Christmas break is a good time to read books that would otherwise be too challenging during the busyness of the semester. If you want to make the most of your break by deepening your understanding of apologetics, here are some book recommendations that will get you started.
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller.
How can you say there is only one way to God? How can a good God send people to Hell? If there is a God, why is there so much evil and suffering? Hasn’t science disproven God? These are the kinds of questions that Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, tackles in his easy to read, yet profound book. Keller defuses many common arguments raised against Christians and conveys what the Gospel truly teaches about God’s undeserved grace towards us. This book is a good start for people thinking about some big questions.
On Guard: Defending your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig
Bill Craig, one of the foremost Christian philosophers and theologians today, gives arguments for the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus in a book made for beginners. Dr. Craig starts by stating the importance of apologetics. After that, he gives several evidences for the existence of God, including the beginning of the universe, the design of the universe, and the existence of objective morality. He then gives us the historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. This book is a good way to become informed on some of the philosophical arguments and historical evidences given for Christianity.
Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions by Gregory Koukl
This book is more about strategy than content. Greg, who has Masters degrees in philosophy and apologetics, gives us tips on how to maneuver through conversations with non-Christians in an intelligent, precise, and non-combative manner. He teaches us what general questions to ask to get a discussion going, how to spot problems in a person’s claims and worldview, and how to handle a situation where you are called to defend your views. The point isn’t always to hit people with the Gospel right away. When having conversations about faith with a person, sometimes all you’re required to do is “put a stone in his shoe” to get him thinking. This is a good book for learning evangelism.
Many people argue against the Bible by pointing out certain issues in the Old Testament. What about the genocides that God commanded the Israelites to do? Doesn’t the OT permit slavery, polygamy, and child sacrifice? Many Christians don’t know how to handle these issues and get embarrassed when they’re brought up. Paul Copan, using detailed historical information and deep exegesis, shows that a deeper understanding of the history and the text show that God isn’t a moral monster and the issues are typically exaggerated or misunderstood by non-Christians. This book is a good read for those thinking about the Old Testament, the modern Christian’s relationship to it, and how God is portrayed in it.