Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Classic is Born

If you have not yet purchased Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothuis, I urge you to do so.This is the kind of book that endures for generations (although I unfortunately foresee my binding lasting only a fraction of that time), because Groothuis magnificently speaks the truth in a timeless manner. A book that challenges the academic mind while remaining accessible to the average reader is a rare thing, and Groothuis accomplishes this feat with clear, engaging prose that will delight even the most demanding reader with eloquent, memorable turns of phrase.

Apologetically speaking, Christian Apologetics is a comprehensive masterpiece, unique among books of its kind because of the ground it covers. Groothuis wisely handles worldviews beyond just atheism, although atheism is thoroughly and adeptly handled (many apologetics books and ministries seem to suffer from a sort of "atheism myopia"). Moreover, the book profoundly addresses the human condition, includes sections on the nature of truth, logic, and apologetic methodology, and begins with a transcendently beautiful introduction-- perhaps the crown jewel of the book-- called "Hope, Despair, and Knowing Reality" that will leave one excited to read the remaining chapters. Furthermore, name, subject, and scripture indices, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography organized by chapter provide valuable reference material.

A particularly valuable feature of this well-organized, intellectually solid, meticulously researched book is the fact that it is filled with carefully chosen scripture throughout, and thus commends a robust, biblically literate, theologically informed, intellectually grounded Christian worldview. With contributions by leading biblical scholars Richard Hess (OT) and Craig Blomberg (NT), Christian Apologetics is a force to be reckoned with, and will very likely equip and influence many readers for years to come.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cultivating Conviction

"If we are really convinced of the truth of our message, then we can proclaim it before a world of enemies, then the very difficulty of our task, the very scarcity of our allies becomes an inspiration, then we can even rejoice that God did not place us in an easy age, but in a time of doubt and perplexity and battle. Then, too, we shall not be afraid to call forth other soldiers into the conflict. Instead of making our theological seminaries merely centres of religious emotion, we shall make them battle-grounds of the faith, where, helped a little by the experience of Christian teachers, men are taught to fight their own battle, where they come to appreciate the real strength of the adversary and in the hard school of intellectual struggle learn to substitute for the unthinking faith of childhood the profound convictions of full-grown men."


-J. Gresham Machen, "Christianity and Culture," 1912 (emphasis mine)

The essay in its entirety can be found here: http://www.marshillaudio.org/pdf/documents/ChristianityCulture.pdf

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Communication in an Online Culture

The internet and social media are not conducive to complex, detailed dialogue about important issues. It favors hasty, insufficiently supported, decontextualized, emotionally driven, relationally insensitive responses. We ought to fear a society in which citizens develop whatever communication skills they have by immersion in this environment-- especially because this is increasingly the society in which we live. We are steadily cultivating an exceptionally vocal culture of inept communicators.