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Defending Your Faith: An Introduction [Kindle Edition]

R.C. Sproul
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There is a widespread belief that reason and faith are incompatible and opposed to each other. Faith is viewed as subjective, emotional, a crutch for those who find the real world too hard. Though many of the world’s finest minds hold this view, the Bible teaches that it is the fool who says there is no God.

Dr. R. C. Sproul clearly and simply argues that at its core Christianity is rational. He focuses on defending the basic truth claims for two of the most crucial issues of apologetics: God’s existence and the Bible’s authority.

In this primer of apologetic thought, Dr. Sproul affirms four logical principles that are necessary for all real discussion and teaches you how to defend your faith in a faithless world. Using the writings of church fathers and philosophers throughout the ages, he uncovers the common ideologies that work against faith.

The defense of the faith is not a luxury or an intellectual vanity. It is a task appointed by God that you should be able to give a reason for the hope that is in you as you bear witness before the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1581345194
  • Publisher: Crossway (1 Sept. 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0024NP646
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #354,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book! 28 Jun. 2014
I have read this book and I have found it very helpful for any one who is interested in defending the existing of God. R C Sproul did a very good job in this book by making especially the difficult terms easy to understand as well as the philiosphicals arguments for the existing of God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 6 Sept. 2013
By T. Ade
Came really early. Great condition. I look forward to reading this after it was recommended via ChaseGodTV's YouTube channel. No complaints!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics 26 Sept. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Mention the word Apologetics to your average Christian and know what happens? At best, you get that deer-in-the-headlights gaze as a response. At worst, you're told that Apologetics has to do with being sorry. Granted, if Christian Apologetics were about being remorseful, Dr. R.C. Sproul (Sr.) would write a read-worthy book on the subject. Truth be told, Sproul couldn't be boring if he tried. Christian Apologetics, however, is about providing a rational defence of Christianity's truth claims.

If you are a Christian and feel yourself lacking when your friends or family or colleagues challenge what you believe, you could scarcely find a better primer on how to respond than what is offered in _Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics_. The book consists of twenty-three chapters. But - and this is important - each chapter is little more than five pages in length. Combine the chapter length with Sproul's readable style and unique ability to communicate complex Christian truth claims clearly, and what you have is a palatable and helpful book. As a testimony from my own experience, I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it.

After dealing with some preliminaries (e.g. the biblical mandate for Christian Apologetics, the inability of Christian Apologetics to convert a non-Christian apart from the Holy Spirit, etc.), Sproul lays out the four pillars of knowledge, namely, the law of non-contradiction, the law of causality, the basic reliability of sense perception, and the analogical use of language. In so doing, Sproul points out that non-Christians have to undermine at least one of these pillars when denying Christian truth claims. Some very helpful examples from the history of philosophy are proffered. For example, Sproul provides a brief analysis of two of the greatest sceptics of modern thought, namely, David Hume and Immanuel Kant.

As an aside, it is refreshing to come across a theologian like Sproul, who can hold his own in the world of philosophy. Granted, some may argue that Sproul oversimplifies betimes. But remember you philosophy buffs out there: _Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics_ is a primer just as the title suggests. Regardless of one's assessment of Sproul, however, it ought to be patently obvious that he has a broad knowledge and profound understanding in a wide range of areas. It should come as no surprise, then, that Sproul is the Christian thinker who communicated privately with Carl Sagan in scientific and philosophical matters prior to the latter's death.

Following the introduction of the four pillars of knowledge, Sproul addresses the two issues that, when established as true, account for ninety percent of the apologetic task, so we are told (p. 196): The existence of God and the authority of the Bible. I would like to speak more of how Sproul approaches the existence of God and the authority of the Bible, but I don't want to spoil all the fun! Sproul's take on the existence of God, for example, I found particularly stimulating.

As with any of Sproul's books, you will not be disappointed if you decide to purchase _Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics_. This book would be a great gift for a young Christian entering college or university.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A RESTORATION OF FAITH 2 Feb. 2006
By S. Carter - Published on
Outstanding! For any and all, christian and non-christian that hold to the notion that faith and reason are opposites of each other, I highly recommend this book. I have always been a christian however this book revealed truths to me that have stimulated a new and revitalized reason for believing. It also has revealed to me the half-truths that permeate the philisophical world and has helped me understand where many of the false notions and concepts dealing with the existence of God originated.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical Apologetics 12 Oct. 2010
By Paul A. Nelson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent introduction to apologetics that places the bulk of the emphasis on the philosophical arguments typically used against theists. Essentially this is apologetics that focuses to begin with not on Scripture, but on epistemology. How do we know what we can know? This has been a critical arena for non-theists seeking to discredit the possibility of a God without the necessity of dealing with any particular god.

Sproul deals with the major epistemology topics of the law of noncontradiction, causality, the reliability of sense perception as a means for gathering knowledge, and finally the analogical use of language. He then moves on to an overview of key voices on the topic of natural reason and faith. He then moves on to offer the four basic explanations for why there is *stuff* - you, me, the earth, the universe, lemurs, what-have-you. Does *stuff* really exist at all or is it an illusion? If *stuff* is really there, did it get there by chance or by it's own causation? Could it have always been there in one form or another? Or does the fact that *stuff* exists necessitate an uncreated creator that is the source of all the *stuff* we know about today?

