Friday, September 04, 2009

Apologetics Primary Source Reader

Here's a new book out that looks great: Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader, edited by William Edgar and Scott Oliphint (Crossway, 2009).

This, the first of two volumes, goes up to 1500 and is in two parts: (1) The Early Church: The Struggle for Vindication; (2) The Middle Ages: The Church Becomes Established.

At WTS Books you can get some sample pages, which contain the table of contents and the introduction.

It's a 500-page hardcover. Each major historical section contains a preface, a time, and a map, then an introduction to each apologist and their primary material. Each source text is then followed by questions for reflection/discussion. I'm not aware of anything quite like this on apologetics.

Here are the blurbs:

"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

"For years I have wanted a book of primary sources in apologetics to use in my classes. Now we have an excellent one in this volume. Editors Edgar and Oliphint have made good choices in the selections used. A number of them are fascinating pieces rarely considered today, but timely, such as Raymond Lull’s critique of Islam."
- John Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

"In an age of historical amnesia such as ours is, 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 Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Understanding apologetics as explicating, affirming, and vindicating Christianity in the face of uncertainty and skepticism, Edgar and Oliphint have skillfully selected the best pre-Reformation sources to introduce us to this ongoing task. Their volume, the first of two, fills a gap in scholarly resources and highlights the strength, wisdom, and solidity of defenders of the faith in earlier times."
- J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College

"This reader 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

"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."
- Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship

The book is also available from Amazon.