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Five Views on Apologetics (Counterpoints)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The goal of apologetics is to persuasively answer honest objections that keep people from faith in Jesus Christ. But of several apologetic approaches, which is most effective? Five Views on Apologetics examines the how-to of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Reformed Epistemology, and Cumulative Case. O ...more
Paperback, 398 pages
Published February 7th 2000 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 541)
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Mark Ward
Once upon a time, a fellow Christian young man, age 20 or so, like me, invited me to go witnessing in the downtown area where I live. We ran into a young lady who was reading Neale Donald Walsch's then-popular Conversations with God, some of the worst claptrap ever to proceed from a printing press. I won't give specifics, but as I began to speak my partner began to feel uncomfortable with my approach. Deeper than that, he disagreed with the doctrine behind it. And he felt the necessity to say so ...more
Andrew Felts
A useful overview of different apologetic methodologies, unfortunately there is no author representing presuppositional apologetics since Frame's view is eclectic mixing presuppositional apologetics with Classical apologetics such as arguing that you can use the Transcendental argument along with classical arguments for the existence of God, but that undermines the presuppositional method altogether for the sake of pragmatism. James White would have been a better candidate to represent the presu ...more
Jan 08, 2015 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pastors, theology students
Five Views on Apologetics - Five scholars debate 5 different approaches to doing apologetics - classical, evidentialism, cumulative case, presuppositionalism, reformed epistemology. Each methodology is presented, followed by responses, both favourable and critical, from each of the other contributors. A debate summary (written by others) draws out the differences, similarities and implications of the five approaches. The main value of this book lies in the exploration of the respective roles of ...more
Luis Branco
In this book, Steven B. Cowan presents different views on apologetics to examine the 'how-to' of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Reformed Epistemology, and Cumulative Case. The entire text is very interesting and exciting, specially for offering a forum allowing the contributors for the diverse viewpoints to interact, providing the reader the opportunity to compare and contrast different ways of 'doing' apologetics. The tex ...more
Cho Yim
Good overview of the 5 systems/method of apologetics. Little difficult if it's your first book on apologetics and the different systems. Would help to have a general overview of each system before you start reading. Definitely a slower read because it is hard to comprehend at first. Make sure you read the responses to each system because they often clarify points made by the system author and give a more lucid picture of what the system actually is. Very good resource to have on apologetics. Jus ...more
Jacob Aitken
So who won this debate? Nobody, because they were all equally annoying, perhaps excepting John Frame.

1. Bill Craig's footnotes were far more interesting than his actual essay. Craig nicely summarizes Alvin Plantinga's Warrant Trilogy, which summaries are actually quote helpful for the apologete. Unfortunately for Craig, they do nothing to advance his essay.

2. Kelly James Clark, while having the most caustic tone, has the most intriguing essay. While occasionally verging on “Plantinga-wors
This comes as review from a Presuppositionalist. This is a good book when it comes to seeing how the leading Christian apologist would go about articulating their respect school of apologetics, and their critiques of the other schools. The editor Steven Cowan is to be commended in the introduction of giving a brief sypnosis of what each views are, for those who might not be familiar with the meta-apologetics debate.

In the first chapter by Classical apologist William Lane Craig, I was taken abac
Helpful for understanding the way people of different apologetics schools view each other and how they relate their apologetical approach to the others, but this won't be very helpful for those who want to learn how to do apologetics, and it also won't necessarily help people who have never been introduced to each of these viewpoints understand them fully. For example, I think Reformed Epistemology is not really understood in the best way through Kelly's contribution or his exchange with Frame. ...more
Clark Goble
Cowan’s purpose in presenting his Five Views on Apologetics is to provide the reader with a “side by side” view of the varying apologetic methodologies so that one may make up their own mind as to which method is correct (Cowan, page 8). Cowan classifies the apologetic methodologies into five separate categories; classical, evidential, cumulative, presuppositional and reformed epistemology. The editor then attempts to accomplish his self-assumed task by allowing a contributor who represents each ...more
Frank Della Torre
5 Views on apologetics provides an introductory discussion into the realms of religious epistemology, the nature of the Holy Spirit's witness, the necessity of evidence for belief, and other topics. I found Kelly James Clark's chapter ("Reformed Epistemology") to be the most interesting; namely because evidentialism is most common. I walked away from this book feeling like I understood each approach and could defend each of them.