Afterwards there are several chapters dealing with key philosophers in the modern period who contributed powerfully (generally in the negative sense) to the discussion of the existence of God. Each is examined in light of the four major issues of epistemology to determine whether they are rationally sound or not. And finally Sproul deals with the reliability and authority of Scripture.

It is this last topic that seems to be the most briefly and inadequately treated, perhaps because Sproul expects that it will be more familiar to his readers. It is in this section that there are more dots that appear to be unconnected - or connected only tenuously. There is valuable material here, but it could have been dealt with a bit more thoroughly.

If you aren't well-versed in philosophy, this book is an excellent primer with a target of educating Christians to feel more adept at engaging non-theists on the topics that non-theists often choose for their rejection of theism. Sproul writes engagingly and accessibly. There are sections where he quotes Scripture rather extensively, but in other areas he deals with the topic purely from a rational standpoint - since that is how the apologist is going to need to engage the non-theist.

An excellent introduction to an important and often neglected aspect of apologetics.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for the money, great "primer" for the study of Apologetics 5 Mar. 2014
By Our old house - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sproul's "Defending Your Faith" is the book I most frequently refer to when a student wishes to learn more about Apologetics when that is not his/her primary discipline.

"Start here," I recommend, "then come back if you want to know more and I'll direct you to other writers."

Simply put, this is a great book for introducing people to the study of Apologetics. The writing is of a level that it does not insult the reader's intelligence yet it also looks at the subject from a high enough point of view that the reader avoids getting overwhelmed. Sproul's trademark "western civilization lens" and Reformed Theology is of course at work, but for this teacher who usually deals with students coming from a western civilization-influenced background, that's fine, and the Reformed Theology background is easily covered by letting the student know what he/she is going to be reading on the front end.

Is this the definitive, end-all authoritatively detailed textbook on Apologetics? Of course not, and one should not expect to purchase that type of book for the price one spends on "Defending Your Faith." But it IS a very valuable addition to Apologetics studies and I recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for Non-Christians: Still Worth Reading 10 Nov. 2014
By explanoite2 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review is written towards potential buyers who do not already agree with the Christian outlook, or even firmly disagree; whether the reader is completely ignorant of philosophy or an experienced logician.
The book sets out to achieve two main goals: demonstrate that one does not have to be irrational to believe in a powerful, supernatural, and invisible entity, and that the Bible is an accurate source of knowledge on matters both historical, spiritual, and cosmic, including the specific characteristics of this higher being.
Sproul lays outs a solid case for the existence of a being of immense power with attributes far beyond our own and shows how one can reach this belief through observation of the real world and logic. I found a few parts of this argument to be either incomplete, incorrect, or simply too confusing for me to understand (I wish I could list examples, but I'd have to repeat the entire argument here to meaningfully explain my issue with it, and this review is far too long as is), and therefor don't agree that the purely logical argument presented in this book is firm proof that an omnipotent God MUST exist. He certainly demonstrates that something like the Christian god is logically POSSIBLE, but as far as I can comprehend he does not rule out that an unthinking force most people would be justified as labeling "higher physics" is the highest power in reality; yet neither of these two choices is more inherently rational or supported by modern knowledge and observations than the other. He is NOT saying that anybody who believes in god is rational or that their arguments are solid, and in fact points out the irrationality of some common pro-god arguments or beliefs.
What most reviewers will likely have trouble with is Sproul's continual assertion that all non-theists (not simply atheists) are inherently biased AGAINST the existence of a perfect higher being, and therefor anyone who does not agree with Christianity is intellectually dishonest. Thankfully his core arguments exist independently from this belief; if theists are expected to endure Richard Dawkins' condescending tone in The God Delusion, non-theists should be able to see past this claim to the relevant points.

In short, he succeeds in backing the claim that one does not have to be ignorant, foolish, or divorced from Science and Reason to believe in God with a capital G.

As for his second goal, his logic is much tighter and easier to follow, with the significant caveat that he does not prove the collection of writings known as the Christian Bible are historically accurate and authoritative, but uses it as an opening premise. He makes occasional references to other sources when explaining how accurate Scripture is, but still one has to mostly take his word for it if this book is the only information a person has available. Admittedly, there is no easy and succinct way to verifiably state archeology as a whole confirms or denies Biblical claims, or whether modern texts are the same as the original writings. Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell is likely the closest one can get on EITHER side of the argument, and that book is essentially a massive bibliography with summaries. So in this particular case while I do not hold this missing link in Sproul's argument against his rationality, I cannot honestly say that, strictly within the bounds of this book, he completes an airtight argument. IF the Bible is as accurate as he claims, THEN his logic very powerfully argues that a higher entity not only exists, but that it is in line with the central tenets of modern conservative Christianity.
Overall, while there are holes in his arguments, I still give this book 4 stars for anybody who is interested in philosophy, rationality or metaphysics. Even if one disagrees with all of his end conclusions, the 4 Principles of Knowledge in section 2 in of themselves are worth a read.
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