On Guard

I believe that it is important for all Christians to have some background in apologetics.  If we really believe something, we should have some ability say why and to defend our faith.

In my role as a pastor, I have tried to implement that in my church.  The question is: how do you lead people in such a study?  A while back I picked up a copy of William Lane Craig’s On Guard.  My impression was that it was some of the material from Craig’s more well known Reasonable Faith brought down to a level more accessible to laypeople.

On Guard deals with most of the important arguments for the existence of God.  He also deals with such issues as the problem of suffering, nature of Jesus, resurrection of Jesus and Christianity as the only way to God.  Craig includes a couple of very interesting segments on his personal journey of faith and apologetics.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the book.  However, if my expectation was that this would be a good accessible introduction to apologetics, I was disappointed.  I understood most (not all) of what was in the book and that is with three seminary degrees and years of studying apologetics.  For a number of people in the church, it was way over their heads.  If you have a group that has some background in philosophy or has already studied apologetics, then this would be a good book for them.  For a group with no background in these areas, I would suggest looking elsewhere.  Still, we had some good discussions.  I learned some things and hopefully so did people from my congregation.

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Comments

  1. Great review, Stephen. I felt the same way, which is why I wrote “Accessible Apologetics” for my church workshops! This Fall, I’m using On Guard for a couple of introductory apologetics classes at the undergrad level and the seminary level. Reasonable Faith is one of my favorite apologetics books, but I usually recommend On Guard at most of my training seminars.

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