Saturday, December 26, 2015

GETTING STARTED IN APOLOGETICS: Resources for the Beginner

It has been said that we are in the "Golden Age of Apologetics." I think that that is true. And there has never been more need for it. The result is that there are a dizzying number of apologetics resources. This is your guide for the best resources for getting started in learning about apologetics.

PLACES TO ASK QUESTIONS
*Online Groups: A good online group that is well-moderated, has plenty of interaction and has knowledgeable apologists is an amazing resource. In fact, I think it is the most important resource you can have. I highly recommend you join one. There are many such groups online, but the link above will take you to my top recommendations. 
*Local Groups & Events: Local groups and events are another good place to ask questions, make connections and be encouraged.

EXCELLENT WEBSITES
Interactive Website
*Belief Map by Blake Giunta....A very unique and easy way to navigate the maze of some of the most important areas of apologetics. Highly recommended. Check out the 3-minute video tutorial.
*The Poached Egg: A continually updated source of the best apologetic articles and videos being produced....and the best deals in Kindle books. 
*Apologetics315: Before the days of the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook group, this was my #1 resource for learning about apologetics....and still one of the best resources on the net. Interviews with apologists, book reviews, and more. Check it out.
*The Christian Apologetics Alliance: This website represents a massive network of evangelical Christian apologists from a wide array of denominational traditions. A wealth of resources can be found here. 

APOLOGETICS TV & PODCASTS
TV & YouTube CHANNELS
*The John Ankerberg Show
*Cross Examined
*Reasonable Faith YouTube Channel (also here)

PODCASTS
Cold-Case Christianity: Famous L.A. Cold-Case Detective Jim Warner Wallace
CrossExamined: Dr. Frank Turek
Stand To Reason (STR): Greg Koukl 
Reasonable Faith: Dr. William Lane Craig
Unbelievable?: Justin Brierly moderates informal debates between apologists and skeptics


WHAT TO READ
What to Read First
*The Bible: Reading, knowing and understanding the Bible is of first importance--both for your relationship with God and others and also for you as an apologist. If you don't know the Bible, you don't even know what you are defending. And knowing the Bible well will enable you to answer a majority of the issues that come your way. Check out "My Top Picks" for getting started reading the Bible.
*After the Bible, What Apologetics Book Should You Read First? Clicking on this link will take you to my blog article by that name for 15 books to choose from....or skip that and this next section ("What to Read Next") and scroll down on this page to see "A Simplified List of What to Read."

What to Read Next
  • There are several options here (or see my simplified list below):
  • (a) Read more books from the page What Apologetics Book Should You Read First?--especially the books by David Marshall, Edgar Andrews, C.S. Lewis, and Nancy Pearcey (which are must-reads and are completely unique from the others). 
  • (b) Choose one or more of the "Longer Reads" from that page. 
  • (c) Consider this excellent reading plan at Apologetics315. 
  • (d) If you love to read and are determined to master apologetics, you will want to check out my friend Dr. Timothy McGrew's "A Course of Readings in Apologetics"
  • (e) At some point, I urge you to read the book Tactics by Greg Koukl to learn how to have an effective apologetics conversation with your friends and family.

OR....

A Simplified List of What to Read (in addition to the Bible): 
My Recommendation for the First 7 Apologetics Books You Should Read (plus more):
*Note: Clicking on the titles will take you to Amazon.  I have also linked to Overdrive, which is a service that many libraries use so that you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks. 
1. Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace (288 pages). Available in paperback, Kindle, Audible & Audio CD. Also at Overdrive in ebook & audiobook
2. How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test by David Marshall (210 page). Available in paperback and Kindle only. 
3. Who Made God? by Edgar Andrews (304 pages). Available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle. Also at Overdrive in ebook
4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (266 pages). Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, & Audible. Also at Overdrive in ebook & audiobook. Or you can download it for FREE in ebook or audiobook.
5. Tactics by Greg Koukl (208 pages). Available in paperback, Kindle, Audible & Audio CD. Also at Overdrive in ebook & audiobookAlso at Overdrive in ebook & audiobook.
6. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (480 pages). Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Audible, & Audio CD. Also at Overdrive in ebook & audiobook
7. Choose between I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Geisler and Turek, Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis, or Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig. You will find info and links for them under "Longer Reads" at What Apologetics Book Should You Read First?
8. Then, if you are academically minded and want to master apologetics, begin working your way through Dr. Timothy McGrew's "A Course of Readings in Apologetics". If academics intimidate you, then I recommend you work through the excellent reading plan at Apologetics315. Or, if you are feeling a passion for a specific area of apologetics, then look through my bibliographies for "Specific Areas of Apologetics" at the Master List of Apologetics Resources. And if you do not see a bibliography for the area you are interested in, please leave a comment or message me and I will be glad to help.
9. Get a copy of The Big Book of Christian Apologetics: An A to Z Guide by Norman Geisler. It is a reference book filled with excellent articles for answering your questions about apologetics.
10. At some point, I would really encourage you to read Pascal's Pensees. You can find guidance for that here.
11. You can also find some other very important apologetics books to read for FREE at these links: Top 10 *FREE* Classic, Must-Read Apologetics Books in Ebook and Audio and 10 MORE GREAT APOLOGETICS BOOKS THAT ARE FREE! 


THEN....begin building your Bible & apologetics reference library.

ALSO....check out the huge and growing Master List of Apologetics Resources......
AND the list of 1000s of FREE ebooks & audiobooks for Apologetics & Bible Study....plus millions more for general reading!....
AND the Dozens of FREE Online Classes for Studying the Bible and Apologetics



2 comments:

  1. Love this site and bookmarked. Most of my favorites are here. Almost better than a favorite bookmark because of your excellent networking and vetting. Thanks, Brad Cooper.

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    1. Thanks for your kind and encouraging comments, Joe. :)

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