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Testing Christianity's Truth Claims Paperback – September 13, 1990

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Product Details

  • Series: Sciences
  • Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of America (September 13, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819178381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819178381
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,250,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Lewis' analysis is clear, precise and insightful...This volume is a valuable introduction to the apologetic systems of the mid-twentieth century.>>>> (Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society)

Lewis' analysis is clear, precise and insightful...This volume is a valuable introduction to the apologetic systems of the mid-twentieth century. (Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society)

About the Author

Gordon R. Lewis is the Chairman of the Philosophy of Religion Department and a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Denver Seminary in Colorado.

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anders Nissen on February 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this book six different approaches to Christian apologetics are contrasted. The systems represent not different methods but rather different epistemologies (theories of knowledge). In Five Views on Apologetics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000) editor Steven Cowan criticizes this approach, because different epistemologies don't necessarily lead to different apologetic methods: "while religious epistemology is certainly important and may play a significant role in distinguishing one apologetic method from another, it is not sufficient (in every case) for distinguishing one method from another." (p.10) However, when chosing an apologetic method, eventually one comes down not only to how to do apologetics but also how to think about apologetics. And when differentiating between different ways of thinking about apologetics the differences Lewis points out are quite necessary, even if some may produce very similar methods.
The six different approaches (and representatives) are pure empiricism (Oliver Buswell), rational empiricism (Stuart Hackett), rationalism (Gordon Clark), biblical authoritarianism (Cornelius Van Til), mysticism (Earl Barrett) and the verificational approach (Edward Carnell). Lewis shows appreciation to all systems, while he also offers critique to all of them save one (Carnell), with whom he agrees.
Buswell is commended for his appreciation of facts as a pointer to truth, but is criticized for his tabula rasa epistemology; Clark acknowledges that man has innate thought-forms but appeals only to non-contradiction and not to facts; and Barrett stresses the religious experience, something other apologists often forget to talk about, but he offers no further test for truth. The difference between Carnell and Hackett can at first be hard to see.
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10 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James Arvo on July 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book expecting that the author had attempted to assess the validity of various Christian claims through objective historical or scientific principles. While Lewis does address a range of arguments, the book is simply a compilation of typical apologetics with nary a glance toward objectivity. It's absurd to suggest that the book is about "testing" anything, aside from the reader's willingness to endure 295 pages of vapid apologetics.
On page 18, Lewis states "The open-minded will carefully examine the evidence of Christianity's best apologists and follow the evidence where it leads." This plea for open-mindedness is revealing in that it deftly ignores Christianity's critics. Indeed, nothing in the entire book suggests that critics need be taken seriously, for Lewis shows outright contempt for those who question the claims he purports to test. On page 88 Lewis approvingly quotes Floyd Hamilton: "...our belief in the trustworthiness of the whole Bible is so strong that we are not afraid of descending to the level of destructive critics of the Bible, for the sake of argument, confident that the Bible will stand every critical test that may be proposed." On page 55 Lewis proclaims "Those who turn away from the evidence do so willfully and culpably. Before God,... they are morally reprehensible and without excuse." Apparently Lewis believes that skepticism is destructive and that non-believers are reprehensible. So much for objectivity.
Even more disturbing is Lewis's penchant for begging the question. In attempting to establish Christianity's claims Lewis and his associates invariably assume precisely what they set out to show, often without even flinching at blatant circularity. Page 55: "The most probable source of the biblical idea of God is God Himself.
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