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on July 6, 2016
I read this book about 2 weeks ago, and it is nothing short of what I expected: that is, a book that would practically yet powerfully make arguments for the existence of God and - more importantly - gateway into the person of Jesus Christ. Theism is the richest worldview not because it adds the greatest quantity of explanations (indeed, gods like Zeus or Thor or Allah fail to add any explanation) - but because it offers one explanation: the person of Jesus Christ; by Him, the personable attachment of theism is enabled.

This book therefore brings us first into the logical possibility of theism by grounding arguments, simply put, in God. The reader will essentially learn why the theistic worldview is most coherent in general. Afterwards, the final chapters will speak on the person of Jesus Christ to make a "fully" coherent view. Without a personal deity, theism simply becomes empty, like a well that cannot supply water: Deism.

However, holding to Deism after reading this book will almost certainly make little sense. The arguments alone from the cosmological argument provide us with erudite reason to believe the cause before us was, as well, personal. Indeed, the entire argument before the Christian chapters in this book point towards a personal deity in general.

Consequently, we are left with the choice of picking up 4 different sponges to clear up the black sludge on the window of reality after reading this book. 1) We may choose to pick up the water-less sponge of atheism and find ourselves with no success in our attempt. 2) Or we may pick up the agnostic sponge and find ourselves able to clear up only half of the window. 3) We may even boldly pick up the deistic sponge and clear 3 quarters of the window. 4) But only will we have enough soapy water in the theistic sponge to clear up the entire window of reality.

And once we do that, we will undoubtedly find not only God's image in the window but, as well, Jesus Christ's.

This is arguably the greatest friend-sharing friendly and user-reading friendly book I've read on Christian apologetics. You'll remember many things to apply in real-world discussion. It helped me with many of my own doubts.
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on November 9, 2016
On Guard does two things very well: (1) Prepare Christians with mature, well-developed arguments that properly defend the existence of God (2) Educate Christians who have never seriously thought about some of the peripheral philosophical and existential questions surrounding their faith.

In the end, On Guard succeeds in making you feel confident about your beliefs and thus eager to engage others. As Craig excels in explaining, Christianity is not based on “blind faith” but makes perfect rational and logical sense in the world in which we all live.

The book is roughly divided into three parts: the first two sections tend to work outside of the Bible and detail arguments for the existence of God from the stance of reason and philosophy. Here, Craig searches for answers to existential questions (e.g. Why does anything exist? Why did the universe begin? What about suffering?). These questions weigh evidence and tend to rely on science and logic alone. The final part works from within the Bible and provides historical and academic defenses for some of the Bible’s central truth claims including the existence of a historical Jesus and evidences of the resurrection.

In the first two parts of On Guard, the author makes his arguments by analyzing premises that support a conclusion. While this makes perfect logical sense, everyday people tend not to converse this way so a reader may afterwards find themselves unloading the arguments and breaking them down in more relatable ways. In a more formal academic debate, however, the way these arguments are presented may work perfectly. And from a personal standpoint, in a few instances the author will veer off into theology and make some claims that are debatable. Neither of these reservations take away from the power of the central thrust of the book.

Christians need at a minimum a clear and systematic way to defend and articulate what they believe and why. On Guard is not a one-stop solution but is a legitimate first step in the process that will equip you with the tools you need to engage in an informed, intelligent debate.
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on January 29, 2017
William Lane Craig's On Guard helps the reader come up with more hard evidence as to why we believe what we believe. Not an easy read, but a treasure of info for the Christian committed to being a better advocate. If you've ever grappled with doubt, or just recognize that you don't have a good answer for your faith, this book is for you.
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on April 10, 2015
As far as I can tell, Craig gives an even handed evaluation for many historical and philosophical questions related to god in general and the Judeo-Christian God in particular. All the issues seem to be dealt with "reason and precision", with opposing views presented. At the end of each chapter there is a summary and a map of the different points and counter-points. Never the less, the book doesn't have an arrogant feel, as Craig presents the opposing views in "as far as I can tell"-way. This is shown in phrases such as "current research", "modern scholarship" and "I have never heard", leaving a possibility that there might be something missing or in the future some new idea might come up. Even so we should make our decisions based on the best current knowledge and not in some unknown future argument, and that makes Craigs arguments very compelling. Almost all issues could be dealt with more deeply, but as Craig himself notes a couple of times, space would not allow it. Apparently the book was not meant to require it's own wheelbarrow for transport, and so it doesn't.