Ultimately, I think that each of these approaches can be found inf
L. R. Bouligny Bouligny
This edition in the series of “views” books focuses on the subject of apologetics, and with the identical format as the others, gives each author a chance to state his position in 25-30 pages, while also allowing those holding differing views to punch holes in the author’s arguments. While I believe these debate formats can be helpful, I found this particular book to be somewhat discouraging. But, before I share my grievances, I will share what I thought was helpful.
This book was great for givi
Patrick S.
I had a lot of fun with this book. About a year ago, I really came down on the side of presuppositionalism and have studied the approach, see if it was useful against two of the leading atheistic books (God Is Not Great and The God Delusion), and now I wanted to match it up against four other views of apologetics. I will try to not go into too much detail here as I think the book is an important read for developing an apologetic standpoint.

The book follows the 1)"model of Approach X is presented
Adam T Calvert
It's tough for me to rate this book. I don't know how else to say it other than this: I didn't like this book, but I'm glad I have it.

If you get through the horrible misrepresentations of other views, the logical fallacies throughout the book, and the overall avoidance of addressing the topic from a Biblical mindset, then you're left with a somewhat decent reference on certain Christian views on the theory of how to properly defend the faith. But getting through all that can be the tough part.

Richard Minor
This is a good book to read for an introduction to the different ways of doing apologetics. The essays, with the exception of 1 of the 4 in my opinion, are well written and compelling cases for their method.

It is not, as has been suggested, a book on evangelism. This is apologetics, a defense of the faith. Sometimes the two go hand in hand, but they are different.
Mayowa Adebiyi
Debate style. Method stated by contributor followed by 4 rebuttals. Each method gets a fair treatment, all writers are lead experts including William Lane Craig who apparently puts the fear of God in non-theists.
Dizzying, if you're already convinced on one method, be prepared to be shaken.
This book claims to present five views on apologetics but as Dr. David Rim so aptly points out it would be more appropriately titled "1.5 Views on Apologetics". The book has three apologists who in essence for an evidential approach to apologetics, then a presuppositionalist who seems strangely open to evidential apologetics and finally a man who argues for the inadequacy of argument (in reality Clark's essay is not quite this logically incoherent but it certainly doesn't leave you wanting to be ...more
Jeffrey Backlin
Great discussion and debate on method of apologetics.
Joe Valenti
The Counterpoints series by Zondervan are a great group of books that help one understand the complete gamut of the arguments over a specific area in evangelicalism. This book does not disappoint. Craig, Habermas, Frame, Clark, and Feinberg offer a great overview and heated argument in the area of apologetic systems. Christians may not know that there are multiple ways to approach apologetic though we all default to something. Worth the read and should be on the bookshelf of every serious apolog ...more
five views of apologetics gives five different ways of engaging with the topic of the existence of God in Christianity. The most disappointing aspect of this book is that each authors opinions are not all that different from each other, so the reader does not get the full sense of each individual argument and view point. The book does show it's strength in giving many different avenues in approaching conversation concerning Christian theism.

I would not recommend this book.
Steve Shuford
I am currently reading this book for my apologetics class, and it speaks about the five most common ways to defend the faith. What I like about it is the format - it provides a common view written by a theologian and the other 4 critique the stated view. What I would have liked, however, is if it spoke more to the layperson - they make an attempt, but it is not effective enough in my view. I am learning a lot from it, however, and think that it is a good book.
a good-read for the apologist interested in apologetic methodology. The book lays out the five common forms via essays written by leaders in each category promoting and critiquing each methodology. After reading this book I found a mix of methodologies available to target an apologetic contact to be the best approach. Leaning towards the classical approach, I especially enjoyed Craig's contribution.
G Walker
Frame has some helpful observations as does Clark. Frame has done better work elsewhere - and I fear some of his nuance was/is lost on most readers... overall though at least some model of Van Tilianism gets presented here and that is the only reason it gets two stars.
G. Jorge Medina
The Apostolic point of view is missing, of course. Plus, the authors seemed hesitant to criticize other points of view anf focused on agreements which is not helpful for a book of this kind.
Apr 10, 2013 Christopher rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christopher by: Baptist Bible College & Seminary
Interesting book. I am not sure how much more I am settled on my apologetic "methodology" after reading it!
Zeke Vas
I love these perspective books. It really cleared up a lot of things I had confused about methodology.
the best short read to understand the key apologetic positions
Aug 20, 2012 Andy added it
Shelves: owned
Sarah Kellum
Sarah Kellum marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
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Steven B. Cowan (M.Div.; Ph.D.) is the Jim Young Professor of Religion and Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana College in Pineville, La.
More about Steven B. Cowan...

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