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on 19 September 1997
For someone starting to read apologetics, this book of Geisler is a very comprehensive and useful book. It deals with all sorts of world views, making the claim for theism, and finally defending the case for christian theism, including the reliability of the scriptures and defending the deity of Christ.
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on 5 June 1998
Geisler gives a foundationalist defense of Christianity: he tries to construct a rational chain of argumentation starting from the Cartesian notion of indubitability all the way to the main doctrines of the Christian faith. Some of the arguments are not bad, but the foundationalist approach practically begs the reader to pick holes in the long chain of reasoning, and in fact it is not hard to find such holes. Even more importantly, foundationalism in general has serious defects, which the reader can find discussed in any Anglo-American textbook on contemporary epistemology. In my opinion, the entire project of giving a rationalist, foundationalist defense of Christianity is misguided; it is not demanded by most Christian theologies or by Scripture and is based on an overly optimistic view of what reason alone can accomplish.
Nevertheless, it is valuable to have such a book around, to demonstrate concretely just how far one can get with such an approach, and to see what its limitations are. Given what he is trying to accomplish, Geisler does a creditable job (though I think Richard Swinburne's books are much better). After reading this book I gained a much clearer sense of what the hardest-to-defend points in the Christian worldview are.
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on 6 March 1998
Contents:
Part One: Methodology
1 Agnosticism
2 Rationalism
3 Fideism
4 Experientialism
5 Evidentialism
6 Pragmatism
7 Combinationalism
8 Formulating Adequate Tests for Truth
Part Two: Theistic Apologetics
9 Deism
10 Pantheism
11 Panentheism
12 Atheism
13 Theism
Part Three: Christian Apologetics
14 Naturalism and the Supernatural
15 Objectivism and History
16 The Historical Reliability of the New Testament
17 The Deity and Authority of Jesus Christ
18 The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
Bibliography
Index
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