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When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics Paperback – August 1, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Guidance for those deep coffeehouse conversations about God

What do you say when someone raises tough objections to the Christian worldview, like

•Why not just look out for yourself?
•Isn't it okay to do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anyone?
•Is it ever okay to lie?
•Aren't some people born gay?
•Do people really believe miracles happen?
•Aren't the Bible's holy wars just like Islamic Jihad?

In When God Goes to Starbucks, renowned apologetics expert Paul Copan tackles these and other vexing questions. He offers wise and relevant answers that will not only help you clarify your own beliefs but empower you to articulate those beliefs to others.

"Classic Copan: thoughtful, respectful, well-reasoned, and ultimately persuasive. Open it up, grab a cup of coffee, and join the conversation!"--Lee Strobel, author, The Case for Christ and The Case for the Real Jesus

"If you want sound apologetics made relevant--here it is! Copan provides clear, orthodox, practical, accessible, and necessary answers to questions that stymie seekers and galvanize skeptics against historic Christianity."--Hank Hanegraaff, president, Christian Research Institute; host, Bible Answer Man broadcast

"I love this book. Its arguments--careful, logical, and most of all fair-minded--speak eloquently in our sound-bite world."--David K. Clark, lead pastor, Faith Covenant Church; professor of theology, Bethel Seminary

About the Author

Paul Copan (PhD, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He is the author of several popular apologetics books, including Is God a Moral Monster? and lives with his wife and
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080106743X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801067433
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book contains thoughtful, well-stated, fully expressed apologetics. However, its catchy title and trendy cover is misleading; it implies that the book is a reader-friendly guide to answering tough universal questions about God. In this regard, Copan's book really misses the mark. It is written more for the academic rather than your average Christian caffeine addict, like myself. So, if you could use some help giving tangible, biblical responses to questions like "If God is good, then why is there so much suffering?" then I recommend Randy Newman's book Questioning Evangelism. After you read it, bring a seeking friend to the nearest Starbucks, and start a "God" conversation over a cup o' Joe.
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Format: Paperback
Far too many books on Christian apologetics are tired commentaries with cheesy quotations and sound bite/flimsy arguments. This sort of literature has set a disingenuous precedent with thinkers from all camps (because they are written in Christianeeze!) and has given Christian apologetics a bad name. While encouraging to a choir, they are hopeless as outreach. Copan's, "When God Goes to Starbucks" will equip Christians to know why they believe what they believe about their faith, and invites seekers to explore the coherence of the Christian worldview. Anyone who is passionate about the life of the mind will enjoy this book. Copan has written at a lay level but the content is thoughtful enough to meet the needs of advanced learners. Copan covers a lot of territory and deals with some gritty but relevant topics. You'll enjoy this book as Copan *once again* travels roads most fear to travel -Copan is great!
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Format: Paperback
These are not flimsy, trite, or tired responses to legitimate and difficult questions. What you will find here are thoughtful, clear, and substantive arguments with ample endnotes, precise summaries, and helpful suggestions for more intensive exploration. Copan has the rare ability to take ideas and discussions occurring in professional journals among theologians and philosophers and package them in a way that is accessible to motivated readers without trivializing them.

Moreover, the issues addressed in this book are fresh, but not obscure. For example, Islam is in the news, and many thinking people wonder how closely (if at all) the Jihad of the Koran parallels the holy wars recorded in the Bible (specifically the OT). You get 3 chapters exploring that. Then you get a chapter exploring religious experience and 2 chapters exploring the rationality of miracles in the "age of science". And who hasn't wondered whether it is really OK to lie to Nazis? (and then how to explain your reasoning?)

Overall this is a powerful book. But Copan realizes that it isn't about winning an argument; it is about seeking the truth. And all of this is to be done with gentleness and respect. Personally, I resonated with what he said in the introduction, "And when we are talking with people in pain or when people just want to tell their stories, we should be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19); we shouldn't jump in with answers when we haven't truly understood the questions" (pages 10-11). Too often we get excited about a particular truth we have discovered and in our eagerness to share it, we forget to listen and understand. A good reminder indeed.

I highly recommend this and other Paul Copan books.
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I bought this book on a whim and was deeply touched by the message. GREAT book for those moments when you feel compelled to say something, but aren't quite sure how to approach it. Even better book for those times when your gut tells you "this is right" or "that makes me uncomfortable" - but you can't put your finger on "why". This book not only gives you the scriptural "why" but helps you find gentle ways of approaching those topics with your friends and loved ones. MUST read for any Christian who finds him/herself in mixed company.
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Books which are written to answer "real" questions with practical, real-life wisdom need to grapple honestly, then, with the kind of authentic issues that cause people concern. Paul Copan's, "When God Goes To Starbucks" does that admirably.

What are some of those real questions? Well, for example . . .

"Is it okay to lie to Nazis?"

[By the way, according to Copan, the answer is yes, "deception is morally permissible . . . under certain specific conditions." But you have to read chapter 3 in the book to get the full explanation.]

"Does the Bible condemn loving, committed homosexual relationships?"

"Aren't the Bible's `Holy Wars' just like Islamic Jihad?"

"Why are Christians so divided? Why so many denominations?"

[Copan is a very smart and highly educated man, but, he missed the obvious correct answer to these two questions. It's simple to see that Christians wouldn't be divided if everyone would just come to see things my way.]

Oh well, he did a pretty good job, other than that.

Copan has written several books along the lines of "When God Goes To Starbucks" and he does a good job of writing in a way that is accessible to regular people and, yet, provides thoughtful answers that are not so lightweight that they lack genuine intellectual substance.

From one of those "regular people" . . .

Dan Marler
Oak Lawn, IL
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