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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to get better at asking questions, 15 Aug 2011
This review is from: TACTICS: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Paperback)
How do you go about discussing your faith with others? Do you feel awkward when they raise objections? More likely to back down or endlessly getting into arguments that ultimately seem a bit futile? Then Tactics: A game plan for discussing your Christian convictions by Gregory Koukl could be the book for you.

In essence it's more a book about the art of conversation than about apologetics but you it often is an art and there are lessons that need learning. In fact this is more effective because you don't need to know all arguments against evolution to have positive and disarming conversation with someone who might appear to be an opponent.

So Koukl, who spends his life training and speaking in apologetics, begins with how to ask a well-aimed question, and ask more well aimed follow up questions that shift the burden of proof on to your conversation partner. Koukl also focuses in on the flaws in other people's arguments, lack of logic, or inconsistency that while they don't necessarily prove your point do cause the other person to pause about the validity of what they think. Each tactic is given a name like the Columbo or Just the Facts.

The substance of what Koukl says is very helpful and I learnt a few things about the inconsistencies say in a pro-choice position or the case made for a human morality by a humanist and so there is much to commend it. However, the manner left me a little cold. Don't get me wrong, Koukl consistently called for gentleness, kindness and respect. Stay clear of steam-rolling over people, point scoring, name calling or getting frustrated and angry. All things I've been guilty of in the past. It's more that it all seemed a bit mechanical, a bit hit and run and not chats with your actual friend, next-door neighbour or running partner.

Plus the idea of starting small groups that had the sole idea of learning how to quiz people just seemed a bit daft, I'm not sure I want a church full of Jeremy Paxman-esque inquisitors. Having said that, this is a book I'm keeping because there were some apolgetic gems in there worth referring to especially if you get involved in any kind of debate on a regular basis.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tatics, 17 Feb 2010
By 
E. C. Harmer (Canterbury UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: TACTICS: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Paperback)
I wasn't sure I would like this book - but I did!! It is written to explain answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Christian faith. It is aimed mainly at those who already believe but is useful for a thinking atheist/agnostic. It is clearly set out, the issues are explained but it avoids being patronising.
Eric Harmer
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book highly to orthodox Catholics..., 26 Feb 2011
A Kid's Review
This review is from: TACTICS: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Paperback)
...who are involved in Evangelisation and Apologetics.

As well as helping me debate with non-Christians, this book's also really helped me in debating with non-Catholics and dissenters within our own Church. Catholics have to defend their position cogently and effectively against attack from all sides in a friendly and confident manner. Previously, I was shy and insecure, especially when faced with people who quote 'proof texts' which seem to undermine Catholic teaching, but now realise that, as long as I know my stuff, I can really engage effectively.

Don't worry, the book doesn't contain any explicit defence of Protestant doctrines, but brilliant methods of debating. All other books of this kind merely regurgitate philosophy, especially informal fallacies, and are as dry as dust. Also, they mostly go over the head of normal layfolk or appear just irrelevant. But Greg sweeps these aside, and produces a very readable and understandable application of these academic principles without 'blinding with science'. He is a truly gifted communicator.

I used to make lots of mistakes in discussions which reduced them to raised voices or simply 'talking across' each other - 'agreeing to disagee' - and this book helps you avoid these situations and leave the discussion on friendly terms, but 'with a stone in their shoe', as Greg puts it.

Because the tactics are winsome and not aggressive, it really opens up friendly debate, and I've used them effectively to help Protestants re-think their anti-Catholicism. Using these brilliant Tactics has helped elicit apologies from Protestants and then genuine enquiries as to what the Catholic Church really teaches, rather than the ridiculous myths circulated through their own tradition (yes, they have one!) parroted unquestioningly from Loraine Boettner, Jack Chick, Bart Brewer, and the like. Catholicism and Fundamentalism

Of course, like many atheists, there are some Christians that, even though they claim reason, aren't reasonable, and have 'blind faith' (in 'the Bible' or 'Science'). But, as Greg says, "Truth is Not Ice Cream, and Faith is Not Wishful Thinking", and for those that perceive, or live, truth and faith in these ways, these Tactics will prove almost useless.
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TACTICS: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions
TACTICS: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by KOUKL GREGORY (Paperback - 24 April 2009)
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