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Description

Questions about the truthfulness of Christianity deserve thoughtful, balanced, and reasonable answers. James Taylor provides a fresh, comprehensive survey of the many methods of Christian apologetics using a unique, whole-person approach. He addresses core apologetics issues facing Christians in the twenty-first century, including the evidence for God's existence, the challenge of evil, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, world religions, and more.This accessible text, now in paper, will appeal to students and all who wrestle with intellectual obstacles to faith. Each chapter contains an outline, summary, list of basic terms, reflection and discussion questions, and guide to further reading. Chapter overviews and sidebars enhance the text.

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781441206619
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1123€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

© 2006 by James E. Taylor
Published by Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287 www.bakeracademic.com
Ebook edition created 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means for example, electronic, photocopy, recording without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
ISBN 978-1-4412-0661-9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
Scripture quotations labeled TNIV are from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version™ copyright © 2001 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Page Acknowledgments Introduction: I Believe, but Help My Unbelief! Part 1 Apologetics and Commitment 1 A Reason for the Hope Within: The Nature of Apologetics 2 Faith and Human Wisdom: Evidentialist Apologetics 3 Jerusalem and Athens: More Objections to Apologetics 4 A God-Shaped Vacuum: The Relevance of Apologetics 5 Ears to Hear and Eyes to See: Apologetics and the Heart 6 Critics, Seekers, and Doubters: Audiences for Apologetics Part 2 Commitment to God 7 The Global Village: Worldview Options 8 The Lord Our God Is One: Monotheism 9 In the Beginning: Cosmological Explanations 10 What the Heavens Declare: Teleological Explanations 11 Why Do the Righteous Suffer? The Problem of Evil 12 A God Who Hides Himself: The Problem of Evidence Part 3 Commitment to God in Christ 13 Who Do You Say I Am? The Person of Jesus 14 Lazarus, Come Forth: The Miracles of Jesus 15 He Is Risen Indeed! The Resurrection of Jesus 16 The Word Became Flesh: The Trinity and the Incarnation 17 The Sheep and the Goats: Salvation and Damnation 18 No Other Name: The Problem of Religious Pluralism I 19 East Meets West: The Problem of Religious Pluralism II Part 4 Contemporary Challenges to Christian Commitment 20 The Spirit of Truth: Commitment, Canon, and Community 21 The Spirit of the Age: Critiques from the Social Sciences 22 The Origin of Species: Christianity and Natural Selection 23 The Dust of the Earth: Resurrection, Minds, and Bodies 24 The Death of God: Postmodern Challenges to Christianity 25 It’s All Relative: Cultural Differences and Moral Universalism Conclusion: Cultivating Christian Commitment Other Books on Christian Apologetics Index
Acknowledgments
I am grateful to Stanley Obitts for introducing me to Christian apologetics when I was a college student and to Robert Hosack of Baker Academic for inviting me to write this book. I also wish to thank the following colleagues at Westmont and elsewhere who read parts of the manuscript and gave me helpful comments: Robert Gundry, Robert Wennberg, David Vander Laan, Tremper Longman, Charles Farhadian, Jeffrey Schloss, Stephen Davis, Michael Murray, Daniel Howard-Snyder, Frances Howard-Snyder, and Jonathan Wilson (whose Christian apologetics class at Acadia Divinity College read an early draft of the book). Conversations with colleagues Telford Work, Bruce Fisk, Karen Jobes, William Nelson, Jon Lemmond, Greg Spencer, Richard Pointer, Warren Rogers, Nivaldo Tro, Paul Willis, and Thomas Senor were also beneficial. I used earlier drafts of this book in a number of my Christian apologetics courses in the past few years, and I received valuable feedback from many of my students. I also gave talks based on selected chapters at various events in which members of the audience asked good questions and offered interesting ideas. These occasions included an adult Sunday school class at Montecito Covenant Church; the ninth annual “Reasons to Believe” apologetics conference at South Valley Community Church, Gilroy, California; the Westmont College Paul C. Wilt Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lecture of fall 2004; and the spring 2005 meeting of the San Diego Philosophical Society. The Westmont College professional development committee provided a grant in the summer of 2004 that assisted me in making substantial progress on the book. Most recently, the book has been improved by the editorial work of Melinda Timmer and Wells Turner at Baker. I thank them for their assistance and flexibility. I also wish to thank Paula Gibson, who is responsible for the cover, for her creativity and openness to new ideas. Finally, I owe my wife, Jennifer, and my children Sarah, Ben, and Nathaniel a huge debt of gratitude for their constant loving encouragement, support, and patience. It is to them, and to the glory of God, that I dedicate this book.
Introduction
I Believe, but Help My Unbelief!

