More New Approaches to Christian Apologetics: A Critique of Recent Works in Apologetic Method

A number of books that either augment traditional methods in Christian apologetics or challenge the validity of those methods have been published in the last decade and a half. Among these are “Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith” by Alister McGrath, “Thinking About Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It” by James Beilby, “Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires & Emotions for Faith” by Clifford Williams, “Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy, and the Catholic Tradition” edited by Andrew Davison, and “Apologetics at the Cross: An Introduction for Christian Witness” by Joshua D. Chatrow and Mark D. Allen. Each of these books is a serious project intended to aid apologists. This paper will assess these works, noting points of agreement and disagreement, but also commenting on how Christian apologists may apply the positive insights of these works. This paper will build on a paper that I read at the 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver that reflected the research I am doing for a chapter on “Alternative Methods in Christian Apologetics” (provisional title) for the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Apologetics, which I am co-editing. This paper will not cover any of the books that I assessed in last year’s paper. However, two books that were listed in last year’s proposal but were not included in my final paper, in order to allow time for Q&A, are again listed in this proposal. If it strengthens the proposal, approximately 100 people (more people than there were chairs in the room) attended last year’s session. Last year’s paper was in the Practical Theology section.

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