Three Books of Christian Apologetics
As a Christian I have always been made a little uneasy by the concept of Christian Apologetics. Why should anyone have to apologize for the truth? More recently, however, I have taken the time to actually read some books on the subject.
Jesus On Trial
In September, 2014, David Limbaugh published Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel which I saw advertised as part of a significant marketing campaign. I was intrigued, bought a copy, and read it. I was impressed and overwhelmed by the volume and variety of the evidence presented for the existence of Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The book does an excellent job demonstrating that the Christ Jesus presented in the four Gospel books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John truly existed and rose from the dead. It also shows the New Testament we have today has remained virtually unchanged from what was originally written. Also, the information in the New Testament matches up seamlessly with the other information available about events in the world during the time of Christ. Jesus on Trial is a powerful book and worth reading.
Faith on Trial
I get email everyday from bookbub.com with Your ebook bargains for Tuesday (or whatever day of the week it happens to be) listing ebooks that I can get for free or for greatly reduced rates. Faith on Trial: Analyze the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus showed up in one of those emails. I was intrigued by the similarity between Jesus On Trial and Pamela Binnings Ewen’s Faith on Trial. Both authors are lawyers and both were written to present a case for the truth behind Christianity. I paid the limited time bargain price the bookbub.com email told me about and started reading.
Faith On Trial is much more what I expected from a trial than Jesus On Trial. Pamela Binnings Ewen limited herself to the basic core of Christian belief: Did Jesus exist and did He come back to life on the third day after being crucified until dead? Both books present the evidence in a compelling way. I preferred Faith on Trial to Jesus On Trial because I come from an engineering background not a legal one. For me Jesus On Trial was overkill, but I’m a believer so I probably don’t need as much convincing as a skeptic or non-believer. Faith on Trial goes succinctly step by step to prove what it sets out to prove, Jesus Christ truly existed and He rose from the dead on the third day. That is the core of Christianity, without which Christianity becomes merely empty words. Jesus On Trial also leads to the same conclusion: Jesus Christ was a real person, He rose from the dead after His death on the cross. It also goes on to demonstrate that the New Testament we have today has been passed down intact through the ages. This additional demonstration requires that Jesus On Trial has a lot more material for the reader to digest as it seeks to prove a much larger thesis than Faith On Trial
The third book I need to mention is Mere Christianity. CS Lewis looks at Christianity from a somewhat different perspective than Limbaugh or Ewen.
Mere Christianity is the book that resulted from the radio talks by Clive Staples Lewis to the British people during the second world war. The talks built a powerful case for Christianity from an examination of the world around us rather than from the scholarly examination of ancient texts, medical knowledge, archaeological data, and other scientific knowledge common to the approach taken in Faith On Trial and Jesus on Trial.
Mere Christianity is the book I read first. I was already a believer, but found the book to be a powerful reaffirmation of my faith. When Jesus On Trial was being heavily marketed around its publication date I felt a need to see what David Limbaugh had written to compare it to CS Lewis’s earlier writing. Jesus On Trial is a very different book that compares favorably.
After reading Limbaugh and Lewis, as I was contemplating what to say about the two books, I came across Pamela Binnings Ewen and her entry, Faith On Trial. I bought a copy from Amazon for my kindle and found the third book worthy to stand beside the other two.
I have added all three of these books of Christian Apologetics to my personal library and recommend all three to anyone who wonders if there is any truth to Christianity. I also recommend them to those who already believe. They are full of interesting and useful information to help provide answers to the difficult questions from seekers and non-believers.
These three books share something in common. All were written by people who did not believe when they set out. Two were agnostic or skeptical, and CS Lewis was originally an atheist. In the process of researching and writing their books all three became Christians.
I expect to look at more books of Christian Apologetics in the future.