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On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision
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On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  487 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Renowned scholar William Lane Craig offers a readable, rich training manual for defending the Christian faith.

This concise guide is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help Christians stand their ground and defend their faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historic...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by David C. Cook (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Mandy Hoffman

If you have ever wondered what apologetics is or if God even exists, then On Guard is the book for you to read. William Lane Craig writes a fairly easy-to-understand book in a fun and easy-reading style that walks you through both of these questions and many more. Besides the good content, the sidebar definitions, quotes, pictures, facts, and the Talk About It boxes make this a wonderfully interactive book.

While this book would be for older teens and adults, and take time to read and p...more
Cathy Cooper
Dr. Craig mentions in his book that if Christians have good arguments in support of their faith, they are less apt to become quarrelsome or upset. Hmmm....this is very telling. I guess Christians did not have very good arguments during the Dark Ages, and when Christians took over the Americas from the Indians. Why didn't they use their "arguments" then too, instead of the rack, or the noose, or the rifle, and so forth?? Well...when they got to Africa, and explained Christianity to the natives, t...more
I highly recommend this book (and the companion DVD) for a small group study. The science chapters are challenging, especially if you aren't mathematically & scientifically inclined, but the results are well worth the effort. I've already used a handful of his points speaking with friends to great effect and my group isn't done with the book yet!
Author: William Lane Craig
Publisher: David C. Cook
March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6488-1
Genre: Inspirational/apologetics

Most people will probably never defend their faith to an atheist, but the Bible says that we should always be prepared. And in this day and age, there are many attacks from the “new atheists,” internet infidels, and all manner of Biblical bashers. With this in mind, there is an increased need for evangelical Christians to be trained to defend their faith.

William Lane...more
Jonathan B
The material is good, save for those parts where his Arminianism and Molinism shine through (chapters 7 and 10). Here you’ll find the usual statements (note: I have the vyrso version of the book, which doesn’t have page numbers, but all the quotes below are from chapter 10):

“[...] in a sense, God doesn’t send anybody to hell. His Desire is that everyone be saved [...] God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell-but we shall send ourselves.”
Except the Bible does...more
Clinton Wilcox
An excellent introduction to several good arguments for God's existence. This book is great for high school and college age kids who don't have the philosophical training behind them. For college graduates and the philosophically-minded, Reasonable Faith would probably be a better choice. But this is a great book to start with.
An excellent, though basic, primer on Christian apologetics, particularly for those without a background in rhetoric, logic or argumentation. The first half of the book is useful for any believer, Christian or not. The second half of the book deals specifically with evidentiary arguments for Christianity specifically. Craig's explanations of the kalam and fine-tuning logical proofs are particularly enlightening and his discussion of his own conversion are quite interesting.

Anyone who has seen C...more
Jared Totten
William Lane Craig is considered to be one of the top Christian apologists alive today. So when he writes a book on apologetics, I expect it to be well-argued and -reasoned. However, I did not expect it to be so accessible to the average reader.

Yet On Guard, released this week by David C. Cook Publishers, is just that and a whole lot more. This book is ready-made for undergraduate classes, church small groups or any Christian looking for an introduction to the key arguments for Christianity.

More today than ever before Christians need to be prepared to give a defense of their faith – this is where Apologetics and the book, On Guard, come into play.� Most of us don’t know how to defend our faith and when the time comes and we have to we tend to look sheepishly away, get offended, or reply harshly to those questioning us.� Thankfully with William Lane Craig’s book this no longer has to be a problem – we can confidently be prepared to give the reason for our faith and our Hope.

