Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case For Biblical Faith by Dr. Douglas Groothius has been one of my favorite go-to apologetics books for many years (2011). Dr. Groothius and IVP Academic released a second edition last year (2022) and I highly recommend it to you. Whether you have the first edition or have never read the book, buy it!
Christian Apologetics, Second Edition is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject available today. I say comprehensive because it is at 848 pages. The First Edition is also comprehensive at 752 pages. Both books are priced about the same, so the cost of the Second Edition should not be an issue to you.
Even if you own the first edition, I think you’ll find the updated and added material worth having the second edition. Here’s how the author explained his reasoning:
I owe the reader an account of why there is a second edition of Christian Apologetics. This already-large book (which I call the “doorstop” or “the brick”) has grown even larger. A necessary condition for a second edition was that the first edition sold so well and has been used in many seminaries and Christian colleges. So the demand was there. For that, I am grateful to God.
After teaching my book for several years, I realized that I had omitted significant material, that chapters needed to be updated, and that certain material could be omitted. Some chapters remain nearly the same as the first edition (such as “The Ontological Argument”), but most have been significantly updated and revised.
The heft of this already hefty book is due largely to the addition of seven new chapters: “Original Monotheism” challenges the claim that monotheism evolved from primitive animism or polytheism, something taught in many religion classes at universities. “The Argument from Beauty” is an aesthetic-design argument that may touch people that more technical design arguments may not. “Doubt, Skepticism, and the Hiddenness of God” concerns questions of whether there is sufficient evidence for Christianity, given so much unbelief. Perhaps the most important additions are two chapters on the atonement, “The Atonement: Stating It Properly” and “The Atonement: Defending It.’
I agree that these and other new chapters are great additions to an already great book about Christian Apologetics. I am enjoying the process of going through a second edition of a book I have found very helpful in ministry. I believe you will as well.
ABOUT DOUGLAS GROOTHUIS
Douglas Groothuis (PhD, University of Oregon) is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including Philosophy in Seven Sentences, Unmasking the New Age, Truth Decay, On Pascal, On Jesus, and Walking Through Twilight: A Wife’s Illness—A Philosopher’s Lament. He has written for scholarly journals such as Religious Studies, Sophia, Research in Philosophy and Technology, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Philosophia Christi, as well as for numerous popular magazines.
You can also read a special conversation on Christian apologetics with Douglas Groothuis.
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction: Hope, Despair, and Knowing Reality
Part One: Apologetic Preliminaries
1 The Biblical Basis for Apologetics
2 Apologetic Method: Evaluating Worldviews
3 The Christian Worldview
4 Distortions of the Christian Worldview—or the God I Don’t Believe In
5 Truth Defined and Defended
6 Why Truth Matters Most: Searching for Truth in Postmodern Times
7 Faith, Risk, and Rationality: The Prudential Incentives to Christian Faith
Part Two: The Case for Christian Theism
8 In Defense of Theistic Arguments
9 Original Monotheism
10 The Ontological Argument
11 Cosmological Arguments: A Cause for the Cosmos
12 The Design Argument: Cosmic Fine-Tuning
13 The Argument from Beauty
14 Origins, Design, and Darwinism
15 Evidence for Intelligent Design
16 The Moral Argument for God
17 The Argument from Religious Experience
18 The Uniqueness of Humanity: Consciousness and Cognition
19 Deposed Royalty: Pascal’s Anthropological Argument
20 Doubt, Skepticism, and the Hiddenness of God
21 Jesus of Nazareth: How Historians Can Know Him and Why It Matters—by Craig L. Blomberg
22 The Claims, Credentials, and Achievements of Jesus Christ
23 The Atonement: Stating It Properly
24 The Atonement: Defending It
25 Defending the Incarnation
26 The Resurrection of Jesus: Prolegomena on Miracles
27 The Resurrection of Jesus: The Evidence
28 In Defense of the Church
Part Three: Objections to Christian Theism
29 Religious Pluralism: Many Religions, One Truth
30 Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam
31 The Problem of Evil: Dead Ends and the Christian Answer
32 Lament as Apologetic for Christianity
Conclusion: Take It to the Streets
Appendix 1: Hell on Trial
Appendix 2: Apologetic Issues in the Old Testament—by Richard S. Hess
People are hungry for hope. They want to understand our human condition―its origin, nature, purpose, and destiny. The Christian faith offers hope for individuals and the entire universe, grounded in absolute truth. But how can we know that Christianity is true? And how can Christians confidently present their beliefs in the face of doubts and competing views?