For someone completely new to philosophy the book may be a bit hard to read as precision requires precise terms of art. This problem is greatly mitigated by the book itself by presenting rarely used terms when they come up for the first time. Different philosophical tools are also presented and explained as they are used. The book is mind-twisting in a good way.

As he mentions in the book, it is not meant to be read but studied, and this is evident by frequent "Talk about it"-sections presenting study questions. Thus the book is well suited for a small group study. I'll have to re-read it after a while. Maybe when I find a group to study it with.

All-in-all the book is excellent for Christian (would be) apologists as a shortish handbook for different arguments. It is also great for Christians not specializing in apologetics, because it will give them answers to challenges they might face. Even for a non-Christian who is interested in philosophy the book is worth a read as it touches many philosophical issues. For someone opposing Christianity the book is great because it presents some of the most usual attacks against non-Christian arguments and defenses for Christian or theistic arguments, thus in a way giving a non-Christian "the opponent's playbook".
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on May 21, 2017
Having experienced a deepening relationship with Christ for over 60 years, no arguments against God even slightly affect my faith. I "know" by experience the reality of a personal God. Along the way, when I hit the rough spots, sound logic always directed me toward God. For a genuine Christian, science, philosophy, medicine, etc only serve to prove the greatness of the creator of everything. All of mankind's attempts to disprove the existence of God have a fatal flaw. If there is no God, why all the passionate attempts to disprove Him? It shouldn't matter. It does matter as judged by the efforts to reject Him. Why? What are you really rejecting?
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on March 18, 2017
excellent book. the 1st part a little blah because it dealt with logic/philosophy (I'm always surprised when I am reminded that philosophy has a lot of logic in it). after those, the last 2/3rd's of the book is great! Not merely interesting and useful info, but sometimes of devotional quality!
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on March 25, 2017
I've grown up during the reign of political correctness: where in it is considered mainstream to blame Christianity for all of society's current woes. This book allows the layman to tear a militant atheist's arguments to shreds with little effort (this is coming from a former atheist, by the way). Utilize this book to fight the culture wars that are raging in today's society before we suffer a massive collapse.
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on April 6, 2015
On Guard is Craig's simple, accessible, relatively short volume on the basic arguments for God's existence and a brief case for the Christian God in particular. Craig has written many other treatises of a more scholarly nature discussing these and other similar topics at the intersect of theology and philosophy. I got this book because the Kindle version was (at the time) available for free, and nothing piques my interest quite like the combination of free, philosophy, and authors of whom I already know I approve.

My biggest criticism of this book is that there are some cases where, despite agreeing with his conclusions, I find Craig's arguments unconvincing as a means of arriving at those conclusions. He does, however, offer many strong and worthwhile arguments for both God in general and the Christian God in particular, as well as responses to many popular atheistic arguments. If I have a second complaint, it's that once or twice the arguments are complex enough that it takes some effort to follow along, but I believe that is due to the complexity of the actual issue; Craig strips the arguments for God down almost to their most basic elements, making them easier to digest for those who have not had training in philosophy and formal logic.

This book is worth reading, particularly for any Christian who is stumped by arguments from atheists, agnostics, or pluralists. It may also be helpful for anyone who is familiar with the arguments Craig provides, but either has trouble presenting them in a simple, straightforward way, or would just like a refresher on the basic logic involved. Lastly, while I cannot guarantee it will answer your doubts, if you are a truth seeker who has yet to believe in God, but are open to the possibility, I recommend this book to you.
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on March 27, 2015
I thought that William Lane Craig gives us very good reason to believe that God exists and has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus Christ. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants an overview of various arguments for the Christian worldview. The only reason I rated four Chabot's instead of five is because I come from a Reformed perspective, and while I respect Craig, who holds a different position, I found areas of disagreement popping up here and there. However, I wouldn't use that to say that people shouldn't read this book. It's only a relatively small disagreement on an in-house debate.
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on November 25, 2015
Great book! Not only does this book give you an introduction to Christian apologetics, but also offers detailed arguments in support of the creation of the universe and the resurrection of Jesus. In addition, Craig provides a summary of the various arguments in opposition to these views along with detailed rebuttals based in logic, science (yes, science), and philosophy. All the while, Craig is consistent and coherent with Holy Scripture and its overall message. I recommend this to those seeking to strengthen their own faith and knowledge as followers of Christ, but also for ardent skeptics who enjoy well-reasoned and well-researched arguments offered with gentleness and respect.
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