A couple of years ago we highlighted some apologetics books worth reading. As we were putting the finishing touches to the new Demolition Squad apologetics book (out next month!) we thought it would be good to include a list of further, recommended reading.
Here is that list for you. 14 apologetics books, across different subjects, with our thoughts on each one. Our hope is that these will serve you well as you communicate Jesus to those around you.
Books on General Apologetics
Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
One of the books on apologetics, Craig’s ‘Reasonable Faith’ is a standard-setter. Covering many topics (including: miracles, reliability of Scripture, the Resurrection of Jesus) this is a go-to book for solid answers for the truth of the Christian message.
When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler & Ron Brooks
A collection of answers to frequent apologetics questions, arranged in clear sections, ‘Skeptics’ is a fantastic reference tool for grasping the structure of a response to a particular question. It offers good insight to many objections and if you buy it you will open it often.
The Reason for God by Tim Keller
Tim Keller has a wonderful ability to make sense of the Christian faith, and communicate it well to thinking people. The answers provided cover much ground and do so with great skill and persuasive power. ‘The Reason for God’ at once both highlights great answers to tough questions, but also – and perhaps more valuably – demonstrates how to deliver these answers in our modern society.
Books on Apologetics Strategy
Mere Apologetics by Alistair McGrath
McGrath became a Christian at University, going on to study Theology after completing a doctorate in molecular biophysics. These twin-strands of Science and Religion helped to enable him to reply to modern critics, such as Richard Dawkins, with strong and reasonable refutations. Over the years, McGrath has built up a great wealth of experience in how to deploy convincing Apologetics arguments, and this book bears some of the fruit of that.
Tactics by Greg Koukl
Koukls’ ‘Tactics’ is a well-received book that is a helpful guide for the Christian engaging in apologetics. The goal is always to win the man – the argument comes second to this – which requires skill, patience, love, and a little cunning. ‘Tactics’ helps us to bring the art of apologetics to bear in a winsome, and Christ-like way.
Books on Objections from Science
God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by John Lennox
John Lennox takes on one of the more popular objections to Christianity, by responding to arguments from Science in this book. As Professor of Mathematics at the Oxford University, Lennox is well positioned to speak credibly on this topic and does so with skill, insight, and helpful observations. Lennox is able to bring complex ideas to the table that makes them accessible to all of us, all the while ensuring that the sharp edge of the rebuttals he provides aren’t lost.
Where The Conflict Really Lies by Alvin Plantinga
Plantinga will be remembered as a man who undergirded much of the high-calibre philosophy done in the second half of the 20th Century and early 21st. This renaissance period for Christian philosophy saw the return of Christians to the cutting edge of the discipline, contributing fresh, deep thinking of the highest order. This recent book (2011) from Plantinga incorporates much of the best thinking on the interaction between Science and Faith, put into laymen’s terms. It’s not the easiest of reads, but the reader who persists will be rewarded by penetrating insight into the heart of the matter, revealing that the centre of the conflict may not be where many currently caught in the fighting assume it is.
Books on the Problem of Pain
Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Ravi Zacharias & Vince Vitale
The problem of pain is a multi-faceted problem and as such requires a multitude of answers to cover the different angles. Vince Vitale and Ravi Zacharias assemble thoughtful responses to this age-old problem and build a strong, layered case for the Christian response in Jesus.
Why? by Sharon Dirckx
Sharon Dirckx intersects her answers in ‘Why?’ with real-life stories of people who have experienced suffering. By arranging the book this way, the reader grips the felt problem alongside the logical problem of evil, which is a great way to tackle the issue.
God And Evil: The Case For God In A World Filled With Pain Ed. Chad Meister & James K. Dew Jr.
This collection of essays (19 in all) introduces the reader to a variety of answers from some of the best authors on the subject today. A little more work is required then other popular-level books, but there is a huge amount to be learnt from ‘God And Evil’ and it comes highly recommended.
Books on the Character of God
Is God A Moral Monster? by Paul Copan
If you’ve ever been faced with this objection: ‘I like the New Testament God, but the God of the Old Testament sounds a bit nasty’, then this book is for you. There is much that on the face of it is hard to swallow about the Old Testament. Many objections have been made such as: ‘Did God command genocide?’ and ‘Why is God apparently so jealous?’ – and it’s to these objections that Copan speaks so well in his book. The Old Testament is hard; it was written a long time ago, in a very different culture. Copan helps us to understand the context, and interpret the nature of God in a way that faces the heat of the objections and doesn’t flinch or dodge them.
Books on the Reliability of The Bible
Can We Still Believe The Bible? by Craig L. Blomberg
Up-to-date and fresh with responses to questions being asked today about the veracity of the Bible, Blomberg tackles the questions we hear from people unsure whether they can believe the Bible to be the Word of God. Scripture is a firm foundation for the Christian, and has withstood countless attempts to undermine it throughout history. Blomberg reveals the foundations are still strong, and our hope is not thwarted by the accusations the Bible faces in our day.”
Jesus And The Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham
If we lose the credibility of the Bible, we lose Jesus. The stakes here are huge. The Bible testifies to Jesus, and the four gospels speak of his life. So how do we know that these accounts weren’t made up, or altered? Bauckham skilfully demonstrates that the gospel accounts are trustworthy and can be believed. Utilising recent research Bauckham makes a convincing case for the credibility of the eyewitnesses and the recording of their testimony. It’s a longer read but it’s fantastic and very interesting. Highly recommended ‘further reading’.
Books on Objections from Other Religions
Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias brings his background (born and raised in India, university education in N. America/Britain) and his experience (spoken to government and business leaders, and at major universities all over the world) to bear in this book which will probably make every apologists Top 10 list. Contrasting the uniqueness of Christ with the pantheon of competing belief systems, Ravi – through his trademark skill at combining gripping narrative with fierce logic – presents Jesus as the hope for the world. Apologists learn from the method as much as the content offered by ‘Jesus Among Other Gods’. Highly recommended.