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Know Why You Believe Paperback – March, 1999

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Editorial Reviews


"As a student, I love Paul's teaching. As an apologist, I am grateful for his impact. Know Why You Believe is a valuable piece of work." (Ravi Zacharias)

"Paul Little gives brightly understandable answers to questions about biblical Christianity. He shows there is a reasonable base to believe that Jesus Christ offers to give us connection to the living God." (Josh McDowell)

"I've worn out multiple copies of this book and lost count of how many I've given away to seekers and new believers. It's a classic." (Bill Hybels)

One of the "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals" (Christianity Today, October 2006)

"Scholarly, articulate, simple." (Billy Graham)

"This book canters brightly through the border-country between conviction and questioning." (The Methodist Recorder)

"When I lost my childhood faith, I needed a book like Paul Little's Know Why You Believe." (Kenneth Kantzer)

"Shortly after my conversion in 1968 I was given a copy of Know Why You Believe, and it was what sparked my own lifelong interest in Christian apologetics. Through the years its quality has been demonstrated by its longevity. Now in this updated and expanded version, Paul Little's book can continue to provide hope and help to a new generation of truth-seekers." (J. P. Moreland, professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and author of Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Until his death, Paul Little traveled widely to speak to thousands, especially to college students. He was on the staff of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and was Associate Professor of Evangelism at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Chariot Victor Publishing; Expanded Edition edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156476754X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564767547
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,945,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H on April 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having read several books on apologetics myself, I found Little's book quite good. His presentation is easy to follow and the beginner will find it very manageable. It is a short book that new Christians or Christians approaching apologetics (the rational defence of Christianity) for the first time, will find useful.
Little's methodology is good as well. His dispels presuppositions that a priori prevent one from even considering Christianity. Little also has some ability to come up with memorable epigrams (though he is not as good at this as G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis are, in my opinion).
Little covers the following questions: Is Christianity Rational? Is There a God? Is Christ God? Did Christ Rise from the Dead? Is the Bible God's Word? Are the Bible Documents Reliable? Does Archaeology Verify Scripture? Are Miracles Possible? Do Science & Scripture Agree? Why Does God Allow Suffering & Evil? Does Christianity Differ from Other World Religions?
Is Christian Experience Valid?
In a book that is only 171 pages in length (excluding study questions), Little covers each topic quite quickly. Thankfully, he includes a "For Further Reading," section at the end of every chapter. Little's section on Science & Scripture was good as well (as one might expect, he covers the issue of origins). Little is careful to define terms (i.e. micro-evolution vs. macro-evolution) and I think he wisely notes that science is constantly changing (whereas the Bible is static), so one must be cautious not to absolutely weld contemporary scientific theories to the Bible.
The section on Christianity and other religions was mediocre. However, most Christian apologetic materials that read have suffered from the same problem.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Keating on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
My wife asked me to read this book to see if it was any good- so I did. Like most reviewers, I enjoyed this book despite its simplicity. It is pretty short, easy to follow, and worth the time spent reading it. I was somewhat familiar with certain sections of the book, but enjoyed the pragmatic way that Paul Little presents the Christian view to the reader.
The context for the book is that Paul Little wanted to provide answers to the 12 most common questions he received when discussing Christianity on college campuses. He fulfills his purpose, and provides many references, and additional materials to research if you want to go deeper into any particular subject.
You will most likely not be interested in all 12 topics discussed, but it makes sense that most Christians should have some familiarity with these questions, and the basic answers provided in this book. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick introduction to apologetics, or different ways to answer the questions that may arise as you share your faith with others.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the Christian who is scared of "apologetics" because he thinks it means he has to "apologize," here's a book that doesn't get too technical but has plenty of good information about the defense of the faith. So often Christians don't have adequate answers to give to those who ask of them, as 1 Peter 3:15-16 commands, and so a book like this that is so readable and understandable can provide some ammunition the next time the skeptic questions the faith. Included at the end of each chapter are questions that can be used in a group or individual study.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JS on April 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was written in simple language, so it's easy to read. It is full of support from Bible verses and outside sources (archaeology, famous quotes, etc.). Paul E. Little is reminiscent of C.S. Lewis because both of them show that you don't have sacrifice science and rationality for Christianity. I've read a couple other apologetics books (The Case for Christ and Basic Christianity), and they don't come close!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aj B on March 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Know Why You Believe" is a simplistic, fast paced, and easy to follow book that is a great starting point for Christian apologetics. In it, Paul Little discusses several key points of Christianity, such as the rationality of God, and conflicts between science and Scripture. He uses logical and easily followed arguments in his defense of the Christian faith.

The book is very well organized and Little does an exceptional job at defending Christianity at its core. He focuses on the most common questions he received while discussing Christianity at college campuses and they shape an excellent argument. Though it is a relatively short and basic book, Little effectively makes his points and includes many references to additional studies of each of the 12 major arguments in the book.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful By John Paul on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Let me begin by saying that Mr. Little's original edition, published in 1967, had a positive influence upon me. I read his book in 1974, and it was the first apologetic book I remember reading. For that, I am thankful.

However, I recently (January 2009) purchased a copy, published by Victor, edited by Craig Bubeck, 5th edition, dated 2003. Despite my nostalgia for the old "Jesus freak" days, I must offer some criticisms of this book.

--Chapter 5: "Is the Bible God's Word?" says,
"The earliest book (in the bible) was first authored about 1100 BC."
If one accepts the chronology given by the bible itself, Moses lived circa 1450 BC. Therefore, Little is off by 350 years.

--Chapter 6: "Are the Bible Documents Reliable?"
This book states, "The Roman Catholic Church includes the books of the Apocrypha since the Council of Trent in 1546."

This is rather disingenuous of the author, since the Catholic Church, along with the Orthodox churches, have always considered the so-called apocryphal books (known formally as "Deutero-canonical") as part of the received canon, at least since the early 5th Century AD.

The following page of the book states, "The church Council of Jamnia in AD 90, held informal discussions about the canon."

The problem with this, of course, is that the meeting in Jamnia was held by JEWS, not Christians!

On the same page, is written, "Later on, in Reformation times, the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent elevated the Apocrypha to canonical status."

Again, WRONG!
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