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Five Views on Apologetics Paperback – February 7, 2000
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.
Steven B. Cowan (M.Div.; Ph.D.) is associate professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, AL.
William Lane Craig (PhD, University of Birmingham, England) is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University and lives in Marietta, GA.
Gary Habermas (PhD, Michigan State University) is distinguished professor and chair of the department of philosophy and director of the MA program in apologetics at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Paul D. Feinberg, (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) was professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Dr. John Frame serves as J.D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, Florida.
Kelly James Clark (PhD, Notre Dame) is associate professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book presents five different approaches, each represented by one of its exponents: Classical Apologetics (William Lane Craig), Evidentialism (Gary Habermas), Culumulative Case Method (Paul Feinberg), Presuppositionalism (John Frame), and Reformed Epistemology (Kelly James Clark).
Much ground is covered concerning the Bible's approach to apologetics, where apologetic arguments should begin, how certain arguments for Christianity are, and so on. I will simply make a few comments.
The presentations by Craig and Habermas are the most worthwhile because they are the most intellectual rigorous and well-documented. They also tend to agree with each on most things and reinforce each others views. While I tend to favor a cumulative case method (influenced by E.J. Carnell and Francis Schaeffer, but with more appreciation for natural theology), Feinberg's comments are the weakest by far. He never mentions the leading exponent of this view in our generation (Carnell) nor Carnell's apt and well-published student (and my esteemed colleague), Dr. Gordon Lewis. Not one word about either one! His comments are brief, his documentation is thin, and he fails to advance anything very creative or helpful, I'm afraid. A better person should have been chosen, such as Gordon Lewis. Frame gives his "kinder, gentler" version of Cornelius Van Til, which still suffers from the same kinds of problems--most notably the fallacy of begging the question in favor of Christianity.Read more ›
Overall "Five Views on Apologetics" is worthwhile for the serious-minded Christian. I do like these "View" books because they allow all sides to take part in a dialogue that certainly has more potential to get things accomplished rather than a free-for-all live debate. All sides get to give their side with succeeding rebuttals. This book certainly had some lively discussion as all of the participants had their own ideas of how apologetics should be handled. The five positions were: William Lane Craig (classical); Gary Habermas (evidential); Paul Feinberg (cumulative); John Frame (presuppositional); Kelly James Clark (Reformed Epistemological).
However, there were three weak points that I need to point out. First, I'm not sure the debaters were the best representatives of the positions they defended. For instance, Craig could be described as a combination classicist/evidentialist. Much of what he said could have been written by Habermas, as even Habermas admitted. Feinberg had, I believe, the weakest argumentation, as I just never did track with his thoughs. Meanwhile, Frame certainly has his own twist on Van Til's ideas, yet these twists make his position a "kinder, gentler" version of Reformed apologetics and thus is not truly representative of Van Tillians--and there are plenty of these thinkers out there.Read more ›
A point needs to be made about this entire subject matter. I strongly sympathize with Frame's view that debates on apologetic method are actually pretty boring and in many instances, do not represent the best of Christianity or even Christian apologetics. Regretably, apologetics has too often become a collection point for Christians who frankly like to fight and enjoy conflict. While the contributors in this book generally refrain from doing that, which is good, the history of apologetics includes no shortage of individuals it seems who once played Cops and Robbers, but then grew up and realized they couldn't do that anymore, so they began playing Clarkians and Van Tillians, or Classicists and Evidentialists, and so on. While debate over apologetic method has value and does get into larger and arguably more important theological questions, this debate can be conducted much better than it has been in the past, and in that respect, one can hope that the generally civil tone of the contributors (though Craig and Clark in particular could sometimes use a course in remedial Christian love on occasion in here) will serve as an example of such discussions in the future.
Relative to the book itself, many of the contributors are first rate apologists in their respective traditions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this text for an apologetics course at a Christian Seminary. It accomplishes its stated purposes well enough, that is, introducing five different views of apologetics. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ye Shall Be As Gods
This book was exhausting, I guess it's because I had to read it quickly for seminary. Either way I don't think the authors intended for the audience to really follow much of what... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Brandon
As the title states, this book gives an excellent examination of five different ways to interpet Christian doctrine. Read morePublished 13 months ago by JLB
I wish I could say that this book is good for those who want "to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeff Miller
Excellent apologetic bookfor understanding the presented apologetic views.Published 18 months ago by B. David Orr, Sr.
The book is a good discussion on differing opinions on apologetics, but I would not recommend this as an introduction to any of these five views. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jake D
I was disappointed with the classical apologetics section. Dr. Craig did not present the classical case, but more like a presupposional/evidential type of case. Why wasn't R.C. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ignosio