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Moral Apologetics for Contemporary Christians: Pushing Back Against Cultural and Religious Critics (B&H Studies in Christian Ethics) Paperback – November 1, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“A tour de force of apologetic thought.” R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Have Christians grown accustomed to those who defame the Church?

Whether it’s a best-selling author who claims “religion poisons everything” or an atheist comedian whose punch lines aren’t hassled by the burden of proof, foes of the faith continue to declare Christianity morally deficient without much resistance.

In Moral Apologetics for Contemporary Christians, Mark Coppenger mixes compelling references—from classic philosophers to modern entertainers— to reasonably push back against both harsh critics and less intense cultural relativists, contending that Christianity is morally superior to its competitors as well as true.

Coppenger doesn’t avoid uncomfortable realities like the misbehavior of many Christians and false teachers, but he sets the book’s course in defense of his faith with evidence that a Christian approach to life makes people and societies flourish, while those who turn their backs on genuine Christianity are more liable to behave wickedly.

“I hope to help replenish our cultural confidence,” he writes. “We have a great moral story to tell, and it surely points to the Author of Light and Life.”

Mark Coppenger has rendered a great service to the Christian church in the twenty- first century. Moral Apologetics is a special gift to all of those faithful Christians who believe that Christianity brings new life to the mind as well as to the soul.
Richard Land President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee

This book is a tour de force of apologetic thought, revealing ethical issues to be apologetic opportunities. Fascinating on every page . . . get ready for a guided tour through contemporary culture and Christian apologetics.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Mark Coppenger is professor of Christian Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, kentucky, and director of the Seminary’s extension in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.).

About the Author

Mark Coppenger is professor of Christian Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and director of the Seminary's extension in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.).

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Product Details

  • Series: B&H Studies in Christian Ethics
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805464204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805464207
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The rise of the New Atheists has proven a unique challenge to those who defend the faith. In a culture where Christianity was assumed Bertrand Russell argued that you cannot argue for or against the truth of a system based on its perceived social benefit. The New Atheists have swung in the opposite direction and argue against the truthfulness of Christianity based upon its perceived negative impact. In the introduction to his new book Moral Apologetics Mark Coppenger (Professor of Christian Apologetics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as the director of the Nashville extension campus) quotes from a debate between Christian Apologist William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens - well-known New Atheist. Hitchens wants to make this argument and Craig dismisses it as irrelevant.

Coppenger cites this debate because he wants to argue that ideas have consequences. If an idea is true, then it should lead to human flourishing. If it is not true, then it should be detrimental. If an idea is true and it doesn't bring about human flourishing, then something has gone wrong. Coppenger wants to push back against the New Atheists who argue that Christianity is bad for the world. He also wants to argue against the idea that the social impact of a worldview is irrelevant when discussing truthfulness. Instead he argues that "Christianity is morally superior as well as true" (1).

He examines the issue in relation to four contrasts: Christian Ethics v. Secular Ethics (chs. 1-5); Christian Ethicists v. Secular Ethicists (chs. 6-9); Christian Fruit v. Secular Fruit; Admirable Apologetics (chs. 10-13) v. Irresponsible Apologetics (chs. 14-18). In each section he examines competing ideas, systems, religions and movements.
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One reviewer said "[t]he author basically holds up notable non-Christians and points out their flaws. While I don't think there are any actual errors in what he writes, I don't think it's particularly effective. It might reinforce existing faith, but I really doubt it would be a useful evangelism tool. I'd clearly lump this into the category of negative apologetics."

I disagree with this comment. If a person really took the idea of human flourishing seriously then I think this book could be a useful evangelism tool. Also, the book did more than point out the flaws of non-Christians. I think the book did a good job of illustrating the consequences of ideas.
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GREAT PRICE. NEEDED FOR SCHOOL
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I really wanted this to be great, but thought it was very weak from either an apologetic or philosophical standpoint. The author basically holds up notable non-Christians and points out their flaws. While I don't think there are any actual errors in what he writes, I don't think it's particularly effective. It might reinforce existing faith, but I really doubt it would be a useful evangelism tool. I'd clearly lump this into the category of negative apologetics.
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