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Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker Reference Library) Hardcover – November 1, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman L. Geisler is the ultimate one-volume reference for Christians who seek meaningful responses to criticisms of their faith. Geisler, a professor of theology and apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary, is the encyclopedia's sole author. His previous books--Answering Islam and When Cultists Ask--help qualify Geisler to respond to a wide range of challenges to Christian belief. And this encyclopedia covers almost every conceivable philosophical challenge to Christianity, from "Agnosticism" to "Zen Buddhism." It also summarizes the key points regarding oft-challenged Christian doctrines and beliefs ("Adam, Historicity of," "Virgin Birth of Christ"). Each article is cleanly written and clearly organized. Indeed, Geisler's greatest talent is for logical thinking. Whether he is considering Jesus' view of the Bible or the tenets of Deism, he writes with confident assurance, so that no reader will feel lost.

About the Author

Norman L. Geisler (PhD, Loyola University of Chicago) has taught at top evangelical schools for over fifty years and is distinguished professor of apologetics and theology at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California. He is the author of more than seventy books, including the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.

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Product Details

  • Series: Baker Reference Library
  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801021510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801021510
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.4 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James S. Taylor on November 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This work is both important and extensive. A number of the articles are near definitive. The buyer should, however, be aware of a few shortcomings. First, this is a best of Mr. Geisler, so it's strong where he's strong (particularly if he has previously written a book on the subject), but weak on things he's not focused on in the past. Actually, it's surprising that Baker would let one person write an entire volume on apologetics in this series when other volumes have benefited from multiple authors and there are other writers available who could have written more authoritatively on some subjects, particularly the science issues. Second, it desperately needs an index. A number of issues are handled under headings which are not obvious, and sometimes over multiple separated articals that haven't been cross-referenced, making them difficult to relocate. This sometimes involves major topics (such as Postmodernism and the Brain/Mind problem) which amazingly have no separate entries, though they certainly deserve them. Advanced readers will also wish he had dealt more extensively with the entire issue of non-foundationalist apologetics, particularly since his work is so solidly foundational. Don't let any of this scare you away, however, as it's well worth the read.
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Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, Geisler's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics is by far the best reference tool and study of Christian apologetics available to the church and society as a whole. I turn to this book to not only gain his insight and opinions in apologetics, but in theology, philosophy, and world religions as well-all in one volume! His bibliography alone is worth the price of this book! And his work concerning important or influential thinkers and their beliefs are well-balanced, fair, and very insightful. Indeed, this is a tremendous work and should be a required purchase for every Christian's library; its value is worth its weight in gold. If one cannot study under Dr. Geisler at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., then studying this work is the next best thing. Because of his use of logic, years of study and experience in teaching the Scriptures, theology, and philosophy, and having multiple debates and friendships with some of the brightest scholars known world-wide, this book provides a wonderful source for those who have questions about the fundamental of the Christian faith including the existence of God, the factual resurrection of Jesus Christ, the inspiration and inerrancy (is the Bible without error?) and other subjects like the preservation of the Bible, the actual knowability of truth, infant salvation, existentialism, evolution, higher criticism, and the Person and work of the God of the Bible. He entertains questions like how can Christ be fully God yet fully man? Is Jesus Christ the only path or plan for salvation-are there more paths leading to salvation? What about the other world religions--are their claims legitimate and factual? How do other world religions measure up to the facts of the Bible? What is relativism?Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Before I go any further I will state my background and possible presuppositions concerning the book. I am reformed, broadly pressuppositional in apologetics, and non dispensational in eschatology; therefore, I understand that Dr Geisler and I will probably not see eye to eye on some issues.
The book is a handy reference despite one's outlook in this area. He attempted the impossible and nearly succeeded. I agree with others that he should have incorporated other scholars to help. Here are the faults that I have with the book: He intends to view most major theologians of the past as *classical* in outlook, Calvin being the major example. Even more ironic is the fact that given his (Geisler) "cold neutrality" towards the Reformed faith, he warmly reivewed Reformed scholars who happened to employ a Classical outlook on apologetics (Machen, Warfield, etc.). Now don't get me wrong, those were good articles that he did. The last problem I have with the book is his treatment of Van Til. Some legitimate criticisms of VT maybe employed (although I certainly wouldn't try) but Geisler gives several columns in praise of VT and 4 pages, double columned in critiquing VT. He even uses John Robbins as a legitimate source on VT (this is nothing against Mr. Robbins, it just should be noted that he is antagonistic towards VT). He also misrepresents Jonathan Edwards.
The Good aspects of the book: Geisler writes with logical precision. He answers most challenges to the faith, and he spends OVER 40 PAGES, DOUBLE COLUMNED in defense of miracles. Obtain a copy of this volume if only for that! Despite my above criticisms of this book, I use it every day and would gladly recommend it to others
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Format: Hardcover
This tome is a remarkable masterpiece in its breadth, scholarship, and objectivity. The sheer breadth of its topics is unexpectedly wide. The scholarship and conclusions are virtually faultless. And the extent of objectivity, in an admittedly Christian encyclopedia of apologetics, is surprising.
I was surprised at, for instance, its extensive coverage of the inadequacies of Islam from a Christian viewpoint (of course). Also, the fairness and objectivity of the author are quite evident when he analyzes numerous influential thinkers. When discussing Karl Marx, Mr. Geisler does not fail to mention some of the positive effects his works had on the treatment of laborers alongside some of the failings of his philosophy.
This book is impossible to describe as other than a masterpiece. If you are a believer and would like to "have an answer for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence", then this a great encyclopedia to have.
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