This post introduces the fourth book in the philosophy challenge that Deena and I began last year.
Contending with Christianity’s Critics.
- ISBN: 978-0805449365; ISBN10: ; B&H Academic; Pages: 304; [Amazon]
This book contains a collection of essays by various apologists, responding to various criticisms of Christian belief.
The previous apologetic book in the series began with high ambitions and a promising premise. In this book, our expectations were set low from the opening paragraph. The editors begin their introduction by pointing out that the recent popular “New Atheist” books are less philosophically and historically solid than much of atheist philosophy, previously and currently. It is these New Atheist books that the current volume aims at.
I can understand the desire to counter the more prominent voices, rather than the stronger ones. And I am sure that, aside from Deena and me (and the others who have accepted Luke’s challenge), very few atheists will be reading this book. It is aimed at other believers and apologists, not at atheists. Nevertheless, the admission that this book aims philosophically low disappointed us.
On the other hand, we looked forward to at least one essay in this volume: Daniel Wallace’s piece critiquing Bart Ehrman on the reliability of the New Testament as a record of historical events. I mentioned in my review of Ehrman’s book that I would like to see what arguments are raised against it, because I am unqualified and not strongly motivated to see for myself any errors he commits. Perhaps this essay would help balance my impression?
Anyway, this is a book of essays, so I will review them individually (for the most part). I will maintain a list of links here pointing forward to the reviews as they go up:
Part 1: The Existence of God
1. Dawkins’s Delusion, by William Lane Craig
2. At Home in the Multiverse? by James Daniel Sinclair
3. Confronting Naturalism: The Argument from Reason, by Victor Reppert
4. Belief in God: A Trick of Our Brain? by Michael J. Murray
5. The Moral Poverty of Evolutionary Naturalism, by Mark D. Linville
6. Dawkins’s Best Argument Against God’s Existence, by Gregory E. Ganssle
Part 2: The Jesus of History (single review for whole section)
7. Criteria for the Gospels’ Authenticity, by Robert H. Stein
8. Jesus the Seer, by Ben Witherington III
9. The Resurrection of Jesus Time Line, by Gary R. Habermas
10. How Scholars Fabricate Jesus, by Craig A. Evans
11. How Badly Did the Early Scribes Corrupt the New Testament? by Daniel B. Wallace
12. Who Did Jesus Think He Was? by Michael J. Wilkins
Part 3: The Coherence of Christian Doctrine
13. The Coherence of Theism, by Charles Taliaferro and Elsa J. Marty
14. Is the Trinity a Logical Blunder? God as Three and One, by Paul Copan
15. Did God Become a Jew? A Defense of the Incarnation, by Paul Copan
16. Dostoyevsky, Woody Allen, and the Doctrine of Penal Substitution, by Steve L. Porter
17. Hell: Getting What’s Good My Own Way, by Stewart Goetz
18. What Does God Know? The Problems of Open Theism, by David P. Hunt
(I will also provide a summary of the volume at the end.)