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.

The Library of Historical Apologetics Goes Live

This week, the beta site of the Library of Historical Apologetics was launched:

“At the Library of Historical Apologetics, our mission is to be the world’s leading resource for lay apologists, pastors, students, and scholars seeking historical apologetics materials for self-study, church classes, sermon preparation, and research. Our digital collection currently contains references to about 3,000 items with a focus on works in English from the 17th through the early 20th centuries.

Beyond simply providing access to these materials, our long-term vision is to create a digital learning environment that incorporates personal and collaborative reading, note taking, and study tools. We want to support a community in which more experienced scholars help newcomers find the material they need and construct secondary resources such as curricula, study guides, and course syllabi that can be shared by all users.

This project is directed by Dr. Timothy McGrew, who is Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, where he has taught since 1995, serving as department chairman from 2005-2009. The Institute for Digital Christian Heritage is providing technical and administrative assistance in the form of project planning, implementation and evaluation.”

The project’s goal is to have the full collection available online by the end of the year. This is a great resource for Christians who want to become familiar with the vast heritage of Christian thought. Be sure to check it out.

(HT: Rational Thoughts)