Pratt gives us a very short and condensed form of what is known as Pressupositional Apologetics (following after VanTil). Although Pratt hardly defends this approach from all it's critics, he lays down clearly what is at the heart of biblical apologetics. He does this by first showing his readers that God-centered apologetics arises from love for God and the gospel.
God depends on no one to defend His truth. His truth stands as true regardless. However, because we are called and loved by God, studying apologetics should be our passionate duty. Thus, God's word becomes "both the foundation upon which our defense must be built and one of our belief which must be defended." (pg.4)
Pratt then focuses on the nature of common grace in apologetics. More specifically, nature of man before and after the fall, and man's ability to come to the knowledge of God. This foundation is critical for biblical defense and clear thinking. Is it that man has no knowledge about God but is still able to reason Him out? Or is it that man has the knowledge of God, so that he must be rationally honest with himself to see God? Finally, is there a neutral ground where Christians and non-Christians could come together for an unbiased examination?
Without getting too technical, Pratt gives us an enriching exercise of searching and examining the Scriptures. However, Pratt's treatment is so brief and condensed that it lacks clarity on some major points. For instance, I cannot agree with his view on logic--that it is merely a part of creation. True, there are inferences and conventions in logic that are man-made; but Pratt seems to over-simplify the nature of logic as being completely separated from God. I come to understand that logic has a transcendental quality that reveals the eternal character of God. Therefore, God cannot create a thing not equivalent to itself! Oh well, I give Pratt the benefit of the doubt...I'm probably wrong or mistaken (after all, He's the certified theologian!)
Interestingly, Pratt then critiques Evidental method of apologetics. Namely, Paul Little's "Know Why You Believe." Although, I thought Pratt's critique was necessary and valuable (I whole-heartly agreed), I thought it was a bit unfair because he never bothered to examine the critique of VanTil's apologetics. (But then again, this is an intro. designed for High schoolers)
Pratt pretty much ends his book with some applications. Questions like "What's the proof of God?", "How do we know the Bible is God's word?", and "Why is there so much suffering in the world?" are addressed. However, only in an outlined-sketchy way. Maybe he ran out of space or time (I don't know), but he's application seems a bit weak.
Don't get me wrong!...Pratt, gives us the best introduction to Pressuppostional apolgetics I've ever seen--showing us correct foundation and motive. So Pratt pushes the readers to be patient regarding all the challenges he/she could not answer from his/her friends. But all the patience leads to the last 3-4 chapters of this 14 chapter book. Maybe Pratt thinks that he set the foundation so strong that application will come naturally. Or maybe there's a second book! (I doubt it...it's been over 20 years since the first printing)
In short, I thought this book was excellent as an intro. (it really deserves 5 stars), but could be better if you supplement this book with another. I recommend "Persuasion" by Doug Wilson. Wilson's book is all application (with little or no theory) which is filled with sampled dialogues. So...Pratt's Very Short Book with Wilson's Very-Very Short Book...this combo packs a punch for anyone who wants an intro. in apologetics!!!