Philosopher Douglas Groothuis spent more than 8 years producing his 752-page tomeChristian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Here’s an interview hitting some highlights.
Q. Your book has amazing breadth, covering everything from the nature of truth, to arguments for God, to evolution versus creation, to the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus, to the challenge of Islam, to the problem of evil – and that’s just for starters! Yet it’s quite readable; you avoid delving too deeply into technical issues while hitting all the key points. I can see this as an invaluable reference book, but I could also envision interested Christians simply reading it cover to cover. How do you hope your book will be used?
A. I tried to make the book accessible, inviting, and intriguing to the thoughtful reader, Christian or unbeliever. But I also wanted to take readers into the material with sufficient depth that they might fathom the force of the arguments for Christianity as objectively true, rational, and pertinent to all of life. There are hundreds of footnotes and a glossary to take the reader further into the intellectual and spiritual adventure of apologetics.
This is not a reference book per se; it’s not an encyclopedia or dictionary of apologetics. Rather, it is, to steal a phrase from Charles Darwin’s account of his Origin of Species, “one long argument,” with many facts, facets, and features. Every chapter marches ahead to the beat of the same apologetic drummer; they form a cumulative case argument for what matters most: Christian truth. However, one could also use the chapter titles and indices for reference purposes.
Christian Apologetics can be used for personal growth in apologetic prowess (1 Peter 3:15-16) or as a textbook at the college or seminary level. The intellectually inclined non-Christian should find the book challenging and interesting as well. Of course, I hope that many will confess Christ as Lord as a result of reading the book.
Q. Absolutely! What camp of apologetics are you most comfortable in and why?
A. I use the apologetic method called the cumulative case approach. Instead of resting the case for Christianity on only one or two arguments, I draw evidence from science, history, philosophy, and other areas. All these arguments converge on Christian theism as the best explanation of the most profound issues in life: Where did we come from? Who are we? What is the basis of morality? What is our destiny? And so on. I offer Christianity as a worldview hypothesis that should be tested according to several rational criteria or principles. Other worldviews – particularly materialism and pantheism – are tested by the same criteria and are found wanting.
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