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How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?: Responding to Objections That Leave Christians Speechless Paperback – August 1, 2005


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How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?: Responding to Objections That Leave Christians Speechless + That's Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith + When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Hey, whatever works for you."

If you've recently tried to tell your friends about Jesus, this is surely a familiar phrase. Besides being familiar, such challenges from today's unbelievers are also frustrating. In fact, they can sometimes leave you speechless. So how do you respond?

Expert Christian apologist Paul Copan calls these objections "anti-truth claims." And he knows they're relevant-he's faced them over and over in his apologetics ministry on university campuses and in coffee shops across the country. In "How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?" he presents a collection of objections regarding reality, worldviews, and Christianity and thoroughly addresses each from a biblical standpoint. If you've ever been left lost for words when discussing matters of faith, this insightful book will give you the tools you need to confidently, lovingly, and effectively respond to colleagues, acquaintances, and friends.


"Paul Copan gives clear and illuminating answers in this lively and helpful book. I enthusiastically recommend it."-Stephen T. Davis, Claremont McKenna College

"Copan takes on some of the strongest challenges to Christian faith and responds to them with clarity, generosity, and laserlike logic."-Francis J. Beckwith, author, Relativism


Paul Copan (Ph.D., Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida and is author of "That's Just Your Interpretation" and "True for You, but Not for Me".

About the Author

Paul Copan (Ph.D., Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He lives with his wife and five children in Florida.

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

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I really enjoyed many of the discussions and you can tell that Copan is a well read person.
Amazon Customer
During a four-minute time period of being clinically dead, the late atheist philosopher A.J. Ayer was aware of an 'exceedingly bright and also very painful' red light.
Steven H. Propp
In the end, I did not find this book helpful nor persuasive in making the argument for believing in a religion.
Ryan P. Sommers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Paul Copan is a rising star in Christian apologetics and philosophy. He has written a number of excellent titles defending the Christian faith, on both popular and more academic levels. This volume follows two of his earlier works, namely, True For You, But Not True For Me (1998) and That's Just Your Interpretation (2001).

In all three volumes he raises common objections to the faith and answers them with wisdom, learning and clarity. In this volume, he examines three categories of objections: the nature of truth, the broad area of science and scientism, and objections to specific biblical and theological claims.

In the first section, for example, he devotes a chapter to pragmatism, the claim that what is true is what works. Copan offers three strengths of this view, but then offers eleven problems with the position. And these shortcomings are profound. Lying, for example, may "work", but does that make its right, or true?

In section two he lists eight common objections, centered on the supposed clash between science and faith. In these chapters he deals with a number of related themes. Chief among them is the way in which science can tend to overstep its bounds.

Thus Copan distinguishes between science (a helpful discipline when kept in its proper place) and scientism (the idea that science speaks to all truth, and what is not covered by science is not true). The latter is a philosophical position, not testable by the very tenets of science. It is a presupposition that itself is not empirically verifiable.

While science rightly studies the natural world, scientism seeks to say the natural world is all there is: only matter matters. The truth is, as Copan demonstrates, there are many areas of knowledge that go beyond scientific study.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By AK on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
**** In a world where it often seems like the only right some vocal people are willing to grant Christians is the right to remain silent, it is easy to begin to wonder, "am I wrong to believe?" Addressing this question with solid reasons why you are not wrong to believe and what makes Christianity logical, this book will give you the confidence to deal with a world in which Christans are resident aliens. How do we know we have a soul and are more than animals? What about the strange things in the Old Testament that often seem bizarre and harsh? Did a lot of books get left out of the Bible? The answers to these questions and more will give you surety that not only are you, the Christian not wrong, but you are right. ****

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore, Freelance Reviewer.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kudos to Copan who meets a great practical need to help answer real questions that people ask, instead of arguing against arguments which seem were created out of thin air just to prove a point. Though the questions or statements are as real as they get, sometimes Copan creates a straw man in his arguments. But, overall it is a great book I would recommend as a textbook, and for anyone in the church out outside of it.

I really enjoyed many of the discussions and you can tell that Copan is a well read person. Also, not only well read but usually picks those authors who are well respected in their field.

There are just a few things I would critique. It seems that Copan's passion about abortion caused him to overreact a couple times. When he speaks of Abortion Clinics, he typifies them as profit makers. I happen to have some firsthand knowledge about this. I was a "spy" of sorts for the anti-abortion side and played a boyfriend, and another person played my girlfriend. The goal was to get into the clinic and find out what the staff there would say if my "girlfriend" changed her mind and no longer wanted the abortion. What we found was that the staff defended the woman's right to choose either way, and did not try to persuade at all for her to get an abortion. So it is a mass generalization to say that these clinics only serve the dollar bill.

The second time Copan overreacts concerning this topic is when he compares those who would risk life and limb to save an endangered turtle's eggs, and that these same people could care less about aborting babies. That is a bit unfair I would say, since the turtle is an endangered species and we are not.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Lemaster on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Copan's book provides a primer in basic logic and reasoning when confronting objections that Christians often hear regarding their religious beliefs. The opening chapters deal with slogans related to truth and reality (such as "whatever works for you"); the next seven chapters deal more with slogans related to worldviews (such as proving things scientifically and animal rights); the final six chapters deal solely with slogans related to Christianity and the Bible.

I enjoyed studying philosophy in college and Copan's book makes for an interesting read for those people who enjoy logic and reasoning. He systematically takes apart every slogan and shows how many of these fail under the harsh scrutiny of logic. Chapters 9 and 10 deal specifically with animal rights and it's from my reading of this that I learned how big of a hypocrite PETA member Pete Singer is. Reading this book made me wonder why anyone takes Singer's writings seriously.

In the Bible, philosophy is linked with "empty deception" and based on some of these slogans, it's easy to see why. Philosophy can and should be a search for truth and wisdom but too often it takes a detour into beliefs that have no real value
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