Court Ellyn
I'm giving this 3 stars merely for the fact that I don't think it's accessible to just everyone. Our small group had a tough time with much of the material. In the beginning, it became clear that one would have to understand the laws of physics, astronomy, etc. along with some philosophical and mathematical scenarios to be able to argue these points effectively -- and that your "opponent" would have to understand them just as well to be able to grasp your point and concede the argument. We had a...more
Brent McCulley
Dr. Craig has written an enormously helpful handbook and study-tool, that is a compilation of decades of his laborious work in defending the Christian faith apologetically - written for the layman, in that it is easy to understand, accessible, and also engaging. As I've been a big fan of Dr. Craig and Reasonable Faith for some time now, I've watched almost twenty of his previous debates with numerous worthy philosophers, historians, physicists, ethicist, humanists, Muslims, and atheists, spannin...more
William Lane Craig is a very sophisticated apologist for Christianity and this book is a very sophisticated argument first, for the existence of God and, second, for the historicity of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
The philosophical arguments for the existence of “God” were the most interesting and compelling in the book. Craig is a professional philosopher who studied under John Hick. The topic of his PhD was Liebniz's cosmological argument for the existence of “God”. And his careful and ar...more
I'm not really in any position to critique Craig's apologetics or philosophy, as this is only the second Christian apologetics book I've read. The other one was "Tactics" by Gregory Kokul. Kokul's book was written for people who are already well versed in basic Christian apologetics, but want some "tactics" to communicate them more effectively (as such it was of no use to me).

Conversely, this was a very accessible overview/training manual for the arguments that Craig usually presents in his tal...more
Ryan Manns
I actually struggled with whether or not I should give this book 4 or 5 stars but I decided to go with 5. I thought perhaps 4 stars because William Lane Craig presents many arguments that have already been discussed in his (and many others) previous works. So perhaps half the book isn't necessarily new and probably not as in depth as some of us would like. However, I opted to go with 5 stars because I felt he did an excellent job of introducing the main arguments for God and explaining why they...more
"On Guard", according to Dr. Craig, is a book meant to be studied and not simply read. This is an important point for the reader to always keep in mind while progressing through the text. Treating this work as a textbook is the only way one pulls the full richness from its pages.

Over the course of 10 chapters, Dr. Craig makes several cumulative arguments for belief in God and the truth of the claims of the Christian faith. The scope begins at its broadest -- the universe -- and narrows down to t...more
Luke Brown
Philosophical, scientific, mathematic, logical arguments for the creation of the universe, earth, and life by God, and the existence and resurrection of Jesus. These can not only strengthen the faith of believers, but help them defend their faith and point out the errors and inconsistencies of the arguments of non-believers and skeptics. I love arguments like this and it is important for Christians to engage the world and culture to create a climate that continues to consider Christianity as a v...more
Too self-contradicting, too arrogant. If Craig is really the greatest apologist of our generation (as the book echoes repeatedly) then modern Christianity is in some serious trouble. My opinion hit bottom when Craig dismisses Christian scholars who take a critical approach to studying NT/early church texts because they apparently just hype of their credentials too much... Craig should re-read the first chapter of his book.
Bob Gooch
Dr. Craig is a philosopher with Arminian theological leanings. I thought the book was good for the most part, but I admit had some problem with his Arminian explanations. I also had problems with the way he presented a few of his arguments, maybe because he was trying to summarize a little too much. It seems to me that his book Reasonable Faith (at least the part I've read) is better written. Craig’s philosophical credentials are without question, so my problems with this book may be more from m...more
Smart apologetics

I read straight through this book, but it's really meant to be studied, discussed and memorized. Dr.Craig provides lots of solid arguments for good, God and Gospel. I'll definitely be referencing this book.
Luis Branco
It is an amazing philosophical book from which we can learn a great deal from it. I would highlight so many things, but for me was very good to read about the evidence of God's existence as well as the personal testimony of the writer. Overall, a great book to read.
Aaron Carlberg
Re-reading for a class we will be doing soon and thought I would add it to good-reads. This is probably one of the simplest books to read and understand about apologetics. Craig is concise and focused. He doesn't cover everything the field of apologetics delves into, but this is an excellent start for anyone looking for easy things to remember and learn.
Louis Korkames
Are you interested, willing, ready to stand up to the intelectual attacks on faith in Christ? Start here!

