Christian Apologetics: Defend your faith from objections
I have seen it so many times people ask me for a starting point and so I’ve supplied this quick and easy guide that, if you put your mind to it, could put you on your feet within a month. You can certainly watch all the video content in a month! I have based this off my own Apologetics journey and kept it cheap (i.e. minimal level of books required). Enjoy! and stick to the plan!
Step 1: God’s existence
There are a range of arguments for God’s existence. Here I have displayed a range of video introductions to get you started as well as a good book.
A great general introductory book on apologetics and recommended for beginners. This book introduces you into the essential arguments for God’s existence and a basic defense of the Resurrection.
Topics in this book: Meaning, Contingency, Kalam, Fine-Tuning, Morality, Suffering, Historical Jesus, Resurrection, Pluralism
Ready to move onto something more in-depth? why not try Professor Craig’s free lectures of the arguments for God’s existence but in much great depth. Average lecture is 30 minutes in length and there are 34 in total! This will move you towards the intermediate level.
Step 2: Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth
The core of Christian belief is the resurrection and so a strong defence is required for it’s plausibility. Check out these videos and the book recommendation.
Probably the best book you could read on the resurrection. This book takes you through the method, evidence and responses to the resurrection argument. It’s simple to learn, easy to recite, ease to defend.
Topics in this book: Resurrection, Naturalism
Ready to move onto something more in-depth? Well, there’s plenty more books and plenty more evidence. Checkout these books.
NT Wrights massive work on his exploration of the origins of Christianity, looking at other worldviews and proving that Christianity is not based on pagan, nor other belief systems of the early period.
Topics in this book: Christian Origins, Resurrection
Licona’s work in this looks into the weighing of evidence with regards to miracles, investigates the evidence for the resurrection from the best sources and weighs up the multiple hypothesis presented. A nice followup to Habermas’ book.
Topics in this book: Resurrection
This short book looks at the multiple stories of the resurrection as recorded in the Gospel and sorts out the ‘supposed’ contradictions and what’s really going on.
Topics in this book: Resurrection, supposed contradictions
Step 2: (Optional) The Historical Jesus
I don’t think a beginner needs too much on this. The topic certainly is one you can spend time on when you’re more advanced in. These three videos give you an overview. The third being about the historical enterprise (Which is a waste of time but it’s the game some scholars play and is good to be aware of).
Step 3: New Testament reliability
Although we can actually make the case without doing this, it makes complete sense as a christian to want to defend the reliability. Here’s a playlist of videos and a good book to get you started.
A great overview book particularly on it’s contents on the New and Old Testament from how Bible manuscripts were made to thorough defences of it’s reliability. A wonderful companion for the new Christian Apologist, a necessity I would say.
Topics in this book: Resurrection, Historical Jesus, Reliability of the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament
Step 4: Pascals Wager
This helps you put it all together and I’ve got articles on this on my site here. But for your sake I shall place videos below to get yourself kitted out. This is your ribbon argument parcelling previous arguments together.
Pascals Wager has been misinterpreted so many times and Michael Rota’s book is here to clear up the confusion. With the arguments for God’s existence in the back of your mind and the Christian resurrection, you’re ready for this book.
Step 5: Your conversations
Now.. How do you talk about apologetics? To your friends? Online? Well, you need a gameplan to discuss your Christian convictions and it’s impossible for you to be a Christian defender and not read the book I will recommend here.
The clues in the title. This book will help the Christian have better conversations, shifting the questions you ask in the right direction and stop you from falling into the trap of answering all the questions, rather than being the questioner. This makes you a better researcher and more respectable in conversation generally.
Topics in this book: Conversation, discussion
Step 6: Ethical issues
There are complicated questions which come up in discussion all the time. Questions which are ethical or cultural. I’ve suggested two essential books to get you going. Also give this interview a go too for a preview.
Fast becoming one of my all times favourites, Rebecca goes into depth with many sources tacking twelve of the most divisive questions involved with Christians
Topics in this book: Diversity, pluralism, morality, violence, Bible literalism, women, science, homosexuality, slavery, suffering, hell
A book covering identity from many corners. Nancy here is explaining the broad strokes of a picture painted by culture and where it is driving us to. These topics cover the territories of abortion, euthanasia, what it means to count as human, sex as a commodity, homosexuality, transgenderism and philosophies behind the modern forms of the liberal movement.
Topics in this book: Humanity, Abortion, Euthanasia, sexuality, homosexuality, transgender
A toolkit to help you study
So here are some tips to help you as an apologist:
- Get the Kindle app: Books tend to be cheaper, you can highlight on it and reading is generally faster!
- Speech Texter: Use this to type up your notes with your voice! it’s free!
- Audible app: Listen to books on the go and as you get better you’ll be listening to them at faster speeds!
- Google docs: Use documents/spreadsheets/slideshows to organise your apologetic material and learning
- Apps: there are so many fantastic organisation apps for a Christian beyond Google docs
- Miro: Make interactive moodboards & collaborate with others
- Done app (Iphone only): Make yourself task by task repeatable objectives to organise your schedule
- iCatcher: Paid podcast app with so many customisable features. Best podcast app out there
- Canva: Design your designs (I use it on instagram and for post designs generally. It’s much quicker than photoshop
What this toolkit overall will give you are firm defences for God’s existence, arguments for the resurrection, why Christianity is the only way, how to dialogue, discuss ethical issues and make a packaged case for Christianity.