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Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith Paperback – November, 1996
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About the Author
Greg L. Bahnsen was the scholar-in-residence at the Southern California Center for Christian Studies and an ordained minister iin the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California, specializing in the field of epistemology (theory of Knowledge). He also received M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Dr. Bahnsen was the author of numerous books and published articles and was a popular conference speaker. He was also a renowned public debater as evidenced in his interchanges with Muslims, Roman Catholics, Jews, and atheists. A complete list of his over 1,700 audio tapes, videos, articles, and books is available from the Covenant Media Foundation.
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1. The problem of Evil
2. The problem of the Supernatural
3. The problem of Faith
4. The problem of Religious Language
5. The problem of Miracles
The approaches he uses to the 6 given above are all based on presuppositionalism. He shows that either you're with God or against God and gives biblical evidence for that so the agnostic should be treated as any other unbeliever! The argument from Evil is one of my favorites because Bahsen shows that because of the unbeliever's relativity they really have no grounds to call anything evil and end up showing the flaws in their own worldview rather than the flaws in Christianity. I think this book is an essential tool for any Christian who is serious about defending their faith. Sooner or later your faith is going to be attacked and you need to be ready for such attacks and this book will make you ready hence the name, Always Ready.
I highly recommend this as a Sunday school teaching for every Christian to know why they believe what they believe and a great start to defending the faith.
This book is broken into a couple different parts; Bahnsen starts with his defense of presuppositional apologetics, then our foundation for knowledge (found in the Word), and finishes with a few applications/responses to common objections to the faith (i.e. the problem of evil, logical positivism, miracles, reason vs. faith).
My point is not to argue over which apologetic approach is best (although I do believe presup to be it...), but I will make a point of saying that Bahnsen gives the Word of God the highest esteem, and makes it a clear point that true knowledge starts with the fear of the Lord. I love the place that Bahnsen gives to the enlightening of the Word and Spirit, and to Christ and God as the foundation for truth. He is unabashedly, unashamedly for the presupposition of God's existence and truth, and does not believe in catering to the pagan's unbelief to try and seem more respectable to get approval from them.
I love the book. It's a bit redudant (although, I might argue that his redudancy drives the points home well), but it is full of great truth for debating unbelievers. Perhaps the best point he makes is how we must be bold with the truth, but humble at the same time, and this I sometimes feel is left out of todays arguments...especially my own. When presenting the truth of God, in apologetics or evangelism, it is not my own reasoning, intelligence, or witty remarks that will convert the unbeliever (1 Cor. 3:7); it is the unashamed declaration of Christ (Rom 1:16), the call for repentance and faith, in conjunction with the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5).
Soli Deo Gloria!