I like reading books on defending our faith. I usually try to read about one a year. And most are very, very similar. But one I read this summer is my new "favorite" apologetic book.
It is called "Tactics" by Gregory Koukl. What I love most is that it isn't a book giving specific defenses of Christianity. It is a book training you how to respond no matter how someone challenges your faith. Here are a few quotes to peak your interest:
- "In this book I would like to teach you how to be diplomatic. I want to suggest a method I call the Ambassador Model. This approach trades more on friendly curiosity – a kind of relaxed diplomacy – than on confrontation." (p. 20)
- "Representing Christ in the new millennium requires three basic skills. First, Christ's ambassadors need the basic knowledge necessary for the task… Our knowledge must be tempered with the kind of wisdom that makes our message clear and persuasive… Finally, our character can make or break our mission." (pp. 24-25)
- "These three skills – knowledge, an accurately informed mind; wisdom, an artful method; and character, an attractive manner – play a part in every effective involvement with a non-believer. The second skill, tactical wisdom, is the main focus of this book." (p. 25)
- "In the pages that follow, you will encounter real-life examples and samples of dialogues where I use a tactical approach to address common objections, complaints, or assertions raised against the convictions you and I hold as followers of Jesus. But there is a danger I want you to be aware of, so I need to pause and make an important clarification… These tactics are powerful and can be abused…" (p. 27)
- "It may surprise you to hear this, but I never set out to convert anyone [in his interactions on apologetics]. My aim is never to win someone to Christ. I have a more modest goal, one you might consider adopting as your own. All I want to do is put a stone in someone's shoe. I want to give him something worth thinking about, something he can't ignore because it continues to poke at him in a good way." (p. 38)
- "I encourage you to consider the strategy I use when God opens a door of opportunity for me. I pray quickly for wisdom, then ask myself this: What one thing can i say in this circumstance, what one question can I ask, what seed can I plant that will get the other person thinking? Then I simply try to put a stone int he person's shoe." (p. 40)
Those are quotes from the introductory chapters. This probably gives you an idea of where he is headed. He doesn't show you how to prove the Bible is the Word of God. He teaches you how to dialogue in a way that puts the burden of proof on them, and helps them answer their own questions.
I plan to read it to my girls – as I think it will really help them in school.
My other current, favorite apologetic book is "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. I disagree with one chapter in particular (on origins), but the rest of the book is amazing! I highly recommend it.