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Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers and Skeptics Find Faith Paperback – January 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Throughout history there have been great and articulate defenders of the faith. But with the new challenges of scientific atheism we see in our day, there is a need for a fresh and flexible approach to apologetics. Rather than supplying the fine detail of every apologetic issue in order to win arguments, Mere Apologetics teaches a method that appeals not only to the mind but also to the heart and the imagination.
After discussing the biblical basis for and historical uses of apologetics, McGrath offers various approaches to sharing your faith with others. He outlines pointers to faith, such as our innate sense of longing for justice, our appreciation for beauty, the order we see in the physical world, and much more. He also shows how there are many right ways to share your faith--through explanations, arguments, stories, and images--and helps you decide which works best for your personality and your audience.
"Apologetics is not to be seen as a defensive and hostile reaction against the world," says McGrath, "but as a welcome opportunity to exhibit, celebrate, and display the treasure chest of the Christian faith." If you long to commend your faith to those outside the church, Mere Apologetics will show you how to do so gracefully and effectively.
"This is a fresh, clear, and practical introduction to apologetics from someone who doesn't just talk about the subject but actually does it brilliantly. It is especially helpful because it avoids the fruitless wrangling between apologetic schools that stops many people from getting on with the task. "--Os Guinness, author of Long Journey Home
"Mere Apologetics helps readers work out their own way to effectively communicate and defend the gospel. An excellent text for courses in apologetics. A great read for both beginning and experienced apologists."--Jim Sire, author of The Universe Next Door
"Over the years I have found Alister McGrath to be an insightful, wise guide on many topics. So I am pleased to recommend his book on apologetics. It is foundational, practical, and creative as well as faithful to Scripture. A fine resource indeed!"--Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster?
Alister E. McGrath is professor of theology, ministry, and education and head of the Centre for Theology, Religion, and Culture at King's College, London, and president of the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including the award-winning The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind. A former atheist, he is respectful yet critical of the New Atheist movement and regularly engages in debate and dialogue with its leaders.
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
The other reviewers have done an excellent job of covering the basics, so as not to belabor points that have already been made, a prospective reader of this book should know that McGrath accomplishes the following in this accessible guide:
1. Establishes a well-rounded definition of apologetics.
2. McGrath helpfully acknowledges that apologetics and evangelism differ. While apologetics helps Christianity appear reasonable, evangelism invites people to believe.
3. Notes that apologetics can help us make persuasive arguments, but it is the Holy Spirit that brings people to faith.
4. Elucidates the differences between modernity and postmodernity, and sheds further light on the import for apologetics.
5. Provides a theological motive for engaging in apologetics.
6. Gives sound pastoral wisdom concerning how to relate Christian truth within various contexts, using Acts as a locus of examples.
7. Engages with the discipline of science and the critiques of the "New Atheism" (Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens) in a respectful manner.
8. Outlines various "points of contact" for conversation with skeptics and believers concerning the reasonableness of faith (morality, beauty, desire, hope, creation, etc.).
9.Read more ›
Like McGrath's spectacular onslaught of rich, insightful and (many) true statements about the Christian worldview, this book reads more like a book written by Dallas Willard--it is not the number of pages that makes the book slow to read--it is the depth and richness packed in every paragraph.
This is not a book on apologetics, although some creative "existential apologetic arguments (called "threads") are certainly unpacked--and some may may complain that McGrath pays too much homage to the impact and utility of post-modernity, but McGrath does dissect the bad from the usable aspects of postmodernism.Read more ›
Dr. McGrath shows how apologetics has changed over the years, what remains the same, and what we can learn from the biblical and historical apologists as they have cogently articulated the faith in their own cultural milieus, as we seek to reach post moderns in the 21st century with the unchanging gospel. He makes an excellent case for the fact that we need many approaches as we address the differing mind-sets of those we encounter with the gospel - just as Jesus, Paul, Peter, Jonathan Edwards, and C.S. Lewis did in their times. He then gives numerous examples from our own times in how we can dialogue and build bridges with the "new atheists" and others to pave a way for the gospel.
Throughout the book McGrath weaves in and out of discussions applying the benefits of apologetics as a precursor to evangelism. Perhaps the best description of this aspect of the book is noted in chapter five where he writes, "Yet conversion is ultimately the task of evangelism. Apologetics is about preparing the way for such conversion by showing that it makes sense to believe in God. It's about clearing away rubble and debris in the path of evangelism. We may not be able to prove--in the absolute sense of the word--that there is a God.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was required reading for university, but was a pleasure to the last page. Very helpful without being formulaic. Easy to reference after reading. Highly recommended.Published 1 month ago by Lesley C Wager
An excellent, easily digested introduction to the art of Christian apologetics. Not oriented to mere information with which to argue, but encouraging the reader to engage with... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Peter A. Mountain
McGrath's writing is always comprehensive, yet in a language that is easily accessible and understandable. Very encouraging read.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Dr. McGrath makes issues so understandable. His educational background and continued brilliance as a scholar brings deep credibility to his works. I highly recommend anything Dr. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Doc4d
McGrath is obviously a brilliant, learned man able to write on a level only the brightest could understand, but in this book he takes something mostly discussed in academic circles... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Brad C. Shockley
great book for studying and learning how to apply apologetics to our daily lives to inter act with strangers.Published 8 months ago by Doug Todd
What I find most interesting is how it makes me think about defending and sharing my faith. It changes the way I relate to others and how in turn they relate to Jesus. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Armando Verdeja
Very good and practical book for someone interested in apologetics.Published 12 months ago by Ricky Herring