Book Review: On Guard

Description

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Edition)
By William Lane Craig
288 pages
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the Publisher: Renowned scholar William Lane Craig offers a readable, rich training manual for defending the Christian faith. This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his story of following God’s call in his own life. This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip Christians to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. They will discover not just “what “they believe, but “why “they believe–and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.

Review

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision was written for Christians by a Christian philosopher and theologian. This book serves as a primer on apologetics, a fancy name for “reasoned defense.”

If not the best Christian apologist of his generation, William Lane Craig is undoubtedly one of the best. Craig’s stature as an apologist is especially evident if your criteria include the sheer volume of books, scholarly papers, lectures, and debates that he has contributed over the years.

Craig begins by laying the philosophical foundation for apologetics. He discusses the meaning and role of apologetics in the Christian life. He then segues into part 1 of the book by describing his personal experience beginning at his conversion to his pursuit of higher education at Wheaton College (B.A.), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A.), the University of Birmingham in England (Ph.D.), and finishing up at the University of Munich (D. Theol.).

The author begins part 1 by discussing various arguments for God’s existence, including cosmological, design, fine-tuning, and moral arguments. The author then addresses the problems of pain, suffering, and evil while demonstrating how these factors can morph into a proof in favor of God’s existence.

The author then turns to Jesus of Nazareth and provides evidence for the reality and purpose of his life on earth, and the details of his death and resurrection. He concludes by giving the rationale for Religious particularism.1 He concludes with the following statement:

The logic of the New Testament is clear: The universality of sin and the uniqueness of Christ’s atoning death entail that there is no salvation apart from Christ. As the apostles proclaimed, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 RSV).

All in all, this is a worthwhile book written in an accessible style. It contains information of interest for anyone desiring to know more about the intellectual side of Christianity.

  1. Particularism is the view that only one religion is a means of salvation. Pluralism is the view that many religions provide a means of salvation.

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