his treatment of the Truth issue, Meister works his way up through the next conceptual levels of Worldviews, Theism, Revelation (how God has revealed Himself through Scripture), and Resurrection (the supreme apologetic for Christ and the Christian faith). Finally, after covering all that necessary territory, we get to the Gospel (the Christian message of salvation in Christ), which no longer floats around in conceptual mid-air. Fantastic!

Building Belief is one of my top-10 or so essential books for Christians. It deserves to be read and studied by all literate believers, then put to use in the context of relational, lifestyle evangelism. As a pastor who circulates in the surrounding culture (primarily, as a jazz musician/music educator), I have presented the Apologetics Pyramid on numerous occasions -- often by drawing it on a napkin. Twice I have also based an adult Sunday School class on this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ruppy70 on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is rich in wisdom, yet an easy to understand read, it will shake your belief system and move you to change or strengthen your current beliefs. It's a fundamental read if you question what you believe or why you believe what you do.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Conrad on November 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr. Meister's "Apologetics Pyramid" starts with the broadest of topics: what is truth, and climbs to the peak with the good news of Jesus Christ. Everything in the middle of the book tackles issues on worldviews, morality, and the historical claims of the ressurection. Meister not only gives evidence for this belief but also gives equal space for opposing viewpoints. Along with suggestions for further reading defending his belief, he even gives suggestions for further reading against his views as well. Building Belief: Constructing Faith from the Ground Up is a very fair and balanced book for believers and skeptics alike. One that you will want to read more than once.
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