Friday, September 06, 2013

On Guard (book)

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and PrecisionOn Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description: This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his story of following God’s call in his own life.


My Review: William Lane Craig is a very sophisticated apologist for Christianity and this book is a very sophisticated argument first, for the existence of God and, second, for the historicity of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.

The philosophical arguments for the existence of “God” were the most interesting and compelling in the book. Craig is a professional philosopher who studied under John Hick. The topic of his PhD was Liebniz's cosmological argument for the existence of “God”. And his careful and articulate presentation of the argument and refutation of major criticisms is very persuasive and logically coherent. In addition to these arguments, Craig also presents a moral argument for God's existence.

Craig also studied under the NT scholar Wolfhart Pannenberg and he draws on Pannenberg's scholarship in mounting an argument for the historicity of Jesus Christ.

For me, the philosophical arguments were excellent. I didn't enjoy the arguments for Christ's historicity as much - I have more questions about those than the philosophical arguments. And I thought his justification of Christian claims to exclusivity of salvation through Christ could have been better.
William Lane Craig is a frequent target of atheists and there are times I agree with some of the those criticisms. I can't help believing, however, that some of those criticisms are based on a misunderstanding of Craig's arguments.

If you are looking for a clear, articulate defence of (specifically) Christian belief in the existence of God and the historicity of Christ then this book is a good place to start - for believers and non-believers alike.

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