Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Guard by William Lane Craig

We are currently experiencing a renaissance of interest in Christian apologetics. Due to the virulent attacks of the New Atheists, the Internet Infidels, and all manner of Biblical Bashers, along with a rising anti-evangelical bias in the media, evangelical Christians are demanding training in how to defend their Christian faith. There is a need for a well-rounded training manual that provides the “how-tos” of defending the Christian worldview. William Lane Craig’s new book, On Guard, intends to be that manual.

A highly accessible, visual, and concise book loaded with helpful figures and interesting sidebars, On Guard is a one-stop guidebook to learn how to defend your faith. Combining the four core arguments for God’s existence with a case for the historicity of Jesus, this readable book also addresses difficult issues such as the problems of suffering and religious relativism.

An interview with On Guard author William Lane Craig

Q: What is apologetics? Why do you think we’re experiencing a renewed interest in Christian apologetics?

Apologetics is the study of the defense of our faith and Scriptures. This is taken directly out of Scripture where Jesus appealed to the evidence of his miracles and fulfilled prophecy as authentication of his claims, and the Apostle Paul does the same:

“As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’ he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women (Acts 17:2-4).

In Scripture we are commanded to:

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).”

Q: Your works are well known in seminary and intellectual circles. What caused you to write a more readable and relatable guide on apologetics?

As I speak around the country and other parts of the world, increasingly, people have responded so positively to what I have said in lectures and debates with atheists that they, too, would like to learn some basic logical principles of reasoning and arguments for our faith. Christianity stands head and shoulders above any other world view, and you can show why with confidence.

Q: Describe how the American culture has slowly but surely become post-Christian. What can we expect as our culture continues on this path?

People in the United States still believe in God, but religious relativism has become the conventional wisdom of the day. Jesus Christ has become politically incorrect. I have seen on campuses where I speak that Christians are now labeled “immoral” because they are not open-minded, but are intolerant and bigoted.

Q: What are some of your experiences as you’ve lectured and debated in the European world, where Christian belief has become somewhat antiquated?

The sobering thing is that where Christianity has retreated, especially in Europe, false views fill this void, and people succumb to views like secularism and Islam. They then find themselves without a proper foundation to fight these ideologies.

Q: What caused you to pursue apologetics with such vigor? Why would you encourage others to consider training in apologetics?

I became a Christian at the age of 16, when I sat down behind a gal in my German class, and, well, she was the kind of person that was always so happy that it just made me sick! I was feeling particularly miserable, and so I asked her, “Sandy, what in the world are you always so happy about anyway?” And to my shock, she replied, “Well, Bill, it’s because I’m saved. I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord!” To make a long story short, within 6 months, I committed my life to Christ. Then I felt the daunting responsibility of sharing with my family and friends the truth of Christianity. But how? That began my quest for a sound defense.

Q: How do you envision that On Guard might be used?

On Guard can easily be used by pastors in referring the book to students who want in depth answers especially when challenged by their teachers in high school or professors at the university. Youth pastors can use this book to mentor students. I also see groups like Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and home groups learning together these timeless arguments and evidence. I have even received a letter from an Australian Sunday School teacher who uses this material to teach his eight and nine year old students!

492 Craig photoAbout the author: William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. With earned doctorates in philosophy and theology, he has established a reputation as one of the most prominent Christian philosophers of our day. His publications, debates, and internet presence have made him a highly visible champion of Christian faith. His seminary textbook, Reasonable Faith, is widely considered to be the best book on Christian apologetics today. God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible (IVP), edited by Craig and Chad Meister, was chosen as Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in the Apologetics/Evangelism category.

On Guard by William Lane Craig

David C Cook/March 1, 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6488-1/286 pages/softcover/$16.99

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................