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Faith Has Its Reasons: Integrative Approaches to Defending the Christian Faith Paperback – March 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I know of no better analysis of Christian apologetic systems than Faith Has Its Reasons. It is comprehensive and rigorous, yet eminently readable. However, the book's greatest virtue is its ability to locate the importance of apologetics in the life of the church as well as in the personal faith of the individual believer."

Review

"Ken Boa is one of the most gifted writers and scholars in the Christian world. This is a brilliantly done apologetics reference. The title tells it all—our faith is not an unreasonable faith."
-- Charles W. Colson, Prison Fellowship, Washington, DC

"I know of no better analysis of Christian apologetic systems than Faith Has Its Reasons. It is comprehensive and rigorous, yet eminently readable. However, the book's greatest virtue is its ability to locate the importance of apologetics in the life of the church as well as in the personal faith of the individual believer."
-- Francis J. Beckwith, Author of David Hume's Arguments Against Miracles

"Applying the principle of 'unity in diversity' to apologetic systems, this book integrates the best insights of each approach. In challenging readers to maximize the stunning reasons for faith in concert with the magnetic power of transformed hearts, Faith Has Its Reasons charts the right course for the future of apologetics."
-- David K. Clark, Author of Dialogical Apologetics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Paternoster; 2nd Edition edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932805346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932805345
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F Foster on August 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Boa and Bowman have put together a lengthy survey on apologetic methods within Christianity. In the process, they have surpassed all other comparative apologetic works by cogently and thoroughly examining apologetic methods and the great thinkers who have subscribed to the various methods.
This book is extremely useful for a number of reasons. It's obvious strength is its thorough treatment of four major apologetic methods; classical, evidential, presuppositional, and fideist. This book is the best in print in dispassionately presenting each view, its strengths and weaknesses, and how each view interacts with various apologetic issues and objections. The reader will gain a solid working knowledge of apologetic school of thought to reflect upon and possibly incorporate in their own approach to apologetics.
Second, this book provides one of the best summary level examinations of many prominent Christian thinkers throughout church history. Anybody who wants a good summary treatment on the thinking of folks like Pascal, Kierkegaard, Van Til, Clark, Kuyper, Barth, Craig, Plantinga, Geisler, Aquinas, and many others will find it here.
Third, their demonstration of how each apologetic system interacts with key issues such as science, theology, the Bible, Jesus Christ, etc is very informative. I found these examinations to be very insightful, since it impressed upon me the reality that evangelical Christianity is not at all monolithic in how it views the relationship of apologetics to these vital issues. Through this diversity of thought, I have found my own approach to apologetics expanded and challenged in a very healthy way.
Lastly, the authors truly invoke a spirit of Christian love throughout this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The apostle Peter was very clear when he said that we are to have an answer for everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15-16). However, he didn't give us specifics of how we were to go about giving these answers, so Christians have taken it upon themselves to create different systems of methodology in order to follow the commands of Jesus (Matt. 29:19-20) and the apostles (Jude 3; 1 John 4:1).
The reason why I like "Faith Has Its Reasons" is that the authors make it very difficult to see where their biases lie. They cover the major ways apologetics is practiced (classical, evidential, Reformed, fideistic, and integrative) and give reasons used by its adherents to support their particular positions. What's interesting to me is how, in so many cases, I was able to agree with plenty presented in each position. It seems very clear to me that those from the different camps are (were) dedicated Christians who read the same Bible I do and worship the same God and Jesus. It's just that we don't quite see eye-to-eye on the exact process of how we are to "have an answer."
It should be pointed out that there is little difference between classical/evidential (the authors even point to William Lane Craig as a hybrid of the two positions) and Reformed/fideistic. When I went to seminary, I was taught that much of the conflict came between Carnell and Van Til; while that might be too simplified, the disagreement these men had really seems to be a dividing line between what could easily be lumped into two camps rather than five.
I'm not sure that this book will change the way you view apologetics, but it certainly will give you a clearer understanding of why, say, a Reformed thinker might shudder when someone says Geisler or Aquinas.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An outstanding book if you want to understand why there are wildly differing approaches to apologetics, weigh the strengths of each, know and understands the weaknesses of each, and arrive at your own conclusions.

While this book is not the book that I would recommend as a first apologetics book ( unless you have a good theology background) to read, it is a thorough overview to those wishing to understand at a more complete level. What will you find? Bowman and Boa have produced a remarkably fair overview of several schools of thought in apologetics as well as many of the chief apologists in each. Four major schools of apologetics are carefullyexamined and positives and negatives are summarized in each broader section. Three or four specific apologists are then given chapters as their system is examined...
That is very helpful.

A fifth category, an integrative category, is also included (for instance, John Frame is found here, rather than in the presuppositional school because he differs from Van Til on several key points). Oh, you may not find your favorite current apologist on their spectrum, but you will find their mentors and come away knowing not only what, but why each proposes his or her views. This is vastly superior, in my view, than the "Five Views" books that are available ( one on Apologetics) because that approach can leave you foggy to the nature of the differences, as each author tries to put forward their best synopsis of their view...often leaving out controversial. Points that they don't or can't defend. So sometimes you get charactatures of views, but are left with little real light.

This book has depth. It is a meaty overview that delves more deeply into the subject than simple cursory matters.
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