Recently during a bible study session, I realized that many of the questions youths raised were questions that I myself struggled with. I recall vividly the times where I would ransack libraries and search over the internet for materials on Christian apologetics. There was a sense of frustration because I didn’t know what materials were considered good or bad and so I just read all sorts of things be it Christian or not. There were people who warned me of the danger that I was getting myself into but yet the curiosity could not be ignored or put aside. Thankfully through community I was able to find friends who shared those same questions and interest in searching for answers. On hindsight, I realize that it may indeed be dangerous for youths to go through all sorts of random books or materials on the net. Not all books are good books and some materials are really just horrible. A scientist writing on philosophy or theology is no different from me writing a book on science and math. Just because they have a PhD in one area doesn’t make them experts in all areas. So here’s the list of some books on Christian apologetics that I have personally read. It not meant to be indicative of everything I believe but I do think they provide sound reasons in defending the Christian faith. I’ll start with books that are more reader friendly. Here goes.
- Lee Strobel – Case series
Strobel’s book isn’t meant to be exhaustive in content. Rather I think it serves as a good teaser to pique the reader’s interest in wanting to find out more. The structure of the book revolves around Strobel interviewing various authors such as Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, J.P Moreland, Stephen Meyer etc. Strobel has written a few books based off the same title format such as The Case For A Creator, The Case For Faith, The Case for Christ. Out of all the case series, I’ve only read 3 of his Case series books as seen in the statement before.
- Paul E Little – Know why you believe
If I’m not mistaken there is a version of this book that combines both “Know what and why you believe”. This combined version covers both doctrines and reasons for faith. Paul’s book is another one that is very reader friendly. The topics covered are quite wide. Sure, this book won’t satisfy every question you have (Which book does that?) but it does provide some introductory arguments for the existence of God and the reconciliation of science and faith. Not an exhaustive book but worth reading for a start.
- William Lane Craig – On Guard
I think this could be one of WLC’s easier books. Craig is an analytical philosopher. The way he presents his arguments are very structured. On Guard also contains pictures that help make the text more interesting. What I like about On Guard is that it informally introduces philosophy to the readers in a simple way by helping them to see arguments in a form of syllogism. I think On Guard is a bit different from the other two books above due to the nature of how WLC normally writes and covers for content. I would say that On Guard is an abridged version of his more well know book Reasonable Faith. I wouldn’t suggest reading Reasonable Faith if I were just a youth who ventured into Christian apologetics. The content covered in Reasonable Faith may be a bit difficult.
RZIM – Beyond Opinion
This book is quite interesting in that it isn’t authored by a single person. The whole Ravi Zacharias International Ministry came together to produce this book having each staff write on a different topic. Some of the topics that are covered in this book address challenges faced from youths, eastern religion and even Islam. The RZIM team is a fairly broad and versatile team. They are able to do Christian apologetics almost in the form of a narrative. While I prefer Craig’s method on apologetics (I find Craig more structured and thorough), I think the RZIM team is able to communicate their ideas in a way that makes people feel at ease. I found the contributions by John Lennox, Alister McGrath and Sam Solomon quite interesting.
Gary Habermas and Mike Licona – The case for the resurrection of Jesus
So here’s a book on the resurrection of Jesus. Gary Habermas has been researching and debating this topic for quite some time now. He uses the minimal facts approach when discussing the resurrection. I find his case quite compelling and found the book to be engaging. Some of his debates are also on youtube. The more notable one would be his dialogue with the late Anthony Flew. So those of you who have been struggling with the issue of the resurrection and whether we should even be allowed to use the bible to argue for the resurrection, check out this book.
OK. I’ll think I’ll stop here for today. I don’t know how people do those “15 books for you to read…” I’ve only done five and I’m pretty tired. Maybe one day I’ll add to this list. There are a lot more good apologetic books dealing with cosmology, canonization, the problem of evil, the resurrection. But due to time and fatigue, I’ll refrain from talking about these other books. Hope this list serves as some help!