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Scott Oliphint

Amid a revival of apologetics, "few things could be more useful than an acquaintance with how Christian faith was defended down through the ages," say the editors in their introduction to this two-part anthology. Volume 2 in this one-of-a-kind resource takes a sweeping look at apologetics from the Reformation to the present.

With editorial commentary and questions for reflection, Christian Apologetics Past and Present will prove a valuable text for students as well as a unique resource for those interested in defending the faith. Case quantities only : USA orders will be drop-shipped directly from the publisher. Delivery will be delayed from our regular shipping schedule. I highly recommend it to all who are called to defend the faith. It will equip and encourage thoughtful Christians to develop equally compelling defenses of the faith in our post-Enlightenment, post- Romantic, post-Postmodern era where global interdependencies plunge many into new varieties of suspicion, contempt, and hostility that demand reasonable and faith-filled encounter, dialogue, and debate.

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Their volume, the first of two, fills a gap in scholarly resources and highlights the strength, wisdom, and solidity of defenders of the faith in earlier times. This collection is superbly done and will bring much needed wisdom to our own times. Now we have an excellent one in this volume. Editors Edgar and Oliphint have made good choices in the selections used. This is a most worthy collection. Example fallback content : This browser does not support PDFs. Please use a different, updated web browser to use wtsbooks. Scott; Lane G.

Add to Wishlist. The survey by L. Encyclopedias too can be of use. The best in our opinion is the New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics , which has numerous articles on individuals, as well as general surveys of apologetics history. In twenty-one centuries the church has produced an abundance of authors and texts. Our greatest challenge was to select them. To go about the task, we asked a number of questions. The first is historiographical. What are the major eras? Is there a reasonable periodization? Since generally one can identify commonalities among authors in given time frames, and often those correspond to acceptable groupings, we have chosen the eras according to their overarching characteristics.

The second question regarding the choice of readings is one of priorities, that is, which materials to select, and how extensively. Some choices are obvious. More difficult is deciding which of the lesser-known authors to include. Our approach was to keep several elements in balance. Regarding the major divisions in the Christian church, we have chosen to feature generous representation from Protestantism and somewhat less from the Roman Catholic Church as it emerged after the sixteenth century.

We feature considerably less from Orthodoxy, mostly because far less material exists. One reason for this is that Orthodoxy either conquered the countries it was in, or it was under persecution, with little opportunity for free expression. Readers will notice a few gaps in some of the texts, particularly in cases where numbering is not consecutive. This is usually because of our limited space, although occasionally it reflects the version of the text we are using.

Our presentation is quite simple. We want the texts to speak for themselves.


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Thus, we provide an introduction to each major historical section. Then each chapter introduces its featured author, highlighting any significant fact bearing on the person and the text. Along with the readings themselves we provide a few footnotes for the sake of clarification when such is needed.

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Christian Apologetics, Past and Present, Volume 1, to by William Edgar

We also offer diagnostic questions at the end of each text, to prompt reflection or discussion. These are only suggestive, and instructors may wish to provide their own. Occasionally we have changed a word or two simply to harmonize spelling conventions. Where texts in the public domain use Elizabethan English, including thee s and thou s, we have kept the original. Headings in readings are modified in form for greater uniformity, but not in content.

Material appearing inside brackets represents earlier editorial additions.

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It is our hope that this anthology will provide inspiration for many readers. Whether it serves as a textbook, a reference book, or a guide for personal use, we trust it will encourage everyone in the knowledge that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses Heb. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics , 2nd ed. Vollenhoven, and Hendrik G. Stoker, has focused on philosophical critique, historiography, and the like.

The Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto has developed this approach in further detail in areas such as ethics, political science, and aesthetics. While there have been sympathies among apologists and philosophers, in general they have not worked closely together.

Christian Apologetics Past and Present (Volume 2, from 1500): A Primary Source Reader

This is not the place to discuss the claims and counterclaims surrounding the question of the origins, the nature, and the propriety of this vast and nearly unmanageable concept. For those interested in exploring the issues in relation to apologetics, a good place to begin is Myron B.

Penner, ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, , The Christian church emerged out of a Jewish background and from within the Roman Empire. Theologically, it drew much of its thought from the Old Testament, deepened and fulfilled in the New. Mostly, the church emerged as a people defined by the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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The foundation of the church was the work of his disciples. He and his followers ordered this kingdom into a truly global people, who would move out into all parts of the world, making disciples and drawing its inhabitants from all sorts and conditions of men into the one universal church Matt. The immediate background for the rise of the church was the Jewish exile.

The two book sets, Kings and Chronicles, describe the downfall of Israel after the last days of King David ca. The northern kingdom, known as Israel, and the southern kingdom, known as Judah, had parallel though different histories.


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  • The northern kingdom, whose capital was Samaria, was invaded by the Assyrians, and its population deported in about BC. The southern kingdom was conquered, Jerusalem sacked, and the Jews deported into Babylon around BC. While the two kingdoms were reunited under Hezekiah — , nevertheless living under foreign rule would be a permanent feature of Jewish life.

    The Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and to parts of their former land in various episodes. Under Cyrus, the people came back to Judah from to BC. Darius allowed them to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem in Ezra was allowed by Artaxerxes I — to return with more exiles, while many remained in Babylon. Living successively under the Persians, the Greco-Macedonians, and the Romans, the Jews developed a way of dealing with their oppressors that would carry over into New Testament times.

    And, of course, this meant that apologetics was woven into the fabric of Christian consciousness. In the Old Testament, apologetics was practiced in various forms. Just as the potter is free to throw away any bad clay, so God will judge the nations by his sovereign judgment. At the same time, if the nation repents, then God will relent and spare them disaster v. A separate Jewish religion developed in contradistinction to the Christian church, and a distinctive apologetic character grew out of this Judaism.

    While the Old Testament heritage was still present, important changes emerged among Jewish apologists.