Defending your faith can be daunting, and a well-reasoned and biblically grounded apologetic is essential for the challenge. Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking apologist Cornelius Van Til, K. Scott Oliphint presents an introduction to Reformed apologetics, also referred to as presuppositional apologetics. This book clearly explains the theological foundations of covenantal apologetics and illustrates its application in real-world conversations with unbelievers—helping Christians to boldly and knowledgeably proclaim the gospel.
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“Christian apologetics is the application of biblical truth to unbelief.” (Page 29)
“‘Apologetics,’ as he puts it in several places, ‘is the vindication of the Christian philosophy of life against the various forms of the non-Christian philosophy of life.’” (Page 17)
“5. All people know the true God, and that knowledge entails covenantal obligations.” (Page 50)
“4. Man (male and female) as image of God is in covenant with the triune God for eternity.” (Page 50)
“This is what a covenantal apologetic seeks to do. It seeks to take the truth of Scripture as the proper diagnosis of the unbelieving condition and challenge the unbeliever to make sense of the world he has made. Scripture tells us that a world built on the foundation of unbelief does not exist; it is a figment of an unbelieving imagination, and thus is basically irrational.” (Page 46)
A major undertaking in Christian apologetics, this volume makes a most timely and welcome contribution. By labeling the apologetic task ‘covenantal,’ Scott Oliphint highlights throughout that the presuppositions of ‘presuppositional apologetics’ are the clear and indubitable teachings of Scripture and not a postmodern understanding of presuppositions. Comprehensive in its scope, this balanced mix of principles and practice provides valuable instruction to a broad range of readers. I commend it most highly, especially to those concerned with responding to the challenges of unbelief, both present and perennial, in growing fidelity to Scripture as God’s Word
—Richard B. Gaffin Jr., professor of biblical and systematic theology, emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
In a day marked by shallow thinking, weak reasoning, and arguments lacking in both theological and biblical depth, Oliphint offers an arsenal of apologetic insight. His affirmation and exposition of a covenantal apologetic brings a vital biblical and theological dimension to the apologetic task. Believers seeking to give an answer for the hope that is in us will enthusiastically receive this book.
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., president and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
As a teacher I have been crying out for an apologetic primer that would help to demystify a presuppositional method, demonstrate the exegetical and biblical-theological basis for this method, and give some idea as to what this might look like in the real world with real people. Oliphint’s Covenantal Apologetics fills this need. It is not only principled and practical, but pastoral. For those looking to give reasons for hope, I recommend it.
—Daniel Strange, academic vice principal and tutor in apologetics, Oak Hill College, London
Covenantal Apologetics is carefully written, with close attention to detail. It is clear, compelling and cogent. I recommend it to every careful student of this important subject.
—Douglas Wilson, senior fellow of theology, New St. Andrews College
In attempting to put to rest the term ‘presuppositional,’ Oliphint integrates the best insights from his philosophical expertise in the Westminster Seminary tradition with the best insights from the Westminster Assembly theological tradition. The result: a book that aims at both the mind and the heart. As a pastor, I welcome books that offer a consistently Reformed approach to a defense of Christianity, for they are few and far between. This may be the best one yet.
—Mark Jones, senior minister, Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church