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Five Views On Apologetics (Counterpoints) [Paperback]

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Item description for Five Views On Apologetics (Counterpoints) by Steven B. Cowan...

A multiple-view book on apologetic methods, this material deals with a very relevant topic in the midst of a changing culture. Its primary contributors are: William Lane Craig, Gary R. Habermas, Paul D. Feinberg, John M. Frame, and Kelly James Clark.

Publishers Description
The goal of apologetics is to persuasively answer honest objections that keep people from faith in Jesus Christ. But of several apologetic approaches, which is most effective?Five Views on Apologetics examines the 'how-to' of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Reformed Epistemology, and Cumulative Case. Offering a forum for presentation, critique, and defense, this book allows the contributors for the different viewpoints to interact.Like no other book, Five Views on Apologetics lets you compare and contrast different ways of 'doing' apologetics. Your own informed conclusions can then guide you as you meet the questions of a needy world with the claims of the gospel.The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   398
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.03" Width: 5.27" Height: 1.05"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 7, 2000
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Series  Counterpoints  
ISBN  0310224764  
ISBN13  9780310224761  
UPC  025986224769  

Availability  0 units.

More About Steven B. Cowan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

Stanley N. Gundry currently resides in Grand Rapids, in the state of Michigan.

Stanley N. Gundry has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints
  2. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Apologetics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Five Views On Apologetics (Counterpoints)?

We're To Contend For The Faith (Jude 3) -- Here Are 5 Ways How  Nov 30, -0001
Apologetics is an extremely important and yet overlooked aspect of Christianity. We are ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15), and to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). But how do we do this? Leave it to human beings to come up with organized systems to approach this, and this book introduces us to five different styles to accomplish this.

Let me explain the five views as I would define them:

1. Classical, represented by William Lane Craig: One should start off proving the existence of God before moving to miracles, the resurrection of Christ, etc.

2. Evidential, represented by Gary Habernas: One does not need to prove God's existence before addressing miracle/the resurrection of Christ.

3. Cumulative Case, represented by Paul Feinberg: One cannot prove God's existence or other things by formal argument, but one can informally show Christian theism to be the best alternative.

4. Presuppositional, represented by John Frame: One needs to address people's presuppositions as they are making the case for Christianity.

5. Reformed Epistomology, represented by Kelly James Clark: One cannot prove any argument rational, but one can believe without any evidence.

There can be some variation between the approaches. Most of these authors have been accused of others at not really representing their views. Steven Cowan, the book's editor, pointed out that in the past some of these methodologies acted like you could do it their way or you can do it wrong, particularly Classical, Evidential, and Presuppositional.

This actually is a strength for the book. One reason people avoid apologetics is because it is divisive. These authors come across as if they're aware they're co-soldiers, on the same side. I believe this is the way it should be in the Body of Christ.

To be honest, like evangelism methodologies, I would say the answer to the question "Which is the correct methodology?" is "Yes." God designed each person differently. Some people work better with a certain methodology. And different people would respond to different methodologies.

Let me conclude by stating that I'm in the process of starting a novel, involving a murder mystery during an apologetics conference. This book actually will come in handy for this project. My Dad gave this as a gift, and I am very appreciative of it.

A good taste, but not a comprehensive introduction to RE  Nov 30, -0001
The text gives a good taste of the differences between these schools of apologetics. Some reviewers have shortchanged Clark's Reformed epistemology position, referring to it as "weak" and "timid." For those who really want to understand RE and have no prior exposure to analytic philosophy (e.g., Wittgenstein, Thomas Reid, etc.), I'd advise supplementing Clark's essay with something written by Alvin Plantinga or Nicholas Wolterstorff. RE operates with an entirely different epistemology from that relied upon by evidentialists and classical apologists. I don't see this as a weakness of Clark's essay. The fact is that most evangelicals have had little exposure to analytic philosophy (except for covenental Calvinists, of course).
A helpful dialogue for those interested in apologetic methodology  Nov 30, -0001
For those unfamiliar with this book, it is, strictly speaking, not a book on apologetics, so much as it is on meta-apologetics (that is, formulating grounds for methodology on how to do apologetics), and for the most part the five contributors, along with the editor Stan Gundry, do an adequate job of representing this task. As a caveat emptor, anyone potentially interested in this book should know that it undoubtedly is going to be unfriendly for the casual or uninformed reader, and as such I hesitate to call it an "introductory" text, though it certainly can serve as such if you are willing to devote yourself to a fairly careful reading. Cursory perusal of the chapters will certainly not function here! On a more specific note, I, along with another reviewer below, recommend instead (or at least before) this text, the book "Faith has its Reasons," which, being both more comprehensive and straightforward to read, surely serves as a better overall guide to meta-apologetics (and does some actual apologetics too, though only to elucidate how a meta-apologetic would work itself out in practical terms).

That being said this book does serve its purpose well, and the dialogues between William Lane Craig, Gasry Habermas, David Clark, Paul Feinberg, and John Frame are quite enlightening and engaging. Of the essays, agreeing with Dr. Groothius above, I saw the ones by Craig and Habermas as the best, and most helpful, in terms of outlining their position with documentation and clarity (regardless of how much I agreed with either of them.) The least helpful essay is Feinberg's. I found it clumsy and simply unconvincing. Thought I disagree (to certain extents) with presuppositional and reformed methods, I found their corresponding essays to be much better than Feinberg's (though Frame was, in my opinion, dissapointing and inconsistant as well).

As far as pitfalls of the book, I felt that despite the idealistic descriptions that the various authors put forward regarding the logic of their systems, methodologically they actually are all either similar (as is the case especially between Graig, Habermas, and Feinberg) or inconsistance (e.g. Frame says he wants to argue transcendentally, but really puts forward no transcendental arguments in the classical sense he conveys). This was dissapointing because I was sometimes left confused on how the actual apologetics would look with the resective meta-apologetic. Moreover, Frame's and Clark's theoretical outlines of their "apologetic" methods are absolutely weak, with Frame arguably question begging due to the circularity of his epistemology, and Clark simply aborting the necessity of any "positive" or "offensive" apologetics.

All in all, though, I recommend this to anyone interested in apologetics who is looking for an above-average exposition of meta-apologetic themes.
Not an Intro to Apologetics  Nov 30, -0001
This book is not for the first-time student of apologetics. It's deep and, at times, difficult. However, for anyone with a serious interest in apologetics, this is a great way to find out which method suits your apologetic style and why. It was eye-opening for me.

I am confident that God can use most (if not all) of the five distinct methods covered in the book. But it was very helpful to me to consider pros and cons of each and decide which approach seemed appropriate for me.

Great book, if you feel ready for it!
Good book / Great series  Nov 30, -0001
This is the first "Counterpoint" series book that I've read and I love the format. Instead of reading through a whole series of books and trying to compare and contrast different views of apologetics on your own, this book puts it all together. The authors, who support the different views, discuss and counter the other authors' views directly. They don't attack, but have frank discussion about pros and cons. It makes for great learning!

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