Item description for To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview: Essays in Honor of Norman L. Geisler by Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland...
Overview In a society fascinated by spirituality but committed to religious pluralism, the Christian worldview faces sophisticated and aggressive opposition. What is needed in this syncretistic era is an authoritative, comprehensive Christian response. Point by point, argument by argument, the Christian faith must be effectively presented and defended. This book offers such a response. Editors Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland have gathered together in this book essays covering all major aspects of apologetics, including: faith and reason; arguments for God's existence; the case for Jesus; the problem of evil; postmodernism; religious pluralism and Christian exclusivism. Preeminent in their respective fields, the contributors to this volume offer a solid case for the Christian worldview and a coherent defense of the Christian faith.
Publishers Description In a society fascinated by spirituality but committed to religious pluralism, the Christian worldview faces sophisticated and aggressive opposition. A prior commitment to diversity, with its requisite openness and relativistic outlook, has meant for skeptics, critics and even many Christians that whatever Christianity is, it cannot be exclusively true or salvific. What is needed in this syncretistic era is an authoritative, comprehensive Christian response. Point by point, argument by argument, the Christian faith must be effectively presented and defended. To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview offers such a response. Editors Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland have gathered together in this book essays covering all major aspects of apologetics, including: faith and reason arguments for God's existence the case for Jesus the problem of evil postmodernism religious pluralism and Christian exclusivism Preeminent in their respective fields, the contributors to this volume offer a solid case for the Christian worldview and a coherent defense of the Christian faith."
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9" Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Release Date Sep 16, 2004
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830827358 ISBN13 9780830827350
Availability 0 units.
More About Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland
Francis J. Beckwith (PhD, Fordham University; MJS, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis) is professor of philosophy and church-state studies, and fellow and faculty associate in the Institute for the Studies of Religion, at Baylor University. In 2008-09, he will serve on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame as the Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow in Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice and To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview.
Francis J. Beckwith currently resides in Anaheim Hills, in the state of California. Francis J. Beckwith has an academic affiliation as follows - Baylor University, Texas.
Reviews - What do customers think about To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview: Essays in Honor of Norman L. Geisler?
Good essays, but nothing too original Jan 11, 2007
I was (and remain) somewhat torn about what to rate this book. On the one hand, as far as a quick reference guide to the apologetics landscape, with fairly well-written essays, this is a good book, and deserves perhaps 4 stars. As a festschrift to Norman Geisler on the other hand, it doesn't do its job very well. There are NO tie-ins, notes or reflections by Geisler, and indeed really the only reason one knows its a tribute at all is because it asserts it in a couple places, has a brief introductory note by Josh McDowell, and at the end of the book has a small summary of Geislers publications and educational history. In this instance I would give it two stars. This is hardly "for Norman Geisler" so much as it is a collection of apologetics essays loosley associated with one another only by the fact that they are all apologetics essays, all the authors fall roughly into the conservative-evangelical spectrum of the issues, and that they (obviously) physically occur in a single volume. I am not the biggest Geisler "fan" out there, but the man surely, despite how much you or I agree or disagree with him, surely deserved a more specific (festschrift-ier?) tribute than this.
As far as the actual materials themselves, despite the essays being fairly good introductory essays (and I emphasize introductory, this isn't an in depth text on the various issues) overall there is very little "new" material here. I felt that, along with another reviewer, the essays didn't necessarily reflect their respective author's best works. If you really want to get into a topic, this is not the book to do it with. Go read Dembski's "Intelligent Design" or Craig's "Cosmological Argument," or Habermas' various books on the Resurrection (or N.T. Wrights massive book on the topic, for that matter). And, again as another author pointed out, there were some strange essay choices amongst the participants. William Lane Craig, apparently sick of writing about the Kalaam Argument (my conjecture, of course) for some reason writes on the Ontological argument (for the most part focusing on Alvin PLantinga's modal-logic version) while R. Douglas Geivett writes on Kalaam. Don't get me wrong, both did decent jobs, but its just odd that a man who has spent the majority of his career becoming an expert in the field of cosmological arguments would suddenly alter essay choices.
