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Number of Pages: 150
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)|
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In this primer on apologetics, Henri Blocher helps readers navigate the relationship and tensions between faith and reason.
"Doing apologetics" means presenting arguments to lead people to faith or to con rm them in their faith. After discussing the relationship between faith and reason, the author addresses several of the thorniest questions that trouble our efforts to unify a heart for Jesus with a mind at work:
• How do we combine science and faith?
• Does the Bible contain errors?
• Can we make the Bible say whatever we want?
In discussing all of these issues in Faith and Reason, the author reminds us of the motivations that should prompt us to seek the most persuasive reasons for believing: to make our decision to have faith a responsible one, to increase our love for the people around us, and to bring glory to God.
Jim West4 Stars Out Of 5Faith and ReasonFebruary 7, 2018Jim WestQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4How do we harmonize the findings of science with the revelation of Scripture? Were there errors in the original manuscripts of the Bible? What of those who willfully bend a verse to say whatever they want? Blocher, who is former president of the European Fellowship of Evangelical Theologians, provides a persuasive primer on apologetics.
Hendrickson have sent a copy for review.
This small volume can easily be read in an afternoon and read straight through at that. Engaging and informative, it seeks to guide readers into the basics of apologetics; a task which the author is not ashamed of nor afraid of.
Those familiar with Barths view of apologetics will realize right up front that for Barthians such an art is outside the boundaries of good taste. And yet it is, I think, precisely the Barthians and those uncomfortable with the apologetic enterprise who may benefit most from a reading of this volume.
Blochers writing is homey and familial and it warmly invites readers to view things from his perspective. Here, he begins with a discussion of the relationship between faith and reason. Next, he brings Scripture into the fray and offers some quite helpful remarks concerning its usefulness in discussions with those of a rationalistic bent. He even offers some advice concerning when to call it quits in terms of dialogue with skeptics!
The meat of the book, past these introductory and foundational topics, is a discussion of various objections to the Christian perspective: against those who suggest that the Bible can be made to say anything; against those who see a conflict between faith and science; and against those who deny the miraculous.
Each of these discussions is quite intriguing and whether or not one agrees with either his method or his conclusions, one has to admit that Blocher knows how to make his case.
Blochers little work will not appease those who are looking to find fault with Christianity and it wont convince skeptics to abandon their skepticism and embrace the Christian faith. But it will give Christians a bit of an intellectual footing in discussions with skeptics without hostility or rage and I suppose that, given the acrimonious debates so common in our day about everything under the sun, thats quite an achievement.
For a fuller discussion of the relationship to faith and reason, allow me to recommend, as a sort of follow up volume to Blochers book, Emil Brunners quite industrious Faith and Reason. Beginning with Blocher and moving towards Brunner, those interested in the apologetic enterprise will be well armed and effectively equipped to engage the doubting world.
Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Engaging!September 30, 2017Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Henri Blocher is a respected theologian who delivers here what he calls a primer on apologetics. Though I would disagree with him on a few points, he gives much wonderful fodder for the tension between faith and reason. His style reminds me in some degree of C. S. Lewis. He has a knack for making some deep concepts understandable. This is my first encounter with Mr. Blocher, but rank him as a voice worth considering in the area of practical apologetics.
Chapter 1 is something of a historical survey that describes where weve come from and where we are today. He makes clear how reason has become in conflict with Scripture. He even explains that many of us feel fatigue because we are required to use reason every day. In chapter 2 he exposes rationalism to the light of Scripture. That entails explaining what rationalism is and how its use can never be free of assumptions. He ends the chapter with explicit explanation of what the Bible teaches on the subject.
Chapter 3 is outstanding as he tackles the rationalistic belief that the Bible is a nebulous book twisted to say whatever the current user wants it to say. That leads to a discussion of the biblical text itself and its trustworthiness. The middle of this chapter is extraordinary in its explanation of the rationalists presuppositions that are brought into their conclusions. They see redaction and other things that undermine the trustworthiness of the text because of their own presupposition to reject it. In other words, they present a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Chapter 4 discusses what modern science is, and how a misunderstanding of what it is partly explains why it is so antagonistic to faith. In chapter 5 he disallows the conclusion that scientific research has positively concluded the Bible to be in error. I cant follow him in what appears to be his belief in theistic evolution, or in his explanation of the reality of miracles in how he still downplays a few of them himself, but still there is much food for thought even in that discussion. I can agree, though, with him and his conclusion that the believer is not to press for miracles because the Lord only uses them on occasion to confirm his message.
At only a little over 100 pages, I imagine this is just right for what many people may want to ponder the dilemma that divides faith and reason. I think everyone would be helped by interacting with what is said here, so I recommend this volume warmly.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.