IVP sent me this book a couple of years ago and it went straight to my shelves unopened. I mean, 750 pages on apologetics! Who wants to read that unless they really have to?

But a couple of weeks ago I had cause to take it down, dust it off, and have a look inside. And I was stunned. Despite its intimidating size, and despite it being an apologetics textbook, it was one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I know, it’s hard to imagine putting these three words in a headline – apologetics, readable, and enjoyable – but, really, that’s what this book is.

The only bit I struggled with was the brief section on Alvin Plantinga’s philosophy, but I don’t expect ever to fully understand that this side of eternity.

Instead of interacting with alternative Christian apologetic schools of thought (there are only a few paragraphs on Van Til’s presuppositionalism). Groothius’s agenda was to write a comprehensive and accessible book on classical Christian apologetics. He has succeeded magnificently.

Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothius.

  • Brandon M

    Hi Dr. Murray.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Quick question: Which school of apologetic thought do you agree with most? Is it classical? (I know you’re a big Sproul fan :-)

    God bless,

    • David Murray

      I agree with classical most, but also see a place for presuppositional and evidentialist approaches depending on the situation/need. I don’t think we should limit ourselves to one strategy when God has provided more.

      • Brandon M

        Agreed! I find presuppositionalism most convincing; but I tend to make use of other methods depending on the situation and direction of the conversation.

        Thanks for your thoughts and honesty!

  • Dan Phillips

    “I agree with classical most”

    Oh dear. Next time we chat, remind me to ask for your testimony.

  • Paul Bruggink

    I was fine with Prof. Groothuis’s book until I got to Chapters 13 & 14, at which point I was extremely disappointed to find out that Prof. Groothuis chose to trash “Darwinism” instead of engaging biological evolution, and to promote the Intelligent Design Movement as a scientific alternative to biological evolution. The chapter is filled with misstatements like “we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time,” quoting a 1979 source, and “There is no known case where a genetic mutation has resulted in an increase in genetic information for an organism.”

    It appears that Prof. Groothuis has for some reason chosen to totally ignore what is really going on in biological evolution, preferring to attack the strawman of Darwinism, which he mentions 29 times in Chapter 13 before even attempting to define it. Christian apologetics would be better served if
    Chapters 13 & 14 were used to discuss or at least mention the progress being made by Christian scholars who are working to integrate the implications of biological evolution into our Christian faith.

    There are numerous references in the text and footnotes of Chapters 13 & 14 to authors who support Intelligent Design (e.g., Michael Behe, William Dembski, Michael Denton, Phillip Johnson, Stephen Meyer, and Jonathan Wells) but, except for Francis Collins in one footnote, there are NO references to
    Christian BIOLOGICAL scientists who support biological evolution (e.g., Denis Alexander, Francisco Ayala, Darrel Falk, Karl Giberson, Denis Lamoureux, Kenneth Miller, Simon Conway Morris, Dennis Venema, etc.). Why is that? Why has Prof. Groothuis apparently ignored an entire area of relevant literature and not even acknowledged its existence, let alone commented on it?

    When an author gets one important topic so obviously wrong, or at the very least incomplete, I have to wonder how effective his apologetics book is actually going to be.