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Intellectuals Don't Need God and Other Modern Myths Paperback – August 17, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
Possessing both a Ph.D in microbology and theology, Alister McGrath is exactly the sort of person the postmodern apologetic movement needs: someone with an appreciation of science from the inside. Many theologians who write concerning Christianity understand science very little, and their essays betray a hostility that science as a discipline doesn't deserve. In his book, McGrath is able to differentiate between science and scientific rationalism, the philosophy that poses the problems to a Christian worldview.
"Apologetics is not about winning arguments-- it is about winning people," McGrath mentions several times, calling into question the traditional approach (solely through reason) that has dominated apologetics for the past millenium. "Creative apologetics" is what he seeks: the melding of reason and the art of listening, responding, and understanding what brings people to faith. Thus, the first part of the book is about points of contact with the people one wishes to help; the third is about putting apologetics into action.
In-between is the meat of the book: sections on other philosophies and religions, and common reasons people are repulsed by Christianity. He seems to spend a great deal more time on Marxism than is necessary for today; however, given that this book was published in 1992, that is understandable. An updated version with an expanded section on paganism would be excellent.Read more ›
McGrath also has a good discussion of such matters as Darwinism, Marxism, and religious pluralism. Also, his discussion of Calvin is quite interesting. Calvin didn't deny that there was a "point of contact" between Christians and non-Christians. [pp. 212-16.]
This is not an academic approach, i.e. with all the arguments displayed and chronicled and sorted, but rather a practical, useful tool for even the layperson who wants to dialogue with the various other worldviews.
I've used this book with Adult Bible Studies with great success. Many springboarded from this into more profound and exhaustive apologetics study with the likes of Craig, Geisler, etc.
It does not focus on the evidences of Christianity, although it does contain some of that. This book is more about how to interact with another person in an apologetics discussion. As the author states, 'The science of apologetics needs to be complemented by the art of apologetics." Written by Dr. Alister McGrath, one might expect more hard core science since McGrath has a doctorate in microbiology, but in this volume, he addresses the art side more.
Two things that Dr. McGrath really stresses are listening before responding and personalizing the approach to the individual. Both of these are very much needed. He compares apologists to physicians in that they both need to have a strong bedside manner or else their knowledge and skills in other areas will not be effective.
There are many very helpful areas in this book including the need to explore the presuppositions of the listener(s) and the need to use images, stories, etc., rather than just sticking with arguments, reason, etc.
Dr. McGrath does explore some of the arguments and evidences for Christianity, but these are not the main focus. For that reason, this would probably not be a great introductory apologetics work, but it is a very good one to supplement some others.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an avid Alister McGrath fan. His books are all vell thouht out and well written.Published 11 months ago by Douglas I. Jordan
I found useful arguments that I can use in this very book. However, I found it a little too protestant. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Denis Osullivan
I have always enjoyed Dr McGraths writings. His background is uniquely suited to engage in discussions involving science and religion. Read morePublished 22 months ago by John Hunter
I read this for an apologetics class I was taking and left notes in the margins to re-read certain chapters later. McGrath presents issues and goes deep with answers. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by Older Student
I have always told my students that aside from the Bible, every Christian should read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. In fact, I have made it mandatory. Read morePublished on May 11, 2007 by Bad Dogma
This is a great book that covers many phases of apologetics. I can't agree with the previous reviewer who says that McGrath has confused apologetics with evangelism. Read morePublished on November 6, 2002 by Gary Bisaga