Cultivating Christian Commitment
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.
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
"This book is a thoughtful introduction to Christian apologetics that is focused on the needs and interests of students but embodies a deep understanding of the underlying philosophical issues. It is a wise and helpful book."
C. Stephen Evans, professor of philosophy and humanities, Baylor University
"Introducing Apologetics finds the balance that apologetics books typically lack: it has sweeping breadth without being simplistic, it draws deeply on recent scholarship while remaining completely accessible, and it plumbs theoretical depths while offering practical, relevant wisdom. The result is a book wonderfully suited for the classroom and the nonacademic Christian reader alike."
Michael J. Murray, John Templeton Foundation
"[Taylor] employs the tools of analytic philosophy in a manner that is accessible to nonspecialists and integrates historical and biblical evidences in his defense of Christian faith. . . . There are many significant features of this text that are commendable. First, Taylor is to be commended for envisioning the discipline of apologetics to be done within the context of Christian discipleship. . . . A second strength is the tone of the book. It is irenic and balanced in its presentation of arguments, which is sometimes missing in apologetic and philosophical discussions. Lastly, Taylor covers a wide breadth of issues in the text. It is certainly in line with many of its literary predecessors since it does cover many issues found in traditional introductory books on Christian apologetics. Yet, the text is distinct in that it goes beyond these familiar yet important matters to include discussions that have again emerged in contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophical theology, which was certainly refreshing to read. . . . Taylor has provided a very informative and thorough introductory textbook on Christian apologetics. It is certainly a welcomed addition to the field."
Patrick T. Smith,
"In this introductory text on Christian apologetics, Taylor steers a middle course between 'an overemphasis on reason and an overemphasis on faith.'. . . While there is nothing here that contradicts Catholic or Orthodox Christianity (and much in support), this text defends Christianity more broadly. . . . The text is readable and ideally suited for introductory courses on Christian apologetics, especially at the undergraduate level, and at evangelical institutions."
Glenn M. Harden,
Religious Studies Review
"Taylor wrote this work as a college textbook with outlines of each chapter, lists of terms and people in each chapter, and review questions. It is both well-organized and highly user-friendly. . . . Taylor carefully crafted his work to help Christians understand who they are and what they believe as they are bombarded by the contemporary philosophies of our day. From a missiological perspective, the author approaches his subject with a Western mindset. He does an excellent job."
John F. Easterling,
"[An] introductory but thorough text on apologetics. . . . A refreshing feature is that it consciously attempts to cultivate faith within the Christian community rather than primarily attempting to evangelize those outside of it. . . . Taylor is best when dealing with some of the classic apologetic discussions. He reflects an impressive understanding of the underlying philosophical issues, while at the same time continuing to write in an accessible manner. . . . Throughout the book he summarizes complex arguments succinctly and clearly. . . . Especially pleasing about the book is its overall tone. . . . Throughout, the arguments are humble and fair. Taylor is always mindful of the limits of apologetics. The book is ideally suited to serve as an introductory textbook to the discipline. Each chapter begins with an outline, summary and list of basic terms, concepts and names, contains helpful highlights at regular intervals and concludes with questions for reflection and discussion, as well as a brief (and therefore realistic) list of suggestions for further reading. . . . I am confident that Introducing Apologetics will appear on reading lists at evangelical seminaries for many years to come."
"This is a very significant new text in apologetics. Taylor is so very insightful on so many issues. . . . One will learn much even in those sections where one feels compelled to disagree. The writing style is not overly technical."
L. Russ Bush III,
Faith & Mission
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