In this comprehensive text, Douglas Groothuis makes a clear and rigorous case for Christian theism. Demonstrating how apologetics must be both rational and winsome, he addresses the most common questions and objections people raise regarding Christianity. After laying a foundation with the biblical basis for apologetics, apologetic method, and a defense of objective truth, he presents key arguments for the reality of God, a case for the credibility of Jesus, and evidence for the resurrection. Groothuis also evaluates alternative views and responds to challenges such as religious pluralism and the problem of evil.
The second edition of this landmark work has been updated throughout to address current issues and sources. It includes new chapters on topics such as doubt and the hiddenness of God, the atonement, the church, and lament as a Christian apologetic. To know God in Christ, Groothuis argues, means that we desire to make Christian truth available to others in the most compelling form possible. Students, ordinary Christians, and seasoned philosophers will all find a wise guide for this endeavor in Christian Apologetics.
Douglas Groothuis is a master of Christian apologetics. In this comprehensive guide, he positions apologetics within a Christian worldview, answering the thorny questions that thoughtful people are actually raising about the credibility of the faith. These are not simply academic questions but the questions to which people need answers if they are to stand firm against the assaults of skepticism and agnosticism. We can do better than simply hope that Christianity is true. As Groothuis demonstrates, solid evidence and sound philosophy make a convincing case that Christianity is indeed true. This book draws on many years of teaching and writing about apologetics by the author, distilling the most effective arguments in defense of the Christian faith. — William A. Dembski, author of The Design Inference
The first edition of Groothuis’s massive work, Christian Apologetics, rose quickly to the top of the pack. But this revised second edition is over the top. Encyclopedic in its range, careful and precise in its argumentation, and readily accessible to a wide audience, this is the go-to book in Christian apologetics. Since it is thoroughly updated and expanded with important new topics, if you have the first edition, you really need to get this one. Thanks go to Groothuis for exerting such a Herculean effort to bring us up to date and serve God’s people. — J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and author of A Simple Guide to Experience Miracles
Douglas Groothuis’s Christian Apologetics is a substantive and immensely valuable resource. It not only sets forth an impressive, comprehensive case for the Christian faith, but interwoven throughout are important personal, cultural, and existential considerations and applications embedded in a context of robust engagement with Scripture and theology. The result is a wonderfully multifaceted and holistic treatment of apologetics. A pleasure to recommend! — Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and coauthor of The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas
Christian Apologetics has become my go-to resource for people who want an introductory book on defending the faith. It is understandable and interesting for students, but it also has depth for those already trained in apologetics. I have used it as a text for advanced high school students as well as grad students. I have been recommending it for years, and this update is even better. — Sean McDowell, associate professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and coauthor of Evidence That Demands a Verdict
The work of Douglas Groothuis has been invaluable to me as a Christian believer and ‘case maker.’ I immediately purchased the first edition of this award-winning book and readily consumed it, page by page, as a concise, accessible, and thorough defense of truth and Christianity. Over the next several years, I tracked along with Douglas’s personal journey and turned to his writing repeatedly to understand the relationship between hope and truth. The second edition of Christian Apologetics is a must-read for every Christian, especially in turbulent times when hope seems elusive. Read this book, grow in your Christian confidence, and allow the truth of Christianity to fill you with hope and optimism. — J. Warner Wallace, Dateline-featured cold-case detective and senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case For Biblical Faith, Second Edition, Douglas Groothius, IVP Academic, 2022, 848 pages
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