Apologetics Books

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Puritan Board Junior
Ok, so I need to expand my knowledge on the subject of apologetics. In what order should I read the following books?

  1. Apologetics to the Glory of God, Frame
  2. Revelation and Reason, Oliphant
  3. Reason for The Faith, Oliphant
  4. Van Til's Apologetic, Bahnsen

I own all of them. I'd appreciate any advice :)


Puritan Board Sophomore
Well, I read this some time ago and though I might wait for a response before I piped in. All writers are excellent and offer somewhat different perspectives. I've read #1 and #4 as well as Oliphint's "The Battle Belongs to the Lord", but not the other two you list. I'd just read them all. YOu will come away much wiser.

The Calvin Knight

Puritan Board Freshman
Begin with 1 because it's a good overview of apologetics; then 4, great overview on presuppositional apologetics; then, 2(does require some exegetical knowledge at certain points); and finally 3. I recommend 3 last because it is more philosophically rigorous than the others and requires a basic understanding of metaphysics and epistemology. If you don't have any kind of background in philosophy it may be hard to follow at times. I found it had a good discussion on the relation of theology and philosophy.


Puritan Board Sophomore
my :2cents:

When I set out to learn apologetics, I too bought books by Bahnsen and Oliphint. I read them and re-read parts that I couldn't understand, to no avail. The reason was that I didn't have any grasp of the basic philosophical issues.

Then I read Russell's "Problems of philosophy" (small booklet, should be available for just a couple of dollars) and C.E.M. Joads' "Guide to philosophy" (basically an expanded version of Russell's book) and after that I could easily see the logic of the arguments of Bahnsen and other apologists.

At least for me, my mind needed to be wrenched open a little bit before studying Bahnsen for example.

Anyhow, it might be that I am slower than other folk, but in case you feel you get stuck with the textbooks you mention I would recommend Russell's book as "side-reading". It can be of great profit, and won't take much of your time or money.


Puritan Board Doctor
Bahnsen's "Always Ready" is shorter and slightly easier - and also more hands on re doing apologetics - than "Van Til's Apologetic", which is nevertheless a good intro to Van Til.


Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't bother with presuppositional apologetics.

Get yourself some William Lane Craig or something along those lines. And you can listen to very helpful lectures on this website: The Veritas Forum
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