Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Would you like to Read Along with other Christian apologists?

Brian Auten has a plan to get you to read along with other Christian apologists from all over the world.

He writes:

Six months ago Apologetics 315 started a Read Along project with the excellent apologetics textbook Christian Apologetics by Doug Groothuis. (The index can be found here.) It was only 700+ pages. But now it’s time to move on to the next Read Along project.

This time around we’ll be tackling a much shorter book, under 300 pages, just 18 chapters… but it is another excellent book: Is God Just a Human Invention: And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists by Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow. (Hear the interview with the authors here and book review here.)

Why choose this book? For a number of reasons:

First, the quality of the content is excellent. The authors have a wonderful ability to distill key ideas concisely without sacrificing depth. Second, the size is right. The chapters are a manageable size and the book isn’t overwhelming. The diversity of content keeps it fresh, while staying relevant to key apologetic topics. Third, it introduces the reader to the key voices on the apologetic landscape. It also provides helpful pointers to key resources for further reading. This is a great place to get started down the right path in dealing with each particular issue. Finally, this book covers the kind of issues that we deal with everyday in conversation, on the internet, and as we grapple with the issues ourselves.

So what’s the plan? For those who did the Read Along previously, you’ll see that things will flow the same way: Audio will be provided each week with chapter summaries, a PDF study guide, and a place to discuss the reading online.

Okay, so when do we start? We’ll announce that soon. (It will be about two weeks.) But in the meantime, you can pick up the paperback or the Kindle version of the book so you’ll be ready to start.

Looking forward to reading along with you again!

My advice is to go ahead and read the review above, and listen to the interview (both linked above). If the book sounds good, then order it now and we’ll wait to hear more from Brian.

I will be participating in this Read Along, so you’ll have me as company! I have read a few chapters of this book, and I think that the authors communicate maximal knowledge in minimal pages.  My Dad read this book, and he thought it was quite good, as well.

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seven ways for the church to get started with Christian apologetics

From Apologetics 315.

Summary:

Looking to get apologetics into your church? (There’s a podcast about that.) To get started sometimes all it takes is an idea and the vision to make something happen, even if it is small. In Jonathan Morrow’s book Think Christianly (interview here) he lists 21 ways for your church to engage at the intersection of faith and culture. Are you ready to look at just seven of them and think about how you might be able to incorporate them into your own church?

Here are the first two to wet your whistle:

  1. Briefly mention current events relevant to faith and culture and include a reference to an article or blog for further exploration.
  2. Sponsor a debate on the existence of God. Consider partnering with another church to sponsor a live event, or you can show a recent one on a DVD. This will provide opportunities for conversations to occur.

I left this comment on the post:

I like #1! Wooohooo! I have long trumpeted the value of linking what goes on in church with the real world. Not just apologetics and evidence, but current events.

Here is a story showing how linking math to current events interests young people in math.

Link:
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/11562

Quote:
“When families chat about societal issues, they often create simple mathematical models of the events,” says Ming Ming Chiu, a professor of learning and instruction at UB’s Graduate School of Education with extensive experience studying how children from different cultures and countries learn. “Unlike casual chats, these chats about societal issues can both show the real-life value of mathematics to motivate students and improve their number sense.”

The findings, published in the current issue of Social Forces, an international journal of sociology, was the first international study on how conversations among family members affect students’ mathematical aptitude and performance in school. Chiu’s findings were based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; its Program for International Student Assessment collected almost 110,000 science test scores and questionnaires from 15-year-olds from 41 countries, including 3,846 from the U.S.
—-

If it works for math, it should work for Christianity, too. I think so.

That’s one of the reasons why I cover current events relevant to Christianity.

I think that sponsoring Brian Auten would also be a good way to have an impact. He does great work posting all those debates, apologist interviews, lectures and book reviews. I’m sure that he could use the support!

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , ,

Brian Auten reviews William Lane Craig’s new basic apologetics book

Here’s the book review on Apologetics 315.

Excerpt:

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig is an introductory-level text from one of the leading apologists today. Written with the layman in mind, Craig has geared his most powerful arguments found in Reasonable Faith into a more approachable, readable book. It is not only easily accessible for the layman, but the book itself contains illustrations, sidebars, argument maps, and summaries that make understanding and retaining the material an easier task. This review will provide an overview of the content and an assessment of the book’s usefulness for its intended audience.

[...]The book’s included questions provide a good starting point for personal and group study. In sum, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision is a great contribution as a layman’s apologetics textbook. When the study guide is published, this will be a tremendous resource for small groups. Highly recommended – excellent content, very accessible to the layman, and well-suited for small group use.

The actual review goes over the 10 chapters in more detail, and talks about specific features that make the book more useful for beginners. My Dad is reading Reasonable Faith, 3rd. edition right now, and he skipped a lot of the science part. But he still loves to book and he’s into the history now. Maybe I should have gotten him “On Guard” instead? And it’s only $10 from Amazon.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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