Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith Paperback – November 30, 1996
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The basis for both apologetics and theology is the same, the Lordship of Christ as revealed in the inerrant Word of God: “Does apologetics have a different epistemological authority than expounding theology? Our theology is founded on the authority of Christ, speaking by His Spirit in the words of Scripture. 1 Peter 3:15 teaches us that the precondition of presenting a defense of the faith (apologetics) is also that we “sanctify [set apart] Christ as Lord in your hearts.” It would be a mistake to imagine that Peter speaking of the “heart” here as though it is our center of emotions over against the mind with which we think. In Biblical terminology the “heart” is the location of our reasoning (Rom. 1:21), meditation (Ps. 19:14), understanding (Prov. 8:5), thinking (Deut. 7:17; 8:5) and believing (Rom. 10:10). It is just here - in the center of our thinking and reasoning – that Christ is to be consecrated as the Lord, when we engage in apologetical discussions with inquiring unbelievers. Thus theology and apologetics have the same epistemological authority - the same Lord over all.” (112)
Those who deny the Lordship of Christ do not need more evidence which they will judge based on their own reasoning ability and interpret within their own worldview. Rather, they need to admit that they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18) and that the knowledge they think they have is false (1 Tim 6:20). Because all knowledge begins with God (Prov 1:7), the proof of God is the “impossibility of the contrary – that is,... the philosophic perspective of the unbeliever destroys meaning, intelligence, and the very possibility of knowledge, while the Christian faith provides the only framework and conditions for intelligible experience and rational certainty.” (72-73) “The Christian worldview is true because of the impossibility of the contrary... the proof that Christianity is true is that if it were not, we would not be able to prove anything.” (123)
Bahnsen also addresses common objections to presuppositional apologetics and shows how it is employed in such issues as the problem of evil: “The only logical problem of evil which arises in connection with discussions of evil is the unbeliever’s philosophical inability to account for the objectivity of his moral judgments.” (173)
The only downside of this edition (Print on Demand Edition 2018 from Covenant Media Press) is that the page numbering in both the Scripture index and subject index is off. Sometimes I can find what I am looking for one page before or after what the index says, sometimes two or three pages, and sometimes not at all (as far as I can see). This is a bummer because an accurate index is always helpful in a book. In this case, since Bahnsen cites so many scriptures, I was really looking forward to looking at the different mentions of a few key verses. Unfortunately, this is not as easy now. However, the book is still amazing and well worth the price.
The reason is because Bahnsen doesn’t usually speak on layman’s terms. You’re going to spend some time in a dictionary when you read his books, and ultimately they are going to be terms that you’re not going to be using with the common person. That’s just the way it is, most people aren’t formally educated in these things.
You’ll just create more confusion by bringing up academic terms that only academics will really know what you’re talking about. The point of communicating with people is for them to understand what you’re saying, not confuse them even more.
Lisle knows how to convey everything in simple terms, to the point that you could give his book to a ninth grader, and they could grasp it.
All that being said, you can still read this book and benefit tremendously from it if you’re a beginner in Presuppositional Apologetics.
"In answering the fool a Christian apologist must aim to demonstrate that unbelief is, in the final analysis, destructive of all knowledge" 57
"Effective apologetics necessarily leads us to challenge and debate the unbeliever at the level of his most basic commitments or assumptions about reality, knowledge, and ethics. Our approach to defending the faith is shallow and ineffective if we think that the unbeliever simply lacks information or needs to be given observational evidence." 120
"The proof that Christianity is true is that if it were not, we would not be able to prove anything." 122
Top international reviews
I just think when it comes to defending the faith you don't get better then this man.
Just get it.
once you get this you will distroy unbelievers or any other faith outside of Christianity's worldview. but please do it will gentleness, we are talking about peoples worldview.
I also challenge any unbeliever out their to read it