Five Views on Apologetics examines the “how-to” of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: classical, evidential, presuppositional, Reformed epistemology, and cumulative case. Offering a forum for presentation, critique, and defense, this book allows the contributors for the different viewpoints to interact. Like no other book, Five Views on Apologetics lets you compare and contrast different ways of “doing” apologetics. Your own informed conclusions can then guide you as you meet the questions of a needy world with the claims of the gospel.
“The methodological approach which I shall defend in this essay is that reason in the form of rational arguments and evidence plays an essential role in our showing Christianity to be true, whereas reason in this form plays a contingent and secondary role in our personally knowing Christianity to be true. The proper ground of our knowing Christianity to be true is the inner work of the Holy Spirit in our individual selves; and in our showing Christianity to be true, it is his role to open the hearts of unbelievers to assent and respond to the reasons we present.” (Page 28)
“Apologetics is concerned with the defense of the Christian faith against charges of falsehood, inconsistency, or credulity.” (Page 8)
“The classical method is an approach that begins by employing natural theology to establish theism as the correct worldview. After God’s existence has thus been shown, the classical method moves to a presentation of the historical evidences for the deity of Christ, the trustworthiness of Scripture, et cetera, to show that Christianity is the best version of theism, as opposed to, say, Judaism and Islam.” (Page 15)
“When it comes to knowing one’s faith to be true, therefore, the Christian will not rely primarily on argument and evidence but on the gracious witness of God himself given to all his children by the indwelling Holy Spirit.” (Page 36)
“I shall argue that the inner witness of the Holy Spirit gives us an immediate and veridical assurance of the truth of our Christian faith and that rational argument and evidence may properly confirm but not defeat that assurance.” (Page 28)
Steven B. Cowan, M.Div., Ph.D., is associate professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, AL.