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Religion Apologetics

Humble Apologetics

Defending the Faith Today

by (author) John G. Stackhouse

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2002
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2006
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2002
    List Price

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Is it still possible, in an age of religious and cultural pluralism, to engage in Christian apologetics? How can one urge one's faith on others when such a gesture is typically regarded with suspicion, if not outright resentment? In Humble Apologetics John G. Stackhouse brings his wide experience as a historian, philosopher, journalist, and theologian to these important questions and offers surprising--and reassuring--answers. Stackhouse begins by acknowledging the real impediments to Christian testimony in North America today and to other faiths in modern societies around the world. He shows how pluralism, postmodernism, skepticism about our ability to know the truth, and a host of other factors create a cultural milieu resistant to the Christian message. And he shows how the arrogance or dogmatism of apologists themselves can alienate rather than attract potential converts. Indeed, Stackhouse argues that the crucial experience of conversion cannot be compelled; all the apologist can do is lead another to the point where an actual encounter with Jesus can take place. "Our objective," Stackhouse writes, "is to offer whatever assistance we can to our neighbors toward their full maturity: toward full health in themselves and in their relationships, and especially toward God." In the last part of the book, he shows how an attitude of humility, instead of merely trying to win religious arguments, will help believers offer their neighbors the gift of Christ's love. Drawing on the author's personal experience and written with an engaging directness and humility, Humble Apologetics provides sound guidance on how to share Christian faith in a postmodern world.

About the author

JOHN G. STACKHOUSE, JR. is an associate professor in the Department of Religion, University of Manitoba.

John G. Stackhouse's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A witty, lucid, and extremely intelligent analysis of what Christian apologetics is and how it should be practiced at the beginning of the third millennium. Stackhouse is an acute observer of and commentator upon contemporary North American intellectual culture in general, and because of this what he says about the situation of Christians in a broadly (and deeply) post-Christian culture illuminates the deep pluralism with which all religious people now live." --Paul Griffiths, Schmitt Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Stackhouse has done the most extraordinary thing: he has made apologetics winsome. You will find that this book convinces you not only by the clarity of its arguments but by the gentle humility of its author. When I started this book I assumed I would hate it. When I got done with it I discovered it had renewed my love for our faith."--M. Craig Barnes, Senior Pastor, National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.

"Humble, but clear and cogent too, John Stackhouse's vision of apologetics combines deep thinking with immense practical relevance."--Os Guinness, author of The Dust of Death

"Lucid, engaging, and properly modest in its goals for apologetics."--Choice

"Stackhouse mounts as cogent and eloquent a case for apologetics as I have ever read. It's cogent because of what he understands apologetics to be: not browbeating the other into intellectual submission but sincerely and lovingly commending Christianity to the other for his or her shalom. If that's apologetics, I'm all for it."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School

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