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Contending with Christianity's Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors Paperback – August 1, 2009


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Contending with Christianity's Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors + Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics + Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805449361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805449365
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Copan is a professor and the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University.

William Lane Craig is research professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.


More About the Author

Paul Copan (Ph.D., philosophy, Marquette University) is Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is author of "True for You, But Not for Me" (Bethany House), "That's Just Your Interpretation,""How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?", When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (all with Baker), and Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion (Chalice Press). These are all books that seek to make available accessible answers to the toughest questions asked of Christians.

He has co-authored (with William Lane Craig) Creation Out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (Baker Academic). He is co-editor of three books on the historical Jesus and of three other books in the philosophy of religion, The Rationality of Theism (Routledge), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Routledge), and Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues (Blackwell).

He has co-edited (with William Craig) Passionate Conviction and Contending with Christianity's Critics. He has contributed articles and book reviews to various professional journals as well: Philosophia Christi, Faith and Philosophy, Trinity Journal, Southern Journal of Theology, the Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society, and The Review of Metaphysics.

He is presently writing a book on Old Testament ethics and co-authoring a book on the moral argument.

Customer Reviews

This book provides some of the necessary tools.
Lemaro Thompson
This book is a collection of essays by top Christian apologists and scholars covering a wide range of topics.
Bobby Bambino
This, Ganssle believes, is Dawkins' best argument.
Larry D. Paarmann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Lemaro Thompson on June 30, 2009
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This collection is wonderful, especially in combination with the previous collection Passionate Conviction. It really does provide excellent essays to rationally and reasonably defend the truth of Christianity.

The best thing about this book is that it deals with numerous contemporary issues and concerns. It is hard since the popularization of Dawkins and Erhman for one to simply jump to the gospel, without first having to sort out "delusional" issues or "mistranslations" or "corruptions."

This book provides some of the necessary tools. Now looking at the essays covered, one will realize that other issues that are important are missing, namely that of relativism or comparative religions. So it is not a complete guide, but if one picks up passionate conviction those issues are addressed.

Therefore one might want to see which issues are of most concern to you and thus pick volumes accordingly.

The minor let down, was getting the book and starting to read Craig's critique of dawkins only to find that it was about 3 pages (other authors give a more substantive analysis). Although it did address some issues, I wanted a lot more. Additionally, if one owns a huge collection of apologetics textbooks, one may ask is it worth it? For example Craig Evans has a chapter on Fabricating Jesus, but he has written a whole book on the issue. There are other instances of this (mostly with the Jesus of History section), in which I owned the book, in which the expert has written and from which the article may have been derived or adapted.

Moments like those made me wonder if I was getting my full money's worth (or if i own too many books !) , but in the end I was pleased as it was a great recap and so there is so much good material in a portable compact volume.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Baldwin on July 13, 2009
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This is an excellent collection of essays defending the Christian faith and doctrines. Starting from William Lane Craig's knockout to Richard Dawkins (no wonder Dawkins is to afraid to debate Craig) and continuing with victory blows from an all-star cast of Christian thinkers. This isn't an end all debates collection but it's powerful nontheless. Some surprises here too, like Chapter 16 on the doctrine of Penal Substatution and Chapter 12 "Who did Jesus think he was?", which took an approach I didn't expect (defending Mark 8:29-30). Chapter 9, "The Resurrection of Jesus Time Line" by Gary Habermas is a very important essay for every Christian to read and ought to be taught in every church. Chapter 10 by Craig A. Evans covers some of the information he gives in his "Fabricating Jesus" book, which is worth reading on it's own.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on April 26, 2011
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This collection of essays is not for the weak of mind, as there are plenty of places to go deep in the thinking realm of Christianity and a response to the New Atheists. As with any compilation of essays, there were good ones in this volume and others I just skimmed through--probably at least 4 or 5 did not grab my attention at all, and thus the 4-star rating. But the good ones make the book worthwhile reading. My favorites were ch. 1 (Dawkins' Delusion, Craig), ch. 10 (How Scholars Fabricate Jesus, Evans), and ch. 15 (Did God become a Jew? A Defense of the Incarnation). What I enjoy about compilation books like these is that the reader can pick up at any chapter and get something out of it. Again, it's a worthwhile pick, but not if you are opposed to books making you think deeply.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Marler on September 16, 2009
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"Contending With Christianity's Critics" is the second book in a series on "cutting-edge Christian apologetics". It includes 18 essays from various Christian scholars on a number of different subjects. So, how much a person likes or dislikes the book would, in part, be influenced by how interested she is in the topics that are addressed.

If you're considering buying the book, do this: look at the Table of Contents. If this has you longing to explore further then: #1) you're likely to be something of an apologetics book nerd like me--that's the bad news; and 2) go ahead and dive in, you've hit pay dirt.

The book is divided into three parts: 1) The Existence of God; 2) The Jesus of History; and 3) The Coherence of Christian Doctrine.

I found part one on "The Existence of God" to be the most interesting. And the final chapter deals with Open Theism, I found it to be a helpful take on the subject.

If you're even reading this far you might as well get the book because it's clear that you like this stuff. On the other hand, if you're on this page by accident all I can say is: "See what happens when you're not careful with your mouse."
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Larry D. Paarmann on February 8, 2010
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There have been a number of books written in response to what some call the "New Atheism." Contending with Christianity's Critics, edited by Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, is different in that it is the "fruit" of annual conferences of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, a society that is "dedicated to (among other things) addressing these challenges." The book has 18 chapters written by 18 authors. These authors all have advanced degrees in philosophy, theology, or a related area, and most hold an academic position at a university, most in the United States. The level of discourse and the wide ranging areas presented are in stark contrast to Christianity's critics such as Richard Dawkins. As the subtitle suggests, the "critics" responded to in this book include the New Atheists, but are not limited to them. Other critics addressed include naturalistic philosophers, naturalistic scientists, critics of the historical reliability of the Bible, and critics of Christian theology. As with any book with numerous authors the quality of the individual chapters varies somewhat, as well as the theological and philosophical positions held by those authors. However, the overall result is a compelling presentation of those who have thought deeply about the subjects addressed. This book may never achieve the financial success of, say, The God Delusion, but those who genuinely wish an intelligent discussion of issues raised by the New Atheists, as well as those by other objectors, will find this book to be a good read.

Paul Copan is Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
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