Answers at your fingertips
The Bible instructs Christians to “always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). But with so many competing belief systems out there – from Wahhabism to Rastafarianism – it’s good to know where to go for help.
There are many outstanding books and web resources that may help you earnestly contend for the faith. Here are a few of my favorites.
On Mormonism. Mormonism 101 and Answering Mormons’ Questions, both by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, are excellent books that address key issues pertaining to the LDS Church in easy to understand language. McKeever’s website, www.mrm.org (Mormonism Research Ministry), is filled with helpful tools.
On Jehovah’s Witnesses. Ron Rhodes has put together a helpful book that provides biblical responses to questions from our friends in the Watchtower. It’s called Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. David Reed has authored two useful books: Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse and Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses Subject by Subject.
On Islam. Two of the best – and easiest – books to read are What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White and The 10 Things You Need to Know About Islam by Ron Rhodes. Encountering the World of Islam, edited by Keith E. Swartley, provides a more detailed study of the development of Islam, expressions of Islam, Christianity and Islam, and a Christian response to Islam.
On Judaism. Michael L. Brown’s four-volume series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, is a classic Christian response to modern Judaism – and it’s easy to read. It covers general and historical objections; theological objections; Messianic prophecy objections; and New Testament objections.
On world religions and cults. So What’s the Difference? by Fritz Ridenour offers a brief overview of 20 worldviews, faiths and religions and how they compare to Christianity.
On Christian faith. Lee Strobels’s books are popular because they are well written, respectful, and intelligent. The Case for Christ, The Case for the Real Jesus, and The Case for Faith make the most of Strobel’s investigative reporting skills to build a positive case for Christianity. Strobel may be found online at www.leestrobel.com. Also recommended is What’s So Great About Christianity? By Dinesh D’Souza.
On creation and evolution: Strobel’s The Case for Creation is exceptional. Other books written for laypersons include: Tornado in a Junkyard by James Perloff; The Creation Answer Book by Hank Hanegraaff; and Darwin on Trial and Defeating Darwinism, both by Phillip E. Johnson.
On wrestling with tough questions. Good resources include: Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler; The Reason for God by Timothy Keller; The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe; and the series of “Hard Sayings” books by Intervarsity Press.
On the reliability of Scripture: Two excellent books are Has God Spoken? By Hank Hanegraaff and How We Got the Bible by Neil R. Lightfoot. The best book I have read on Bible translations is Dave Brunn’s One Bible, Many Versions.
Apologetics resources and theology: Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis lays a good foundation for defending the Christian faith, as does the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is a popular resource, as is Norman Geisler’s four-volume work by the same title.
Recommended websites: Useful apologetic websites include www.carm.org (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry); www.marketfaith.org (Marketfaith Ministries); www.rzim.org (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries); www.reasonablefaith.org (Reasonable Faith with William Lane Craig); and www.thepoachedegg.net (Ratio Christi’s Christian Worldview & Apologetics Network).
Don’t forget the MBC’s apologetics website (www.mobaptist.org/apologetics). And there are more links and free resources on my blog at www.oncedelivered.net, where I welcome your comments on your favorite apologetics resources.
This column first appeared Sept. 10, 2013, in The Pathway, the news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.