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Faith's Reasons for Believing: An Apologetic Antidote to Mindless Christianity (and Thoughtless Atheism) Paperback – May 20, 2008
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"Militant Atheistic writers are making an all-out assault on the Christian faith today - they speak of ours as a 'mindless Christianity' - and as a result many people today, including many scientists and many poorly taught Christians, would think it very strange to talk about faith's reasons for believing, for if there is one thing not understood today about biblical faith it is that it eschews any and all anti-intellectual, fidelistic 'leaps' of faith. But according to scripture "saving faith" is grounded in the knowledge of propositional truths about Jesus Christ." (Robert L. Reymond ~ (1932-2013) Professor and author of a respected new Systematic Theology)
About the Author
Robert L. Reymond (1932-2013) taught for more than 25 years on the faculties of Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, Missouri) and Knox Theological Seminary (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). He held degrees from Bob Jones University and did post-doctoral studies at Fuller Seminary, New York University, Union Seminary (New York), Tyndale House, Cambridge, and Rutherford House, Edinburgh.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's an outstanding book because the author provides:
1. Massive evidence and proof for Christian theism(KJ Clark won't like it).
2. An attempt at grounding all apologetic contentions on God's word
3. A moderate Clarkian view of engaging unbelief.
4. Helpful truths and evidences that can be used within your own view of apologetics.
5. An easy to read book with a huge amount of pertinent quotes.
Even though I come from a different set of pre-critical assumptions, I enjoyed this book and it was an easy book to read through. It's large and covers a lot of apologetic territory, so buy this in addition to other apologetic resources you may need (Bahnsen's VT Apologetic and Van Til's Epistemology are good resources).
God Does Exist!: Defending the faith using presuppositional apologetics, evidence, and the impossibility of the contrary
Reymond is truly a brilliant man, however he writes in a style that is suitable for a non-academician and a new believer. Nonetheless I do not recommend this work for the scholar or an astute teacher forasmuch as it contains much assertive propositions which would be disputed by epistemically conscious skeptics and deep-thinking Christian philosophers (although I would commend it to a speed reader who enjoys reading).
Reymond makes it difficult to label him as he flows from Van Tilian language to Clarkian. His epistemic ground seems to be an attempt to form a hybrid of these two presuppositional apologetic approaches. He does call himself by the Clarkian term: Scripturalist (p. 31) and builds on Clark's argument for biblical inspiration (p. 92-95). He utilizes evidence when he grounds it on the presupposition of Christianity (the self-attesting Christ & the self-authenticating Word, p. 292), consequently he rejects evidentialism. It was a delight to read the countless quotes from a number of the finest scholars the church has produced (Van Til, Calvin, Machen, Alexander, LaSor, Murray, Gaffin, Packer, Kuyper, Frame, etc.).
One of my favorite exhortations from Reymond is: "The Christian's life should be one grand doxology to God" (p. 464).
Hence I heartily recommend this book for a new Christian and a non-believer (or a speed-reading academic who has a vast amount of time to read). Erudite and critical intellectuals will find too many arguments that are not immune to educated skeptical negation.
The Necessary Existence of God: The Proof of Christianity Through Presuppositional Apologetics
'The action of the Holy Spirit in giving faith is not apart from evidence, but along with evidence; and in the first instance consists in preparing the soul for the reception of the evidence.' BB Warfield, Works 9:15 'The true and proper stimulant for the intellect is truth.' WGT Shedd, Homiletics & Pastoral Theology p 113 Robert Reymond adds his particular voice: 'The Christian truth system has been sufficiently extracted from Scripture and articulated.' p 30
Systematic theologian Robert Reymond intends to make sure we know that all of it, the 'historia salutis', is relevant to every age. No small wonder that acceptance of these New Testament power-brokered facts as constituting faith has been the sudden or gradual, yet total, historical area of attack. The act of faith expects nothing less than our intellectual assent to these facts; but emphasizing the will rather than the intellect as the dominant human faculty has been the cause of unnecessary 'mindless Christianity'. Reymond, in contrast, does not hesitate to establish that it is not restricted to Christ's work within the believer (the 'ordo salutis'), but the work of Christ achieved without and for the believer, performed in history, that grounds the Christian religion.
Reymond does indeed raise a salient point, 'The church historian will take care to assure that any false reading of church history to the detriment of the truthfulness of the Christian faith is detected and corrected.' p 23 This would indicate at least a working knowledge of the history of conflict that pertains to the church's responsibility to remove conscientious objectors who have sought to harm her faith. After all, Christianity is an exclusive religion and the apologist must seek to uphold this claim. As a 'presuppositionalist', Reymond identifies with a consistent Reformed line of apologists such as B B Warfield, and cites him often enough. In contrast are three opposing apologetical methods. This quartet may sound strange to the ear at first, but are vital to a correct understanding of the criteria assumed by their respective groups if one wishes to engage with and challenge them successfully.
In chapter two, Reymond moves to justify the Christian faith on the whole as an intellectual discipline. He provides a sort of personal mission statement as an introduction to the necessity of the defense of the 'awesome Reformed faith'. He re-iterates his thought-provoking find of the need for an Archimedean reference point independent of the natural world. This he found ultimately in the meta-narrative, the divine drama of redemption encapsulated and preserved in the whole of Scripture, and therein God's transcendent worldview - from the outside looking in. This situates the received supernatural Word as a divine compass by which the church has fixed her course. To this end, Reymond establishes scriptural precedence of five irrefutable 'pillars' why the apologetic task should remain a worthy intellectual discipline.
In chapter three, Reymond finds sufficient warrant to attend to Scripture's own witness concerning its authenticity and inspiration 'with respect to the Bible's supernatural origin and teaching'. p 69 Echoing the Warfieldian position on 'the final effect was an inerrant autograph or original', Reymond ignores the myriad of sound bites that continue to be publicized by the skeptics and critics, opting instead for the defense of Scripture's claims, thereby allowing Scripture to come to its own aid, as Christ had cause to defend His divine claim to being the long-awaited Messiah, and as Paul extensively defended his claim to being an apostle. This being the case, Professor Reymond exegetes the relevant sections of Scripture in the NT that prove it to be the authoritative Word of God.
Chapter four aims to refute the claim of Catholicism in having collected and approved the canon of the NT. Drawing heavily from Ridderbos and Professor Gaffin, Reymond adds his support to the already growing understanding of the a priori of the Christian faith - that the NT wasn't especially assembled by human initiative and effort, but that the 27 books presented themselves as normative to the church.
Chapter seven looks at 'Faith's Reasons For Believing In Paul's Supernatural Conversion'. Highly commendable is Reymond's scholarly yet entirely honest attempt at attaining a motive for Paul's conversion to Christianity. Four probing questions, pp. 241-242 (that could and should be applied to any candidate aspiring to a position of church authority) answered assertively are reason to believe that the apostle Paul was not in the ministry for the wrong reasons. In the main, Professor Reymond seeks to substantiate the apostle's claims from Scripture, and decisively repudiates those who have fabricated entirely unbiblical accounts of Paul's conversion experience.
The well-structured chapters provide a pivotal and historically conditioned, factual basis necessary for the outcome of apologetics to be to the glory of God and one is hopeful that the work of evangelical scholars will recover a respect for the intellect.