» Outline
Christian Belief and Believability What Christians Believe Concerns about Christian Beliefs The Need for Christian Apologetics My Story of Doubt and Faith My College Experience of Doubt and Renewed Faith My Story and Christian Apologetics Experience of God and Reasonable Christian Belief My Denial of Evidentialism My Affirmation of the Value of Apologetics Faith, Reason, and Christian Commitment Faith and Reason Augustinian Fideism Balancing Faith and Reason Christian Apologetics and Christian Commitment The Need for Confident Christian Conviction Cultivating Christian Commitment
» Summary

Christians believe a number of things that are difficult to believe. Nontheists and non-Christian theists reject all or part of core Christian convictions. Even Christians can have concerns about central Christian claims. In college, I struggled with doubts about whether God exists. My doubts were alleviated by an experience of God on a mission trip. Now I believe that faith rooted in experience of God’s grace is prior to philosophical arguments and historical evidences for Christianity and that objective reasons are not required for faith. However, Christian apologetics is necessary for some people at some times and beneficial for everyone all the time.
» Basic Terms, Concepts, and Names

agnostics
Anselm
Apostles’ Creed
atheists
Augustine
creeds
evidentialism
fideism
heresy
Lewis, C. S.
mere Christianity
nontheists
orthodoxy
Plantinga, Alvin
rationalism
theists
» Reflection and Discussion

» Further Reading


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Apostles’ Creed
Christian Belief and Believability
This is a book about Christian apologetics. Christian apologists defend the truth of Christian claims. In doing so, they try to show that it is reasonable to believe what Christians believe. What do Christians believe? They believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a human being who lived in Palestine during the first century AD, not only claimed to be God but also is God. Christians believe that this God-man Jesus preached about God’s kingdom, taught people how to be fit to live in it, and showed people what this kingdom would be like by forgiving their sins, miraculously healing their diseases, and delivering them from evil. Christians believe that Jesus chose and equipped twelve disciples to carry on this preaching, teaching, forgiving, healing, and delivering work of the kingdom. Christians believe that Jesus was betrayed by one of these disciples and then died on a cross really died. But Christians believe that this dead man Jesus came back to life real life and appeared to his disciples for a period of time. They believe that Jesus then ascended to heaven while his disciples watched, created the Christian church by sending them the Holy Spirit, and through this Spirit emboldened and empowered these disciples to preach to the whole world the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to take on himself the punishment for people’s sins so that the sins of those who believe in him would be forgiven. They believe he was then resurrected from the dead to show God’s acceptance of his sacrificial death and to make it possible for believers to have eternal life. Christians believe that this God is a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christians also believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word to human beings that reveals how he plans to save them through Jesus, who is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. They believe that when Jesus returns to judge the human race, those who do not accept God’s offer of salvation through Jesus will suffer eternal damnation, but those who do will be resurrected to eternal life in heaven to be with God and other believers forever.
Do Christians really believe all these things? The answer to this question is a qualified yes. Many people who have identified themselves as Christians since the time of Jesus would disagree with at least one of the things just said. Christians have always been aware of these disagreements, and they have always been concerned about them because of the divisions to which they naturally tend to lead. For the sake of unity in the church, therefore, Christians have repeatedly tried to come up with a list of statements that all Christians can agree are true. This is how the great Christian creeds and confessions of faith came about. Examples of these are the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Cr

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