C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity is C.S. Lewis’ classic work on Christian apologetics that originally appeared as three separate pamphlets called The case for Christianity, Christian Behaviour, and Beyond Personality..Lewis was an Anglican and as the book’s title suggests he attempts to create a Christian common ground. His aim is to explain what it is that defines Christianity in the past and avoids controversies that would reduce his work to pariah status in other Christian sects. In the work he restates fundamental Christian teaching for the sake of those intellectuals who realize that the formal jargon of Christian theology has lost its meaning.
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Lewis’ restatements are largely in the area of Moral law. Christians, he says, have “Rules about Right and Wrong” which they believe are intrinsic to all human beings. They are real laws as real as the laws of physics and not mere human inventions contrived by sophists. However, unlike the laws of physics like, gravity, Moral Law can be ignored because of free will. Humans are intuitively aware of moral law and they know of it within themselves as opposed to other laws which are learned via observation. His chief example for this was the way people who did not believe in religion still saw what Hitler’s actions in World War II was wrong.
Aside from introducing Moral law, Lewis also introduces the idea that God is the source of the universe as opposed to Satan who rebels and is the source of all evil. Satan rebellion was the result of his pride yet all his actions and the sins he inspires are no more than perversions of what is good.
Lee Strobel A Case for Christ
Lee Strobel’s book a Case for Christ is another example of an Apologetics writing. Perhaps the main criticism of his work is the fact that despite his considerable experience as a journalist he did not interview and critics of the Church. As a result despite being well researched and its arguments being fairly comprehensive the book comes off as being one sided.
The First part of the book is about the historic reliability of the New Testament. Based on Strobel’s arguments the New testament’s accuracy comes from five main sources; eyewitness accounts, documentary evidence, corroborating evidence, scientific evidence and rebuttal evidence.
Among his more controversial claims one that stands out is his claim that the Gospels were in fact written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This claim is best summarized as follows “How can we be sure that the material about Jesus’ life and teachings was well preserved for thirty years before it was finally written down in the gospels?” (Stobel 53). He believes that the oral culture prevalent in those days made maintaining the strict content of the verse highly probably in the same way that the Illiad was preserved in verse form before being written down.
Ultimately, the book is creative and well written, a worthy contribution to the list of Christian apologetics. It is an excellent exposition based on other more learned scholars in the topic. However, it still comes off as one-sided because it lack sources from the opposite side of the spectrum
John Thornbury System of Bible Doctrine
Thornbury’s book System of Bible Doctribe is a comprehensive review of Church Doctrine. It spans the biblical account of Creation, the Gospels and Christian life in the prophetic future. The book is written in a clear and concise manner with out appearing as condescendingly simple. The author shows what the Bible teaches about God and frequently refers to the Bible. The book is should be used by new Christians for study and reflection because it is simple enough to be studied by those who are not yet completely initiated into the faith.