So, as I said at the beginning, I was somewhat torn with what to rate the book, and decided that a middle of the road grade was about what it deserved. In summary its a good book if you want a quick essay on a particular apologetic topic and are unfamiliar with it, but overall it really offers nothing that hasn't been put forward by the authors in their other publications, and does so in a less detailed manner. Moreover, Geisler fans will undoubtedly be dissapointed that this is his festschrift, when it feels more like they were publishing a collection of apologetic essays anyway, and just tagged "tribute to Norman Geisler" onto it. In the stead of this book, unless you are just getting started in the field of apologetics, I would recommend reading the books by the respective essayists. It might take more time, but you will most likely enjoy it more, and learn WAY more than you would here. If you are simply looking for a quick "reference" guide to apologetics, I would recommend either Geisler's own Encyclopedia of Apologetics, or, more so, the newly published "New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics" (also offered on this site), which has multiple well respective contributors, and is far more broad than this book.
Decent exposition of many issues relating to Christian apologetics Aug 9, 2006
A number of talented evangelical authors have given us a fairly well-done anthology of writings defend the Christian worldview on multiple levels. Many topics are covered including the necessity and purpose of apologetics, arguments for God, arguments for Jesus, arguments against cultural trends that oppose Christianity (like physicalism, scientism, the problem of evil), and other religions.
Though I like the scope of the book, I must deduct a star for a couple reasons. First is that many times I felt like the eassays in here were not representative of the authors best work. Craig has written better arguments for God other places (and why someone else wrote a peice on the Kalam argument when he revived the argument in the late 70s is beyond me), Moreland has given much more thorough and comprehensive essays better. It seems like a few of the essays are only surface deep.
However, that is not to say that there is nothing worthwhile in this book, as there very much is. I recommend this book for someone who knows little to nothing about Christian apologetics, but for those already well versed in it, this will not be much of anything new.
Big names, good essays May 17, 2006
I was very pleased by the content of this book. Big name apologist each write an essay on their specialization. Moreland tackles naturalism, Dembski discusses the design argument, Witherington talks about Christology, Habermas argues for the resurrection, Beckwith takes up the issue of intelligent design in the school system, Zacharias gives insight into apologetics and pantheism, etc. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to contemporary Christian apologists. They discuss classical arguments for God's existence, miracles, challenges to Christianity, and contemporary religious opponents. Definitely a very helpful book if you are looking for a very good introduction to these arguments/issues.
I especially liked Dembski's Information-Theoretic Design argument and Willaim Lane Craig's chapter on the Ontological argument. Both helped explain things that had previously been presented to me in a rather confusing manner.
The only chapters I did not especially like were W. David Beck's chapter on the Thomistic Cosmological argument and Ronald Nash's chapter on the Problem of Evil. Beck tried to prove specific attributes of the Christian God from the Thomistic Cosmological argument, and it seemed rather contrived and unconvincing. Nash was supossed to discuss the Problem of Evil, and he spent most of his chapter discussing what a worldview was (in the middle of the book, mind you), and never really got around to giving a very good answer to the problem. He simply dismisses the argument as invalid (in his one paragraph response), which I imagine is not going to be very persuasive to any naturalists he may encounter.
Overall, this was a VERY good book which I highly recommend. It is probably the top non-advanced apologetic book released in the last few years. Definitely worth your time to read it.
Overall grade: A
A solid piece by some scholarly names Jul 19, 2005
This tribute to Dr. Geisler is a worthwhile read as "a case for the Christian worldview" is provided. Articles by such people as Gary Habermas, William Lane Craig, and others were very interesting and educational. I especially liked the chapter written by Greg Koukl as being the most applicable to apologetics, as he showed how to "apply apologetics to everyday life." Several of the articles were a little wordy and could have been much simplified, meaning that some laypersons may get easily bored. But overall, I think the book did its job.
A Comprehensive Case for the Chrstian Worldview Mar 18, 2005
What a marvelous work! To cite Josh McDowell in the foreward, "the essays contained herein come from some of the greatest Christian minds of our time, many of whom have been trained and influenced by Dr. Norman L. Geisler. It is only appropriate, then, that the book is compiled in his honor".
With 20 chapters, each ranging from 10 to 26 pages in length, 'To Everyone an Answer' is a very readable and helpful work on comtemporary Apologetics, and the defense of the Christian worldview.
While challenging and informative to the more seasoned, apologetics aficionado, it is also relatively accessible to the apologetics neophyte.
'To Everyone an Answer' is divided into five sections, with 3-5 essays per heading. The sections are as follows:
1) Faith, Reason and the Necessity of Apologetics
2) God's Existence
3) Christ and Miracles
4) Philisophical and Cultural Challenges to Christian Faith
5) Religious Challenges to Christian Faith
Each section begins with a brief introduction by one of the three general editors (Beckwith, Craig and Moreland), who, like Dr. Geisler, ought to be regarded as among the most influential Christian thinkers of our time.
