Yesterday, I finished reading his signature work, “Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics”. It took me about 6 months to read this work, and while there were some parts that were over my head, the things that I learned from it made this book a very productive read.
First and foremost, this is not a suitable book to read for an apologetic newbie. To read this book, you will need to be at least casually acquainted with the fields of philosophy, science, and history. I consider myself to be a more-than-novice-yet-not-quite-intermediate apologist, and there were are few times when the subject material went right by over my head without a care in the world. This book, while it claims to be usable amongst laymen, is more for someone who is already involved in these fields. I would not give this book to someone who was just now getting their feet wet; I would give them something easier to digest. This is a pretty technical book, and it can be pretty difficult to read at times.
Reasonable Faith covers a wide range of issues. While notable absences include any discussion on the problem of evil and the creation/I.D./evolution debate, what it includes justifies the purchase of this book. Topics include how we can know Christianity is true, the absurdity of life without God (probably my favorite chapter in the book), the 4 classical theistic arguments and their objections, the resurrection of Christ, miracles, and more. It is all laid out in a systematic fashion that starts with basic theistic arguments (the various Cosmological arguments, the Teleological argument, the Moral argument, and the Ontological argument) and then moves to demonstrate Christian theism by focusing on miracles and then the radical self-understanding of Christ and the evidence for His resurrection. Each chapter opens up with a historical examination of past thinkers on this subject, which I personally found to be very enjoyable. He then moves on to discuss the subject and it’s objections, and then ends each chapter with a practical application of how to put into practice what you just read.
I’ve already mentioned that the material in this book, while certainly worth reading, can be technical and difficult at times. This isn’t a bad thing, but when it is tacked on to what I believe is the biggest problem with the book, it makes the book a more difficult read. The biggest flaw that I find with Reasonable Faith is the length of the chapters. These are easily some of the longest chapters that I have ever read from any book- especially the first chapter on the existence of God. You should expect that it will take you a few sittings to get through a single chapter. While I can understand wanting to keep all the information under one heading, I wish he had broken down the chapters into various sections or something, because these chapters are so big that it is not feasible to read them in one sitting. That being said, that is really the only flaw that I can find with the book. Everything else about the book is presented in an excellent manner, and the material contained in each of these massive chapters is enlightening, stimulating, thought-provoking, and high-quality food for your intellect.
Craig’s book is definitely a testimony to his passion for the Christian intellect, and his desire to equip the church in apologetics is certainly contagious. Still, if you are looking for a easy introduction into apologetics, this is not the place to start looking. That being said, if you are an apologist and you haven’t read this book, you will definitely want to add this to your reading list. This is a great work written by a great Christian thinker, and the impact that this book has had on the Church has been nothing short of incredible.