Everywhere you look today questions are being raised against the Christian worldview and we shouldn’t be surprised, it’s been this way since Eden. The serpent, was the first to raise the question against God and His holy word, “Did God really say”, is the question that led us away from our first love and continues to be asked in homes and classrooms across the world. So how can we, in a world of constant change, continue to stand firm in our faith and face the questions coming our way from every direction? Volumes like Come Let us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics, help us immensely in drawing together a team of tenured scholars and apologists in order to build up the minds and body of Christ.
In five parts the reader is exposed to some big hitting names and deeply involved subjects as they turn the pages of this book. In Part One the reader is thrown into the world of “Apologetics, Culture and the Kingdom of God.” For me, J.P. Moreland of Biola, had the highlight article in this section. Speaking on the “Four Degrees of Postmodernism”, Moreland leads the reader on an exploration through different versions of postmodernism and pluralism in order to discover what can be learned of the relationships between them. I found this to be most helpful especially in the context where I live and work.
Part Two raises the big question, “The God Question”. As I struggled through this section because of the content, mainly due to the leading Molinist of the day, William Lane Craig, I had to go back a couple of times and try to figure out what exactly Craig was saying. I still don’t get it! After moving on from there I came to a familiar name and a little easier to understand content when Gary Habermas, an expert on the Resurrection of Christ, spoke to the “Silence of God” in a masterful way. Habermas points the reader to the Scriptures and reminds us that they are full of, “Treasured promises”.
Part Three engages the “Historical Jesus and New Testament Reliability”. I was a little disappointed at first glance to see that Michael Kruger’s name was left out of the table of contents, knowing of his work on the Canon of Scripture and the historicity of the NT. Other than Kruger’s name being left out, the other scholars did a masterful job to paint a wonderful context of Christ and his life, death, and resurrection. The high point of this section has to be Craig Keener’s essay on the “Historical Reliability of the Gospels”. I think this subject today has grown from what it once was and is now being asked more frequently of Christians who are less than ready to answer the objection of the historical gospel.
Part Four takes us all the way back to “Ancient Israel and Other Religions”. At the end of this section Paul Copan dives into the Old Testament and asks us, “Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery?” I first heard Paul Copan on the Cross Examined Podcast where he addressed the same issue. He spoke with such winsomeness that he drew me in and made me seek out the Scripture in greater detail as to the issue of slavery, this essay did much of the same thing. He makes a great conclusion by connection the NT view of slavery to that of the OT when he says, “In the Old Testament, we see a much-improved, humanizing legal system over against other ancient Near Easter law codes. And when we look at the New Testament, we gain further a deepened perspective. Written during Roman rule with its chattel slavery in place, the Gospels call for freedom from dehumanization and tyranny. Christ’s mission is not one of oppression and destruction; rather, he comes to give life, to heal, to redeem, and to release (Luke 4:18).”
Part Five compares the uniqueness of Christianity in comparison with other religions. With our world in disarray it’s vital to engage the issues head on that face a threat to biblical Christianity. Michael Edens does this when he engages “Islamic Teachings about the Qur’an”. He writes from a heart of love for the Muslim community when he concludes his essay by inviting us to, “Pray to God in Christ that He would guide Muslims to himself. This is what the Muslim asks for, unknowingly, daily in ritual prayer. Five times daily they repeat the words of the Faitha (surah 1): ‘Open the straight path before us, the one of your grace not the one of your wrath. Keep us from going astray.’ As the Qur’anic path is exposed as questionable, the Holy Spirit will empower the witness to Jesus, the Only Way to the Father”.
Overall I thought this book was well put together with a wide range of issues represented. The topics in each section alone could fill volumes but were well condensed for the average reader. I thought the questions raised and answers given were very helpful in relation to the questions being asked today by those in various religions around the world. After reading this, some sections more than once, I felt more equipped to handle questions from unbelieving neighbors. This volume has been especially helpful in my own life as far as digging down deep and anchoring my hope further in the God of the Scriptures and the truth contained therein. While the content may be beyond the scope of learning for some I think overall this type of textbook should be taught in small groups in order to equip the believer to stand for truth and defend it from all angles, and that to the glory of God.
Copan, P., & Craig, W. (Eds.). (2012). Come Let us Reason (p. 336). Nashville: B&H Publishing Group.