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Apologetics at the Cross: An Introduction for Christian Witness

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Amid the pluralism and secularism of Western culture, Christian apologetics has experienced a renewal of interest. In Apologetics at the Cross, Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen provide an introduction to the field, acquainting students and lay learners with the rich history, biblical foundation, and ongoing relevance of apologetics.

Unique in its approach, Apologetics at the Cross presents the biblical and historical foundations for apologetics, explores various contemporary methods for approaching apologetics, and gives practical guidance in “how to” chapters that feature many real-life illustrations. With their respectful approach, which pays special attention to the attitude and posture of the apologist, Chatraw and Allen equip Christians to engage skeptics with the heart as well as the mind.

Conversational in tone and balanced in approach, Apologetics at the Cross provides a readable introduction to the field of apologetics. Readers will be informed and equipped for engaging a wide range of contemporary challenges with the best in Christian thought.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Presents a biblical, historical, philosophical, theological, and practical vision for Christian apologetics
  • Discusses various methods of apologetics
  • Builds a biblical foundation for apologetics


The Foundation for Apologetics at the Cross

  • Apologetics in the Bible: Part l
  • Apologetics in the Bible: Part 2
  • Apologetics within the Great Tradition: Part 1
  • Apologetics within the Great Tradition: Part 2

The Theological Structure for Apologetics at the Cross

  • Making Sense of the Methods
  • Taking People to the Cross through Word and Deed
  • Cruciform Humility before God and Others
  • Appealing to the Whole Person for the Sake of the Gospel
  • Contextualization through the Lens of the Cross

The Practice of Apologetics at the Cross

  • Preparing to Engage (not Spin) in Lat.e Modernism from the Inside Out
  • Engaging in Late Modernism
  • Dealing with Defeaters
  • Making a Case

Top Highlights

“Apologetics, in its most basic form, is the practice of offering an appeal and a defense for the Christian faith. In other words, apologetics, through word and deed, answers both why a person can believe (defense) and why a person should believe (appeal). The goal of apologetics is to clear away the debris of doubt and skepticism in order to make a path for the gospel to be heard.” (Page 17)

“In the chapters that follow, we will present what we call apologetics at the cross—a biblical, historical, philosophical, theological, and practical vision for offering an appeal for Christianity in our contemporary context.” (Page 23)

“In other words, the most important thing you can do as an individual is throw off the shackles of exterior expectations and be ‘true to yourself.’” (Page 228)

“First, classical apologetics emphasizes the Bible’s endorsement of using evidence and logic to persuade” (Page 108)

“we cannot simply treat all those who dislike or reject Christianity as being one homogeneous group.’” (Page 193)

Praise for the Print Edition

This is a welcome addition to the library of books on apologetics. It is also a rare book: most defenses of the faith do not make the gospel their lodestar and template. This one breaks new ground in letting the reason for the Christian hope–Jesus crucified and risen–guide and govern the forms and methods of faith’s defense. Apologetics at the Cross incorporates biblical materials, the history of apologetics, and theology to make a cumulative case for the church as a socially embodied cruciform argument whose members are alert to how different people may need to be shown various different paths (i.e., kinds of arguments) that lead to, and into, the reality of the gospel. This is a book brim full of apologetic wisdom–most notably, the wisdom of the cross.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

In our culture, the practice of apologetics has moved from being a ‘boutique’ topic for specialists to being a requirement for even having a conversation with one’s neighbor. Joshua Chatraw and Mark Allen have produced the most comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date manual on Christian apologetics that I know of. Despite how full its treatment of the subject, it is eminently readable. The authors present all the various approaches to apologetics respectfully, proposing their own pathway that incorporates a large range of insights from many disciplines and thinkers. Highly recommended.

—Timothy Keller, pastor emeritus, the Redeemer Presbyterian Churches of New York City

Imagine a book on apologetics that not only deals with content, but discusses tone and heart, is gentle and wise, and overviews method and approach with care and balance. That is Apologetics at the Cross. Not only does it walk through the common questions; it orients one to the different ways people think and relate to those issues. Here is a book that does apologetics with depth, not just of the mind, but of the soul.

—Darrell Bock, Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement, Dallas Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: Apologetics at the Cross: An Introduction for Christian Witness
  • Authors: Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 336
  • Resource Type: Introduction
  • Topic: Apologetics

About the Authors

Joshua Chatraw (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the director for New City Fellows and the Resident Theologian at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. His books include Apologetics at the Cross, Cultural Engagement, Truth in a Culture of Doubt, and Truth Matters. He is a fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians and has served in both pastoral and academic posts during his ministry.

Mark D. Allen (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, D.Min. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) serves as the Chair of Liberty University’s Biblical and Theological Studies Department and the Director of the Greek Program. His Ph.D. from Notre Dame focused on Christianity and Judaism in antiquity and his dissertation dealt with Old Testament critical scholarship. Mark brings twenty years of church planting and pastoral experience.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Ryan Whitaker

    Ryan Whitaker