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Handbook of Christian Apologetics Paperback – Nov 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press (Nov 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830817743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830817740
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a full version of the Pocket Handbook for Christian Apologetics written by the same authors. Recently updated with a fresh new cover, it doesn't appear that much else changed. Yet this has been considered a classic on the subject since its publication back in 1994. Used extensively in Campus ministries, and in both Catholic and Evangelical traditions, this book is very unique. This book used to be required reading for Campus Crusade for Christ Staff in Canada, and because it is an Intervarsity Press book, is used widely in that campus ministry also. Even the Navigators of Canada Resource center always keeps it in stock.

With such wide usage and varied acclaim, this book hardly even needs more of a plug. But it is truly a treasure. It answers hundreds of questions crucial to a deep understanding of Christianity and the claims of Christ. It tackles such large issues as: Do faith and reason conflict? Does God exist? Is the bible myth? Was Jesus more than a man? How can God allow evil to exist? Is there life after death? Miracles? And there are many more.

The sections of the book are:
· Part 1: Introduction
· Part 2: God
· Part 3: God & Nature
· Part 4: God & Grace
· Part 5: God & Glory
· Part 6: Conclusions
The chapters are nearly the same as the Pocket Handbook, and it also contains an extensive bibliography, scriptural index and subject index. These two indexes make the book great as a quick reference guide or for research purposes.

This book will become indispensable in your Christian toolbox. It is a valuable resource and well worth reading through, then going back to again and again. It will give you all the basics of the Christian faith in one book that has all the answers you will need. Check it out. Like all of Kreeft's other works I have reviewed, I would have to highly recommend this book. And I doubt that you will have a complaint after you have worked through it.
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0 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PatrickHGormley on 1 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book and it is the best summary available of Christian apologetics. The book is a demonstration of how poor Christian apologetics is. Above all it shows how Christian thinkers and clergy intentionally mislead their flocks for they repeat arguments for their religion that have been refuted decades ago.

The book simply refuses to deal with or mention any point of view it cannot handle. The weakest argument against the resurrection, that Jesus swooned on the cross and was buried alive and got out of the tomb is selected for criticism. Those who use this theory assume the New Testament is inaccurate. The Christians assume the New Testament is accurate and they try to refute the argument based on that guess. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The Christians oppose that piece of commonsense. But surely they can't oppose the fact that if extraordinary claims are made it is no good to look at some of the angles but not all? To pick out a few objections to the resurrection as the Christians do is just plain manipulative. It is deceitful because if somebody was found guilty of murder when the jury refused to look at all the possibilities we would consider that jury unjust and deceitful. The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus certainly calls on us to be selective with evidence.

What about the idea that the stone at the tomb of Jesus rolled back accidentally or due to earth tremors and the women stole the body?

