Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker Reference Library)
~Norman L. Geisler
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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0801021510
Manufacturer : Baker Academic|
Release data : 01 November, 1998
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A selection of product reviews
Good general apologetic work of the Christian faith
For a lay reader, Giesler's work is a good presentation of the traditional arguments of the Christian faith. As such, it is an "insiders" book -- not likely to persuade other faith traditions to convert, but to educate Christians about what they believe and why.
As such, his presentation of other faith traditions are a little like "straw dogs" and don't deal with them in their complexity. That may be okay for a lay understanding, but for those who are deeply committed to thier faith traditions, the analysis is more complex thatn Giesler treats them. Also, his Bible dating (in particular the New Testament texts) seems out of synch with what I understand to be mainstream Bible scholarship, for instance, dating the Gospel according to John before AD 50.
The above being said, it is my belief that we Christians don't often know whay we say what we say about other faith traditions, much less why we believe what we believe. Giesler's book provides an accessible and persuasive set of defenses of the Christian faith and would be a good addition for anyone who wants to do a better job of articulating their beliefs.
In my humble opinion, the best description of the Christian faith is still Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. It's heavy lifting, to be sure, but focuses more on what we believe and why, rather then why "the other guy" is wrong.
Should Be a Part of Everyone's Library.
An excellent book. Detailed and well documented. A Must Read. Useful for people of all faiths who wish to learn more of the point of view of orthodox Christianity.
Better than IVP's New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics
Two of the three reviews of IVP's New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics included comparisons with Norman Geisler's Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, a volume of similar size and scope. An an owner of both, I would like to offer my own comparison of the two, focusing on the topics that come up most frequently in Christian apologetics, namely the existence of God, the problem of evil, biblical contradictions, miracles, the resurrection, science and the Bible, etc. Coverage by page count for the two volumes are as follows:
_______________________________Baker Encyclopedia_____IVP's New Dictionary
Evidence/Arguments for God____________32-1/2_________________11
Problem of Evil________________________5-1/2__________________3-1/2
Views of Creation/Origins_______________15-1/2_________________4-1/2
Science & the Bible_____________________9_____________________2
Big Bang Theory________________________4____________________1/2
C. S. Lewis____________________________5_____________________1
Salvation of Infants_____________________5-1/2__________________0
In addition, the articles in the Baker Encyclopedia tend to be more structured, with sub-headings, text tables, and numbered lists, which make them much easier to follow and to browse. The articles in IVP's New Dictionary are almost exclusively undifferentiated paragraphs of text.
Furthermore, in the area that I am most familiar with (science & the Bible), the articles in the Baker Encyclopedia are much more informative and balanced.
Therefore, between the two, I recommend Norman Geisler's Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.