Apologetics Primary Source Reader

The second volume of Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader (Crossway 2011) comes out this month.

Edited by William Edgar and Scott Oliphint, the reader collects important texts in the history of apologetics from the Reformation to the present. The volume is divided into four parts: (1) The Reformation, Post-Reformation (Protestant), and Catholic Reformation; (2) Modernity and the Challenge of Reason; (3) The Global Era: Christian Faith and a Changing World; (4) Issues Today and Tomorrow.

At Crossway Books you can read the sample pages, which include the table of contents, introduction, and the first chapter.

It’s a 700-page hardcover. Each section contains a general introduction, with an additional preface to each apologist and their primary material. Each source text is then followed by questions for reflection or group discussion. This is a handy resource. With the current revival of interest in apologetics, it behooves us to understand the historical context of the discipline and how our fathers in the faith responded to the intellectual challenges facing them.

Here are the endorsements:

“The texts here assembled are ‘classics’—not in the sense that they answer all legitimate questions about Christianity, but that, when they were written, they made their readers think hard about the faith, and that they continue to do so today. This is a most worthy collection.”
-Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

“Understanding apologetics as explicating, affirming, and vindicating Christianity in the face of uncertainty and skepticism, Edgar and Oliphint have skillfully selected the best primary sources to introduce us to this ongoing task. Their work fills a gap in scholarly resources and highlights the strength, wisdom, and solidity of the prominent defenders of our faith.”
-J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College; author, Knowing God

“This series on the classical traditions of Christian apologetics is, to my knowledge, unmatched in basic compendia. It will equip and encourage thoughtful Christians to develop equally compelling defenses of the faith in our post-Enlightenment, post-Romantic, post-Postmodern era where global interdependencies plunge many into new varieties of suspicion, contempt, and hostility that demand reasonable and faith-filled encounter, dialogue, and debate.”
-Max L. Stackhouse, De Vries Professor of Theology and Public Life Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

“In an age of historical amnesia such as ours, nothing could be more helpful than to know how the church, in its long march through time, has addressed the opponents of Christian faith. This collection is superbly done and will bring much needed wisdom to our own times.”
-David F. Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Bill Edgar, one of evangelicalism’s most valued scholars and apologists, has given us in this work with Scott Oliphint; a classic destined to be used for generations. I highly recommend it to all who are called to defend the faith.”
-Charles Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship

“For years I have wanted a collection of primary sources in apologetics to use in my classes. Now we have an excellent one. Editors Edgar and Oliphint have made good choices in the selections used. A number of them are fascinating pieces rarely considered today, but very timely.”
-John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

Volume 1 (which traces apologetics from the early church to 1500) is also available on Amazon and Crossway.

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