by Alister McGrath, Baker Books, © 2012,
197 pages, $17.99 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-0-8010-1416-1
Alister McGrath is one of today's most effective defenders of faith in God and the Bible. He is the president of the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and has written several excellent books including The Dawkins Delusion. This book is subtitled “How to Engage Unbelievers with Intelligence and Imagination.” McGrath says “Apologetics is not to be seen as a defensive and hostile reaction against the world, but as a welcome opportunity to exhibit, celebrate, and display the treasure chest of the Christian faith.”
McGrath points out that the word “apologetics” comes from the Greek apologia meaning “a reasoned case proving the innocence of an accused person in court, or a demonstration of the correctness of an argument or belief.” The Greek word apologia is used in 1 Peter 3:15 and this book is written to equip believers to do what that verse calls us to do.
This book is a gold mine of definitions and quotes of reputable participants in debates over the existence of God. The first three chapters deal with the basis of apologetics with attention to modern culture, theology, and history. Chapter four is a biblical study of how Peter and Paul tailored their speeches to their audience, and how we should do the same. Chapters five and six discuss the reasonableness of the Christian faith and present ways to prove the validity of faith in the twenty-first century. The last three chapters give practical suggestions to build your own apologetic approach.
McGrath was an atheist and understands atheist arguments very well. He is widely read and has a background in philosophy as well as a good understanding of Scripture. This book would be a great book for any preacher, personal worker, church leader, or a person building their own apologetics ministry.