The claim of the book in chapter 9 that the Bible - and theirs is the Catholic Bible which is more contradictory than the Protestant - is without error is simply a lie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 105 reviews
261 of 275 people found the following review helpful
packs in a lot of information in 400 pages 21 May 2000
By "christianskeptic" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the books that brought me back from the brink of agnosticism. Christianity is a worldview that is based on historical evidence and rational arguments. The Handbook of Christian Apologetics provides a firm basis for defending Christianity by offering a wide range of reasons for belief. It is aimed at both believers and non-believers alike. Its goal is to help believers defend their faith and to help non-believers see the reasonableness of believing in Christianity.
Kreeft and Tacelli write in a lively and intelligent manner. Their train of thought is fairly easy to follow, althought it wouldn't hurt if the reader has a bit of knowledge of philosophical terms under her belt. The authors begin with a look at faith and reason. They note how both are vital, and that faith and reason can never contradict each other.
In the following chapters they tackle topics such as, Does God Exist? (they offer 20 arguments for the existence of God), The Problem of Evil, The Divinity of Christ, Life after Death, Objective Truth, just to name a few. Each chapter is followed by a number of discussion questions to help the reader digest and cogitate on what was just read. A bibliography is provided for those who wish to delve more deeply into each of the subjects presented. The authors confine themselves to the core beliefs common to all orthodox Christians. As a result, this is a book that can be read and used by all orthodox denominations and traditions.
One section I found particularly interesting was where they discuss how a person receives salvation by asking if a good pagan like Socrates could have been saved. Another good section (there's so many of them) is where they discuss free will in the chapter on evil. For example, they write, "the simplest argument for the existence of free will is observation of how we use words. We praise, blame, command, counsel, exhort, and moralize to each other. Doing these things to robots is absurd. We do not hold machines morally responsible for what they do, no matter how complicated the machines are. If there is no free will, all moral meaning disappears from language - and from life."
I highly recommend Handbook of Christian Apologetics for all who have ever yearned for answers to life's most important questions.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Best Single Apologetics book - must for Christian library 28 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think the two books that best speak to a modern audience regarding the truth of Christianity are Lewis' Mere Christianity and Kreeft and Tacelli's Handbook of Christian Apologetics. They compliment each other well. If you know a hardened skeptic, Mere Christianity can get the camel's nose under the tent, and then Handbook can mop up any remaining questions. I had developed a curiousity regarding Catholic apologetics several years ago and an interest in Kreeft's work. I was excited when Handbook was released. I was not disappointed. Lucid, accessible and comprehensive. I read and re-read sections constantly. I have used the arguments for the existence of God many times and refer to The Handbook to answer questions of skeptics in real life and in on-line correspondence. A must for any Christian library. Can't praise it enough. If you like this but want more depth, you might want to read his Summa of the Summa. Very difficult but worthwhile. It's used to train priests in many seminaries.
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A thinking book that is worth the read 28 July 2000
By E. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although I am not Catholic and did not agree with every one of the authors' conclusions, I must say that this book is a good overall defense of the historic Christian church. I appreciate that these men were Christian first and Catholic second, and so there were no real noticeable diatribes on the issues that could separate Catholics and Protestants. Their reasoning was extremely sound, in the vast majority of cases, and I have even used some of their information (i.e. 20 reasons for the existence of God) in lecture notes in a Christian apologetics class that I teach. A book like this and When Skeptics Ask by Geisler work well side by side on the old bookshelf, and it's a wonderful experience to compare the two books on a number of parallel issues. It's well worth the read, for both the Christian and the skeptic who has never challenged himself to compare his beliefs with the teachings of Christianity.
113 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Excellent discussion book, but weak in certain areas 11 Aug 2000
By Gromit Wallaby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for discussion groups (includes great, thought-provoking discussion questions at the end of each chapter) and an excellent overview of Christian apologetics with a good list of recommended reading in the appendix. Also, the chapters on Hell and Heaven are perhaps the best I've read (even though the information in these chapters is based mostly on quotes from C.S. Lewis) On the downside, being that the authors are both professors of philosophy, I would have expected more information about reasoning, logical fallacies and the nature and limitations of proof. I think the majority of apologetic problems can be dealt with if people understood what consistutes a valid argument to begin with as well as the common fallacies BOTH believers and skeptics fall for. Also, some of the objections they grapple with in the book are dismissed a little too easily --- especially with the arguments for God's existence. While many of their replies may be effective for someone with little philsophical knowledge, they are often too simplistic for answering more sophisticated and philosophically-informed objections. This is a great introductory book, but readers seriously interested in apologetics and in answering intellegent objections to the Christian faith, will need to dig much deeper into these issues.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Informative and engaging 28 Nov 2006
By CDS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is fairly comprehensive in scope, and yet detailed in presentation. The topics covered range from the nature of God to Salvation. Each topic is presented and then disected, and rational explanations, often step by step, are given as to why Christians believe it, and why it must be so.

The writing is very clear and engaging, and I found the book not only extremely informative but also enjoyable to read. I suppose you can read it straight through as I did or use it as a reference when questions arise.
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