by Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig, and J.P.
“The world is now being constructed on reclaimed land from the sea of faith in which we seek common values without finding common reasons from which those values stem.”
InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426, 2004, 396 pages, $29.00.
—Reviewed by Douglas C. Bozung, coordinator of early missionary preparation, Greater Europe Mission
“The world is now being constructed on reclaimed land from the sea of faith in which we seek common values without finding common reasons from which those values stem.” Thus observes Ravi Zacharias, one of some two dozen eminent contributors to this festschrift in honor of noted apologist and author, Norman L. Geisler. To Everyone an Answer is written for “the ordinary Christian” to provide a means of, in the words of Dr. Geisler, “opening the door, clearing the rubble, and getting rid of the hurdles so that people can come to Christ.”
The twenty essays that comprise this volume follow a classic apologetic approach that first establishes the importance of and means of properly utilizing apologetic arguments. God’s existence is then defended through contemporary versions of the traditional cosmological, moral and teleological arguments. William Lane Craig’s articulation of the ontological argument is perhaps the most weighty contribution in the entire volume.
Part three engages the arena of the historical evidences for the Christian faith, including a fascinating essay by Ben Witherington, who argues from considerations of first century Palestinian culture for the authenticity of Jesus’ messianic claims. Curiously absent, however, is an explicit argument for the reliability of the New Testament itself.
Parts four and five confront the philosophical, cultural and religious challenges to Christianity, including exceptional essays on the description of and proper Christian response to postmodernism, pantheism and Islam. For non-American readers the two chapters on legislating morality and introducing Intelligent Design into public schools will be less than useful. Also, despite its best attempts to be transcultural, some may contest the implied assertion that there is but one Christian worldview, especially since this is a book largely written by North Americans for North Americans.
The editors and authors succeed in their goal of providing a user-friendly resource for the defense of the faith. Sincere seekers could also profit from it. However, at certain points a footnote or glossary of terms would be greatly appreciated to define jargon such as “veridical,” “epistemic” and “contrapositive.” On the other hand, each chapter concludes with a helpful, selected bibliography of pertinent resources for further study.
To Everyone an Answer is highly recommended to missionaries as well as to the broader evangelical community for its conceptual accessibility and its theological and philosophical comprehensiveness.
Check these titles:
Kreeft, Peter and Ronald K. Tacelli. 1994. Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
Samples, Kenneth Richard. 2004. Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker.
Zacharias, Ravi K. 2000. Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message. Nashville, Tenn.: Word.
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