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That's Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith Paperback – November 1, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Beneath the clichés of our culture lie some unsettling questions about God. Paul Copan, with genius and simplicity, uncovers the struggle and constructs his answers on a firm foundation." Ravi Zacharias, author and speaker

"It's all relative."
"Everything is one with the divine."
"Why would a good God send people to hell?"
"The Gospels contradict each other."

In our relativistic society, Christians more than ever before are bombarded by skeptical comments such as these. You hear them on college campuses, in the workplace, and from your neighbors and friends.

That's Just Your Interpretation
provides incisive answers to challenges related to truth and reality, worldviews, and Christian doctrine. Similar to his well-received "True for You, but Not for Me," this book by Paul Copan will help you defend your faith, even when you're confronted with the toughest questions. You'll be able to respond with intelligent, powerful answers that direct people toward a personal relationship with God.

"The book is accessible to non-specialists, yet Copan clearly brings to each subject careful research and scholarly reflection."
J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology

"Paul Copan manifests the conceptual skills of a fine philosopher and theologian as well as the heart of a sincere Christian. This combination is potent indeed, illuminating a wide range of pressing issues about the Christian faith."
Paul Moser, Loyola University of Chicago

"Paul Copan writes with clarity, force, and insight about the credibility of Christianity."
Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College

About the Author

Paul Copan (Ph.D., Marquette University) is a ministry associate with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. His books include Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? and "True for You, but Not for Me." Copan lives in Suwanee, Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801063833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801063831
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I hate to say this about a Christian apologist like Paul Copan, who has put out some very good apologetic material, but this book was horrendous. I mean it was absolutely terrible. I can't even begin to describe how many poor conclusions were reached and how many poor answers were given to problems raised with Christianity. He had EXTREMELY simplistic and EXAGGERATED explanations of what other faiths held (especially Eastern Pantheism, which he completely misrepresented).

On pages 98-99 Copan discusses the problem of natural disasters. Copan’s explanations in the previous parts of this chapter seem to deal only with moral evils which result from human choices, so here he attempts to address the issue of evil which seems not to stem from human choices. He argues that natural disasters are actually necessary to keep life on this planet alive (98). For example, earthquakes are needed to recycle essential nutrients back into the continents (98). I personally do not find his argument very convincing. I think that any Christian would need to tie natural evils into the Fall as Schaffer does in Genesis in Space and Time, where he presents natural evils as stemming from a rift which developed between man and nature as a result of sin. If we do not do this, it does not make much sense for God to curse the ground as a result of Adam’s sin, for it would already have been cursed if nothing in nature changed as a result of the Fall. Further, as a philosophical objection, surely God could have created a world where natural disasters were not necessary to sustain the earth. Copan responds to this by saying that we cannot know that a world with this condition is possible (98-99), but does he really believe that there will be natural disasters on the new earth?
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Format: Paperback
Having bought and/or read a number of books in this vein, Copan's work seems to be accessible and understandable by the lay person, yet at the same time offers enough depth for the person interested in deeper treatments of various subjects. The chapters are brief enough to keep the average person interested. I would recommend it as a primer for the non-academic who wants an introductory treatment of critical worldview issues.

I do have an issue with "Ben J"'s review of the book and its mischaracterisation of Copan. After browsing his other reviews, it seems he doesn't like ANY of the Christian books he's reviewed and seems to include the same hyper-critical elements in most of his reviews - as if he's working from the same template for all of them (including the non-orthodox position that the Bible teaches that everyone, Christian and non-Christian, will be saved, which runs absolutely contrary to the orthodox Christian position that has been held for 2000 years. How Ben pulls that out of Scripture is beyond me. The fact that Copan disagrees with that view makes Ben attacks his work. But I digress.....). But specifically here, his accusation that Copan's attitude in this book is to preach some message of "win the argument over the 'poor pitiful non-Christians' at all costs" is so offbase that it seems to me he threw that in there to mischaracterise Copan and throw the on-the-fence person off from considering it as a reading possibility.
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1 Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Paul Copan does an admirable job of presenting arguments that will prove useful especially to the general reader. He strikes a nice balance between real substance and accessibility. It's true that here and there the author might have strengthened his premises and thus his conclusions. However, by doing this he would also have moved the treatment of relativism beyond the grasp of some general readers--those who would profit most from the book. In response to the Mormon reviewer below, I have to respectfully disagree with his criticism of Copan's treatment of the Trinity. There is no possible way that Copan can be construed as veering into polytheism--or, a plurality of gods. In line with historical Christian orthodoxy, he understands that there is no contradiction in the classical doctrine of the Trinity. And, emphatically to the contrary, St. Thomas Aquinas presented one of the most lucid and logical expositions Trinitarian doctrine. To say that there are three persons in one divine substance is no contradiction. The categories of "person" and "essence" (or "substance") are distinct. The doctrine of the Trinty does not say that there is one God who is three gods, nor that there are three persons who are one person. It accepts from biblical revelation that there is One God (one divine substance), and three persons or centers of consciousness. Logically, this is to say that there is one "A" and three "B"s--logically distinct, and thus coherent categories. What WOULD be irrational would be to claim that the "godhead" is comprised of three finite beings, with a mere unity of will but not of Being. Copan is not guilty of such a silly blunder, and it misrepresents his thought to suggest it. In short, the book will prove useful, because accessible, to a wide range of readers.
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