Christian apologetics in a simpler form.

Great class!
This was a good book, but its not for everyone. It does a good job of walking you through some of the basic arguments for the existence of God, but I've read books that (I felt) did it more clearly. The main thing against this book, though, is that its intended audience is narrower than that of some others. It was clearly written to an audience of Christians. Certain beliefs are taken as a given, then he shows you a variety of ways to articulate them, and he does it well. But, I would not send a...more
I think that this is a really good introductory book on Christian apologetics for the layman. Dr. Craig did a great job of explaining some of the highlights of the apologetic without getting too deep. If you're a Christian looking for an overview of a defense of the faith, I think this would be a good source. If you're needing a really deep dive into Christian apologetics, then this isn't the right book for you. That isn't a bad thing, as that was not its intent. For a deeper dive, Dr. Craig's "...more
I would venture to say that this is one of the best handbooks for the Christian apologist who is beginning to become familiarized with the arguments for the existence of God. This is a lay-verson of the book, "Reasonable Faith". It was an enlightening read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Very substantive yet simplistic enough to grasp the concepts. However, some of the concepts that are being referred to are challenging in nature so it may still be confusing to anyone who has never read about these...more
Not looking good, thus far WLC is as shallow as Strobel and just as hampered by the fetters of faith, can't seem to think outside his little box with imaginary friends :(
This is torture, reading through this slew of poor thinking and confirmation bias in extremus, arghh. Where to begin? Underlining the bad bits is an extensive exercise :(. I really expected something better than Strobel level idiocy
Chapter six : morals therefore god, might be the worst chapter yet .
Mark A Powell
Formatted in a workbook style, On Guard is a pared-down version of Craig’s renowned Reasonable Faith. As it stands, this abridgment is a solid introduction to apologetics, developing logical arguments for the existence of God, the nature of the universe, and the identity of Christ. Though it does delve into more academic concepts and vocabulary at times, this book is an excellent primer for those desiring an ability to defend the Christian faith with logical clarity.
This is a lightweight version of Reasonable Faith. It is suitable for those who are interested in apologetics but don't have much background in philosophy and logic. Don't get me wrong, the book isn't completely lacking in either of these areas, but the rigor isn't to be compared with a more thorough treatment of the subject.

Overall, I would think this is a good book for a small group or individual study. I recommend the study guide as well.
I just finished going through this book with a group from church and will greatly miss the sessions. Although sometimes his arguments are best suited to academic debates, rather than real life conversations, William lane Craig manages to simplify complex topics and huge faith-defining questions in such a way that makes you realise the logic behind the existence of God. I alway knew what I believed in, but On Guard helped me to clarify why.
some issues: fails to cite other authors' work; uses straw man arguments and other logical fallacies; particularly weak (as well as insensitive and appropriative) in the chapter on suffering; inappropriate use of the Holocaust and Nazi comparisons to advance points; overall tone is defensive and lacking love, humility, or compassion; misrepresents or oversimplifies others' theories and opposing points of view.
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  • Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions
  • Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview
  • The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
  • Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God
  • Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith
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  • Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
  • The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists
  • Five Views on Apologetics
  • I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
  • The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
  • Van Til's Apologetic, Readings and Analysis
  • Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism
  • Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics
  • Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
  • Defense of the Faith
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Study Guide Edition)
  • Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction
William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He and his wife Jan have two grown children.

At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evange...more
More about William Lane Craig...
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Hard Questions, Real Answers God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist Time And Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship To Time The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom

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“The point is this: If God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.” 1 likes
“But the problem becomes even worse. For, regardless of immortality, if there is no God, then there is no objective standard of right and wrong. All we’re confronted with is, in Sartre’s words, “the bare, valueless fact of existence.” Moral values are either just expressions of personal taste or the by-products of biological evolution and social conditioning.” 0 likes
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