Disclaimer: The following books comprise a brief list of resources that we have found helpful for our church planters. In endorsing each of these books we are not saying that we agree on every point, but rather find the book as a whole helpful.
There Is a God
by Anthony Flew and Roy Varghese
People love testimonies; we also love reading biography. Particularly we really love stories of how someone’s life or ideas radically change from their previous orientation. For those who have been interested in the analytic philosophy of religion over certainly had their eyebrows raised when Anthony Flew, one of the prominent anti-theistic philosophers of the last half century, announced in 2004 that he had changed his mind on a very important issue. He had come to believe in God.
There is No/A God – How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind is the recounting of the life and intellectual journey of Anthony Flew, written in a rather autobiographical manner by the man himself. The book has a great introduction where Flew lays out the content of the book and the journey it will entail. Part I is comprised of three chapters chronicling his experience growing up in the house of his Father, a thoughtful Methodist minister and biblical scholar. It traces his growing interest in critical thinking and following a method put forth in the writing of Plato; like Socrates, he would be dedicated to following the evidence in life wherever it leads. His development as a student, his growth as a philosopher and his profound and influential contributions to the philosophy of religion are all covered in this section. It is not an understatement to say that Flew’s work literally set the stage for the last 60 years of discussion from the point of view of those who disbelieved in God.
Christianity On Trial
by Vincent Caroll
In this book, Carroll and Shiflett dispassionately and systematically dissect the charges against Christianity–specifically that it has justified racism and misogyny, encouraged ignorance, and promoted the despoliation of the environment and even genocide. Then, in a narrative whose intellectual elegance and verve calls up comparisons to How the Irish Saved Civilization, they show how in fact the Christian tradition has not only injected morality into our political order, but softened brutal practices and confining superstitions, created the foundation for intellectual inquiry, and cultivated the charitable impulse. Christianity on Trial challenges readers of all beliefs–even those with a belief in disbelief itself–to question the anti-religious bigotry that thrives in our intellectual world and to reevaluate the role of Christianity not only as a source of consolation but of enlightenment and human liberation as well.
Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity
by J. P. Moreland
Here Moreland provides an intellectual defense for the basic truths of the Christian faith. He gives arguments for God’s existence, Jesus’ deity, and the historical accuracy of Jesus’ resurrection. Perfect for a non-believer with questions about Christianity, or for helping you defend your faith to a cynical world.
by C. S. Lewis
The most popular of C.S. Lewis’ works of nonfiction, Mere Christianity has sold several million copies worldwide. It brings together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks of the war years, talks in which he set out simply to “explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, Lewis finds a common ground on which all Christians can stand together, and provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for their faith. It is a collection of scintillating brilliance that remains strikingly fresh and confirms C.S. Lewis’ reputation as one of the leading writiers and thinkers of our age.
Jesus Under Fire
by Michael J. Wilkins, James Porter Moreland
Who Is Jesus? What did he do? What did he say? Are the traditional answers to these questions still to be trusted? Did the early church and tradition “Christianize” Jesus? Was Christianity built on clever conceptions of the church, or on the character and actions of an actual person? These and similar questions have come under scrutiny by a forum of biblical scholars called the Jesus Seminar. Their conclusions have been widely publicized in magazines. “Jesus Under Fire” challenges the methodology and findings of the Jesus Seminar, which generally clash with the biblical records. It examines the authenticity of the words, actions, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus, and presents compelling evidence for the traditional teachings. The purpose of this book too is to help readers judge for themselves whether the Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus of history, and whether the gospels’ claim is valid that he is the only way to God.
The Defense of the Faith
by Cornelius Van Til
Attacks on Christianity have become more numerous and more pronounced in today’s world. Cornelius Van Til’s book The Defense of the Faith is a classic treatment on apologetics and endures for our time as crucial reading for the thinking Christian. Designed to stop secularists in their tracks, it is the kind of seminal work that serious defenders of the faith cannot afford to ignore. After laying a foundation in the Christian views of God, man, salvation, the world, and knowledge, Van Til explores the roles of authority, reason, and theistic proof, while contrasting Roman Catholic, Arminian, and Reformed methods of defending the faith.
by Robert Charles Sproul, et al
Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction
by John M. Frame
Here John M. Frame unveils some of the “variety and richness of a biblical apologetic.” Defining apologetics as “the discipline that teaches Christians how to give a reason for their hope,” he distinguishes three main kinds of apologetic: PROOF – presenting a rational basis for faith; DEFENSE – answering objections of unbelief; OFFENSE – exposing the foolishness of unbelieving thought. Frame clarifies the relationships of reason, proofs, and evidences to faith, biblical authority, and the lordship of Christ. He offers a fresh look at probability arguments and gives special attention to the problem of evil. Particularly helpful are his extensive use of Scripture and his presentation of specific lines of argument. A model dialogue in the concluding chapter shows how the various lines of argument work in a conversation with a nonbeliever.