by C Michael PattonOctober 2nd, 2009 57 Comments
In my opinion, these are some of the best apologetics works that Christian and seekers need to read.
If you are having trouble with your belief, “apologetics” is the defense of the Christian faith. Each of these books defends the Christian faith in different ways, from different perspectives, from different people, dealing with a variety of issues.
Apologetics alone will never convince anyone of the truth of Christianity because people’s beliefs are not determined by reason and human wisdom, but as reason and human wisdom are used by the Holy Spirit to change a life. These works qualify as those that follow the path of 2 Pet. 3:15 “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you.” God uses apologetics to changed the the hardened heart.
These are numbered one to fifteen in importance. Drum roll please . . .
Pascal’s book is as timeless and as relevant as many ancient proverbs. In fact, it serves more like a proverbial apologetic work with short pithy statements of life and truth designed to get one to think. Not an apologetic work in the classic sense, but one for those who are looking for a different approach through the path of wisdom before reason. Pascal was Catholic, but, as one Catholic has put it, too Protestant to be Catholic.
14. Letters from a Skeptic, Gregory Boyd
An incredibly engaging work that is a published account of Greg’s letters back and forth with his father who was an unbeliever at the time. While I disagree with Boyd’s contention that God does not know the future in his defense of evil, it is a great book and will make you think and believe more deeply.
13. How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong, Paul Copan
Paul Copan deals with common objections to Christianity that most Christians find hard to answer. From “Animals have rights just like humans do” to “You can’t prove that scientifically” Paul helps the Christian as well as the skeptic get answers that represent a Christian worldview.
12. Reasonable Faith, William Craig
A master at dealing with the existence of God, Craig provides a good, readable apologetic at an intermediate level.
11. Scaling the Secular City, J. P. Moreland
This is a general apologetic work that comes from a philosophical perspective. J.P. Moreland is one of the most prolific and able defenders of the faith and this work is his most comprehensive achievement in the area of apologetics.
10. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Norman Geisler
This represents a lifetime tour de force of Norman Geisler. Just about every topic in Apologetics is covered in this massive work, from “Presuppositionalism” to “Resurrection Claims in Non-Christian Religions.” This is a significant reference work no matter what tradition you are from.
9. Case for Christ, Lee Strobel
This is a great book for the Christian or the seeker. It is probably the most popular apologetic work over the last decade, taking the title away from Evidence that Demands a Verdict.
8. Reason for God, Tim Keller
According to many, this apologetic work by Keller is the apologetic for the postmodern generation. Whether this is true or not, it presents a solid, popular-level work that can be given to non-believers.
7. Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell
Although not as popular as it once was, for the last quarter of a century this work has served as the primary “go-to” apologetic for Evangelical Christianity. It is still a must have.
6. The Analytic Theist, Alvin Plantinga
This will be a much more advanced work for those who are dealing with deep philosophical thinking. Plantinga has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest living philosophers. This is a basic reader to get you familiar with his works.
5. The God Who is There, Francis Schaeffer
Schaeffer’s works could all be put on this list, but this particular work is representative of a timeless defense from a timeless scholar.
4. Faith Has its Reasons, Rob Bowman and Kenneth Boa
The best book for one who’s desire it is to understand not only what apologetics is, but how it is to be done. The authors give a great overview of all the different Christian apologetic methods asking the question “How are we to defend the faith?” They then discuss and defend Presuppositionalism, Fideism, Evidentialism, and Classical approaches to the defense of the faith. For the young, aspiring apologist, this is the first book that should be read.
3. The Resurrection of the Son of God, N. T. Wright
Simply put, this is the most comprehensive work on the resurrection of Christ ever produced. Whatever you think of N. T. Wright, there is no debate that this is an immensely valuable contribution to the Christian witness.
2. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Habermas and Licona
Simply a must have for everyone. The resurrection of Christ is the central issue of Christianity. If Christ rose from the grave, Christianity is true; if he did not, it is false. Everyone needs to have a good defense of the resurrection and this work represents the best of the popular options. Get it!
1. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
How can I do justice to what might be the most significant and influential apologetic work in all of Christianity? All I can say is that if you have not read Mere Christianity, shame on you.
Did I miss any? Please make your list (I don’t care how many).
- A Warning About Pseudo or “Pancake” Apologetics
- Book Review: Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis
- Internet Monk, Coffee Cup Apologetics: Five Limitations of Apologetics
- Last call!
- A Theology of Civility: Some Thoughts on Apologetics