While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the essays, I particularly appreciated the contributions of Ronald Nash (The Problem of Evil) and Doug Groothuis (Facing the Challenge of Postmodernism).
Regarding the former, Dr. Nash's 20 page essay covered a remarkable amount of material on the subject that many apologists/ philosophers regard as 'the most serious intellectual obstacle that stands between people and religious faith' (pp 203).
Nash begins his essay by stressing the importance of "worldview thinking", when evaluating the so-called 'problem of evil'. He states, "once people understand that both Christianity and its adversaries...are world-views, they will be in a better position to judge the relative merits of the total Christian system". (pp 204)
Next, after providing a sketch of the 'problem', he draws the important and necessary distinction between the 'theoretical vs. the personal problem of evil'. He rightly observes that, "when someone is troubled by aspects of the theoretical or philosophical problem of evil, the assistance of a good philosopher or apologist may help. But when we are confronted by the personal problem of evil, what we may need is a wise and caring friend, pastor or counselor". (pp 208) Or, as W.L. Craig has said in another context, "the intellectual problem of evil is the realm of the philosopher, while the personal problem of evil is the realm of the counselor".
After considering some alternatives to the Christian worldview (pp 209-213), Nash examines two versions of the 'problem of evil', namely the 'deductive version' and the 'inductive version', or what other thinkers have described, respectively, as the 'logical vs. probabalistic' versions of the problem of evil.
Concerning the former, Dr. Nash argues, following Plantinga, that there is no logical inconsistency or contradiction in the statements "God exists" and "evil exists". Echoing Plantinga, Nash observes, "All that is required to prove our list of propositions is logically CONSISTENT is to add a new proposition that is logically POSSIBLE..."
Here Nash appeals to 'possible world' reasoning, as exemplified in contemporary analytic philosophy, arguing that, as long as it is even POSSIBLE that "God had a good reason for creating a world that contains evil" (even if this proposition turns out to be false), then the so-called deductive (or logical) version of the problem of evil is defeated....and that definitively! (pp 215)
With regard to the 'inductive version' (which argues that, although theism may not be NECESSARILY or LOGICALLY false, it is, nonetheless, PROBABLY false), Nash makes, what I regard to be, a very important, tactical point, namely, that (in arguing for the existence of 'gratuitous' or 'meaningless' evil) the atheist bears the burden of proof!
Nash asks (with tongue-in-cheek), "How did the theist get stuck with the burden of proof? After all, he was simply minding his own business as he went about the task of believing in God and living in the world. Suddenly he is told that unless he can show that none of the evils in the world are gratuitous, belief in the existence of God must be judged to be unreasonble" (pp 219). He concludes by pointing out that "it is not at all clear that the theist has the burden of proof in this matter".
Dr. Nash wraps up his chapter by evaluating 'evil' in the framework of the Christian worldview. Here he considers two passages of Scripture, Romans 8:28 and Romans 8:18, respectively.
When properly understood in context, the biblical notion that "All things work together for good TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, TO THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE" and "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us", the 'problem of evil' is no longer so serious a problem.
Although space (and time) prohibits me from saying nearly as much about Dr. Groothuis' chapter on postmodernism, I absolutely reccomend it to anyone looking to gain a better understanding of this important philosophical challenge.
Here I will simply quote the final paragraph of his essay (as it sums up quite nicely the preceding 15 pages of the chapter), "Postmodernism's rejection of the classical and biblical views of truth, rationality and language is not a fitting tonic to intellectual arrogance. Instead it shackles the intellect in a prison with no windows open to objective reality. While Christian witness must be savvy concerning the realities of the postmodern condition in order to make the historic Christian message understandable and pertinent to denizens of the contemporary world, this does not mean that we should become postmodernists in the process" (pp. 253).
Finally, and on a personal note, if I might dare to pose a single criticism of this excellent volume, I would have liked to have seen some of the contributors mention Dr. Geisler a bit more in their essays. Perhaps a few personal reflections? Perhaps a few more words about how Dr. Geisler has inspired/ influenced them? After all, this was a festschrift to honor Dr. Geisler's 50+ year legacy. Still, this is simply my personal reflection as a layman, and one who is not at all intimate with the nature and character of festschriftim.
Oh yeah, one last bonus for those considering purchasing the book...the pages smell really good! (-: