17. Conclusion: Our Challenging Mission
The purpose of developing a Christian view of the world is not merely to evaluate and judge the world, but to change it. By our actions each of us — each human being — is changing the world in which we live. Ultimately, Jesus Christ will introduce a radical change to our world when he comes in glory. But until that time, he is using his people to change the world. This indeed happens one person at a time, but it also happens one family at a time, or one school at a time, or one church at a time, or even one nation at a time. Wherever you are, you have an opportunity to participate in changing the world for Jesus Christ.
The place to begin, of course, is with ourselves. The gospel of salvation by grace which is basic to the Christian worldview teaches us that before we can change the world for Christ, we must ourselves be changed by Christ. We must trust in him to bring us into a relationship with the Father (John 14:6) and to begin making us into sons and daughters of God who mirror the love of God’s eternal Son Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). In this age of the gospel, God is not calling together mere servants or “employees” to work for him, but is raising up children who will participate in the “family business” out of a sense of love and mutual commitment.
Essential to changing our world is changing our view of the world and then living in light of the new vision. God, as a loving Father, has given us his word in the Bible to enable us to see the world as he would have us see it. As the world changes around us, we need to assess those changes in light of Scripture, as well as to assess our own understanding of Scripture in the light of new ideas and new perspectives. In this book we have tried to provide a sampling of the issues facing us as Christians seeking to understand our changing world according to God’s word.
Where do we go from here? Each of needs to make a commitment to participating in the work of God’s family in whatever context and through whatever opportunities he opens up to us. God calls scientists, psychologists, philosophers, theologians, ministers, missionaries, historians, physicians, educators, attorneys, politicians, artists, mothers, and fathers — people of all professions, of all races, of both sexes, and of all nations — to use the gifts God has given them to make a difference where they are. We need to encourage young Christian men and women to pursue excellence in their professions, to look for ways in which they can make a difference.
Wherever we are and whatever roles we fill in life, part of living in light of the Christian world view is learning to communicate Christian faith and values to others and to defend them when they are challenged. Whether we are mothers or fathers answering the many difficult questions our children ask us, or students taking classes that raise troubling or complex issues, or workers at our job engaging in conversations over lunch with people of other religions or lifestyles, all of us will face challenges to our Christian convictions. If we are to meet these challenges effectively for Christ, we must take seriously our calling to “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). In turn this means that we must commit ourselves to the lifelong mission of learning and growing in our understanding of Christian faith and values and their application to the changing world in which we live. It is our hope that this book has helped you in that mission.
Science (ch. 1)
Denton, Michael. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986. Agnostic scientists examines evidence for evolution, finds creation more plausible.
Geisler, Norman L. Knowing the Truth about Creation: How It Happened and What It Means for Us. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1989. Excellent primer for the layperson on the Christian doctrine of creation and its relationship to science and philosophy.
________, and J. Kerby Anderson. Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation-Evolution Controversy. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987. Important work arguing that there are crucial differences between the scientific study of natural processes and scientific inquiry into the origins of nature.
Heeren, Fred. Show Me God: What the Message from Space Is Telling Us about God. Wonders That Witness 1. Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications, 1995. Amusing, informative book on cosmology and creation, unlike any other.
Jaki, Stanley L. God and the Cosmologists. Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway, 1989. One of many excellent books by noted Catholic scientist.
Jastrow, Robert. God and the Astronomers. New York: W. W. Norton, 1978. Agnostic astronomer explains how astronomy has discovered strong evidence for a Creator.
Johnson, Phillip E. Darwin on Trial. 2d ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. Law professor examines the evidence for evolution and exposes fallacies in evolutionary theory.
Hummel, Charles E. The Galileo Connection: Resolving Conflicts between Science and the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. One of the best surveys of the subject, especially good on the history of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein; holds to a progressive creationist perspective.
Lindberg, David C., and Ronald L. Numbers, eds. God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. Scholarly studies on key figures and movements in history.
Moreland, J. P., ed. The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer. Foreword by Phillip E. Johnson. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. Excellent place to start for a variety of essays on the scientific evidence for God.
Morris, Henry M. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. One of the best works by this leading young-earth creationist scientist.
Numbers, Ronald L. The Creationists. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Critical study of the history of the modern creationist movement, with important lessons.
Pearcey, Nancy R., and Charles B. Thaxton. The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy. Turning Point Christian Worldview series. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994. On developing a Christian view of science.
Pitman, Michael. Adam and Evolution: A Scientific Critique of Neo-Darwinism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. Focuses on the theory that human beings evolved from lower hominids.
Ratzsch, Del. The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side Is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996. Argues that atheistic evolution and young-earth creation are two extremes, and that neither side typically understands the other.
Ross, Hugh. Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1994. Old-earth creationist scientist surveys the biblical teaching, church history, and the scientific evidence, arguing that creationists should not view modern cosmology and the old-earth view with suspicion.
________. The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993. Explores the developments in modern cosmology that prove the universe had a beginning and that point to intelligent design.
Schroeder, Gerald L. Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony between Modern Science and the Bible. New York: Bantam Books, 1990. MIT-trained Jewish physicist argues that Genesis and science agree.
Thaxton, Charles B., Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen. The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories. New York: Philosophical Library, 1984. Classic study showing that naturalistic theories to explain the origin of life have failed.
Wiester, John. The Genesis Connection. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1992. Old-universe creationist survey with many helpful pictures and diagrams.
Young, Davis A. The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church’s Response to Extrabiblical Evidence. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995. Massive historical study arguing that the global catastrophic view of the Flood of young-earth creationism reflects a jaundiced view of the scientific evidence.
Youngblood, Ronald F., ed. The Genesis Debate: Persistent Questions about Creation and the Flood. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990. Helpful introductions to questions about the Bible’s teaching on the age of the earth, the Flood, and so forth, with contributions offering opposing views on each question.
Psychology (ch. 2)
Benner, David G., ed. Psychology and Religion. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988. Textbook survey of psychological approaches to religious belief and experience.
Blake, Toni, ed. Enduring Issues in Psychology. Opposing Viewpoints series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995. Secular collection of excerpts presenting opposing views on such questions as nature versus nurture.
Collins, Gary. Can You Trust Psychology? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. Christian psychologist argues that psychology should not be feared.
Cooper, John W. Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989. Scholarly, readable study of the biblical teaching on the soul, interacting with modern philosophy and science.
Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach. Christian Explorations in Psychology series. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989. One of many books by this Christian philosopher integrating psychology with faith.
Hunt, Morton. The Story of Psychology. New York: Doubleday, 1993. Up to date history of psychology reflecting a humanistic perspective but providing much revealing information.
Jones, Stanton L., and Richard E. Butman. Modern Psychotherapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991. The best and most thorough study comparing approaches to psychological counseling and therapy from an evangelical Christian perspective.
Jones, Stanton L., ed. Psychology and the Christian Faith: An Introductory Reader. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986.
Kilpatrick, William Kirk. Psychological Seduction: The Failure of Modern Psychology. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Argues that modern psychology has encouraged an irresponsible world view.
________. The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth about the New Psychology. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985.
Meier, Paul D., et. al. Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. Textbook whose primary authors are the well known psychologists of the Minirth-Meier radio program.
Moreland, J. P., and David M. Ciocchi, eds. Christian Perspectives on Being Human: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Integration. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. Excellent textbook by evangelical scholars on human nature.
Sykes, Charles J. A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Culture. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992. Critique of our society’s tendency to excuse criminal and anti-social behavior by labeling individuals and whole groups as victims.
Van Leeuwen, Mary Stewart. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: A Christian Looks at the Changing Face of Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1982.
Vitz, Paul C. Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994. Powerful critique of psychological theories in education and other aspects of modern culture.
Postmodernism (ch. 3)
Allen, Diogenes. Christian Belief in a Postmodern World: The Full Wealth of Conviction. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989. An apologetic focusing on “the book of nature” and “the book of Scripture.”
Anderson, Walter Truett. Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be: Theatrical Politics, Ready-to-Wear Religion, Global Myths, Primitive Chic, and Other Wonders of the Postmodern World. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990. An enthusiastic review of postmodernism by an advocate (who has a very shallow understanding of Christianity).
Bernstein, Richard J. Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America’s Future. New York: Knopf, 1994. Bernstein offers a protest against relativism in American culture.
Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. Famous critique of relativism in higher education, from a modernist perspective.
Bork, Robert H. The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law. New York: Simon & Schuster -- Touchstone, 1990. Erudite critique of constitutional revisionism, of relevance to the postmodernist approach to the interpretation of texts.
Gross, Paul R., and Norman Levitt. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
Lefkowitz, Mary. Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. A New Republic Book. New York: HarperCollins — BasicBooks, 1996.
Lundin, Roger. The Culture of Interpretation: Christian Faith and the Postmodern World. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993. Historical, cultural, and theological study and critique of the development of postmodernism.
Middleton, J. Richard, and Brian J. Walsh. Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. Evangelical study that finds much of value in postmodernism.
Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. Excellent apologetics textbook, containing a very helpful discussion of self-refuting arguments.
Phillips, Timothy R., and Dennis L. Ockholm, eds. Christian Apologetics in the Postmodern World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. Excellent collection of essays approaching postmodernism in varying ways.
Poythress, Vern Sheridan. Symphonic Theology: The Validity of Multiple Perspectives in Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House -- Academie Books, 1987. Groundbreaking study of biblical interpretation that takes into account the social dimensions of biblical interpretation without succumbing to relativism.
Sire, James W. Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994. The first half discusses the question posed in the title; very insightful.
Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994.
Atheism (ch. 4)
Buckley, Michael J. At the Origins of Modern Atheism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. Catholic scholar examines the historical roots of atheism
Geisler, Norman L., and Winfried Corduan. Philosophy of Religion, 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988. Contains excellent discussions of the meaningfulness of language about God, the arguments for God’s existence, and the problem of evil.
Miethe, Terry L., and Antony Flew. Does God Exist? A Believer and an Atheist Debate. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
Murray, William. My Life Without God. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son explains why he abandoned atheism for the Christian faith.
Nielsen, Kai, and J. P. Moreland. Does God Exist? Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993.
Hewitt, Hugh. Searching for God in America. Dallas: Word, 1996.
Noebel, David A. Understanding the Times: The Story of the Biblical Christian, Marxist/Leninist, and Secular Humanist Worldviews. Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Ministries, 1991.
Sproul, R. C. The Psychology of Atheism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974.
Westphal, Merold. Suspicion and Faith: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993. Interesting analysis of atheists Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Friedrich Nietzsche, arguing that their atheism expressed important critiques of culturally compromised forms of theism.
Zacharias, Ravi. Can Man Live Without God? Dallas: Word, 1994. Apologetic critique of atheism; combines popular style with profound insight.
New Age (ch. 5)
Campolo, Tony. How to Rescue the Earth without Worshiping Nature: A Christian’s Call to Save Creation. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1992. An evangelical sociologist with liberal political views argues that Christians can and should support environmentalism without falling into New Age mysticism.
Chandler, Russell. Understanding the New Age. Dallas: Word Books, 1988.
Clark, David K., and Norman L. Geisler. Apologetics in the New Age: A Christian Critique of Pantheism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990. Indepth analysis and philosophical critique of Hindu, Buddhist, Greek, and modern Western varieties of pantheism.
De Witt, Calvin, ed. The Environment and the Christian. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. An important collection of essays promoting Christian environmentalism.
Geisler, Norman L., and J. Yutaka Amano. The Reincarnation Sensation. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1986. Very good analysis and critique of various theories of reincarnation, with attention to the claim that it is reconcilable with Christianity.
Groothuis, Douglas R. Confronting the New Age. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988. Dealing with New Age influences in culture.
________. Unmasking the New Age. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. On understanding and responding evangelistically to the New Age.
________. Revealing the New Age Jesus. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. On New Age reinterpretations of Jesus as a Gnostic guru.
Hackett, Stuart C. Oriental Philosophy: A Westerner’s Guide to Eastern Thought. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1979. Evangelical philosopher offers a rational critique of Eastern religions and philosophies.
Hawkins, Craig. Goddess Worship, Witchcraft, and Other Neo-Pagan Movements. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. Short book providing detailed biblical responses to these movements.
Johnson, David L. A Reasoned Look at Asian Religions. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1985. Christian critique written for the layperson.
Miller, Elliot. Crash Course on the New Age Movement. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989. Indepth analysis focusing on historical and philosophical issues.
Rhodes, Ron. New Age Movement. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Short but helpful overview of the movement.
Snyder, Tom. Myth Conceptions: Joseph Campbell and the New Age. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995. Popular level apologetic response to an important religion scholar whose views on the unity of all religious myths (among which Christianity is included) are important for New Agers.
Islam (ch. 6)
Beckwith, Francis. Baha’i. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1985. Helpful short book giving an overview and Christian response to Baha’i.
Bowman, Robert M., Jr. Islam: A Study Guide for Christians. 2d ed. Atlanta: Reflections Ministries, 1996. Outline syllabus covering the life and claims of Muhammad, the Qur’an, Muslim theology and religion, Islamic civilization, and offshoots of Islam.
Burge, Gary M. Who Are God’s People in the Middle East? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993. Insightful discussion of biblical perspectives on the question of the place of Israel and the Arabs in the Promised Land; by an evangelical biblical scholar.
Chapman, Colin. Whose Promised Land? Rev. ed. Batavia, IL: Lion Publishing, 1992. On Israel and the Palestinians; important information and analyses for those who have only heard a pro-Israel perspective.
Geisler, Norman L., and Abdul Saleeb. Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. By far the best Christian apologetic textbook responding to the claims and teachings of Islam.
Goldsmith, Martin. Islam and Christian Witness: Sharing the Faith with Muslims. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1982.
Hamada, Louis Bahjat. Understanding the Arab World. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990. Helpful study of the biblical and historical background to the Arab culture, by an Arab Christian.
Jomier, Jacques. How to Understand Islam. New York: Crossroad, 1993.
Miller, William McElwee. Ten Muslims Meet Christ. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969.
Parshall, Phil. Bridges to Islam. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1983.
Saal, William J., ed. Reaching Muslims for Christ. Chicago: Moody, 1991. Written by staff of Arab World Ministries. Excellent text emphasizing practical dimensions of evangelizing Muslims.
Shorrosh, Anis A. Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab’s View of Islam. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1988. Shorrosh heads up a ministry to Muslims.
Watt, W. Montgomery. Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961. Important biographical study.
Woodberry, J. Dudley, ed. Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road. Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1989.
Zakaria, Rafiq. The Struggle within Islam: The Conflict between Religion and Politics. New York: Penguin Books, 1989. Very helpful appendix tracing political history of Islam.
Liberal Theology (ch. 7)
Archer, Gleason L. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, rev. ed. Chicago: Moody, 1993. Best book dealing with critical questions about the origins of the Old Testament books.
________. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982. Discusses alleged contradictions and historical errors from Genesis to Revelation.
Bruce, F. F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960. Classic little study defending the historical reliability of the New Testament.
________. New Testament History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1974. Classic exposition of the New Testament events in their historical context.
Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994. Contains excellent chapters on miracles, the reliability of the New Testament, and the resurrection of Jesus.
Geisler, Norman L., and Thomas Howe. When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook of Bible Difficulties. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Similar to Archer, but less technical.
Geisler, Norman L., and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible, rev. ed. Chicago: Moody, 1986. Excellent textbook and reference work on how we got the Bible, covering the processes of writing, copying, and translating the books of the Bible, and discussing such questions as the canon (how we know which books belong in the Bible).
Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. Excellent apologetics textbook, with helpful chapters on the historicity of the New Testament and the resurrection of Jesus.
Osborne, Grant R. 3 Crucial Questions about the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995. Argues that we trust the Bible, understand the Bible, and get theology from the Bible.
Wilkins, Michael J., and J. P. Moreland, eds. Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Excellent collection of essays critiquing the liberal view of Jesus and the Gospels typified by the so-called Jesus Seminar.
Cults (ch. 8)
Boa, Kenneth D. Cults, World Religions, and the Occult. 2d ed. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1990. Popular-level introduction to the major non-Christian religions.
Bowman, Robert M., Jr. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Compact booklet offering detailed answers to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ biblical arguments for their theology.
________. Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses: Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991. How Jehovah’s Witness interpretation of the Bible goes wrong, with important lessons relevant to other cults and to Christians.
________. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989. A point-by-point response to the Jehovah’s Witness booklet Should You Believe in the Trinity? (1989).
Braswell, George A., Jr. Understanding Sectarian Groups in America, rev. ed. Nashville: Broadman, 1994. Descriptive study by a Southern Baptist.
Ehrenborg, Todd. Mind Sciences. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Excellent overview of Christian Science, Religious Science, and Unity.
Finnerty, Robert U. Jehovah’s Witnesses on Trial: The Testimony of the Early Church Fathers. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1993. The first book devoted solely to comparing the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses with that of the early church fathers; focuses on Christ’s deity, the Trinity, and the soul, death, and resurrection.
Gomes, Alan W. Unmasking the Cults. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Thorough study of the meaning and phenomena of cultism, critiquing the mind control model of the cults.
Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Rochester, Va.: Park Street Press, 1990. One of the most important books defending a mind control model of the cults, by a Jewish “exit counselor.”
Hoekema, Anthony A. The Four Major Cults. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963. Theologically insightful critique of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Scientists, and Seventh-day Adventists (the last of which is not viewed as a cult by all evangelical countercult scholars).
Kyle, Richard. The Religious Fringe: A History of Alternative Religions in America. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. Places the cults in their historical and cultural context.
Martin, Walter R. Kingdom of the Cults. 5th rev. ed. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1985. The classic evangelical expose and critique of various cults; somewhat dated and caustic.
Mather, George A., and Larry A. Nichols. Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993. Best evangelical reference work of its kind.
Reed, David A. How to Rescue Your Loved Ones from the Watchtower (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989). A good beginner’s guide to talking to friends or relatives who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and taking action to help them leave the Watchtower.
Rhodes, Ron. Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993). Features well-chosen questions to ask Jehovah’s Witnesses.
________, and Marion Bodine. Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995. Follows helpful approach of listing questions to ask a Mormon.
Samples, Kenneth R., et. al. Prophets of the Apocalypse: David Koresh and Other American Messiahs. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.
Sire, James W. Scripture Twisting. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980. How cults twist Scripture, with numerous helpful examples.
Tanner, Jerald and Sandra. The Changing World of Mormonism. Chicago: Moody, 1980. Massive documentation of the unhistorical and unbiblical foundations of Mormonism; the classic work on which most Christian critiques of Mormonism build.
Tucker, Ruth A. Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989. Generally accurate if uncritical survey of the history, beliefs, and practices of the cults.
Van Gorden, Kurt. Mormonism. Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Doctrinal critique of Mormonism, emphasizing a biblical response.
Yamamoto, J. Isamu. Unification Church. Zondervan Guide to Cults and New Religions. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. The most up-to-date doctrinal critique.
Biblical Christianity (ch. 9)
Bowman, Robert M., Jr. Orthodoxy and Heresy: A Biblical Guide to Doctrinal Discernment. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992. Study of the biblical basis and method of determining what constitutes orthodox Christian doctrine and what does not.
Dayton, Donald W., and Robert K. Johnston, eds. The Variety of American Evangelicalism. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991. Helpful collection of essays on such diverse elements of evangelicalism as Pentecostalism, the holiness tradition, black evangelicalism, the Reformed or Calvinist tradition, and Lutheranism, among others.
Geisler, Norman L., and Ralph E. MacKenzie. Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995. By far the best evangelical discussion of the question of evangelical-Catholic relations.
Horton, Michael Scott. Made in America: The Shaping of Modern American Evangelicalism. A CURE Book. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. A no-holds-barred critique of the cultural accommodation of American evangelicalism.
Howard, Thomas. Evangelical Is Not Enough. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984. A Protestant explains why he believes the evangelical church is impoverished by its lack of liturgical and ecclesiastical tradition (he later became a Roman Catholic).
Hunter, James Davison. Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Technical historical and sociological study.
Kantzer, Kenneth S., and Carl F. H. Henry, eds. Evangelical Affirmations. Grand Rapids: Zondervan — Academie Books, 1990. Collection of essays by leading evangelical scholars on social and cultural issues in evangelicalism.
Mayers, Ronald B. Evangelical Perspectives: Toward a Biblical Balance. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987. Nicely constructed approach to Christian thought using a “both/and” approach (e.g., man is both dignified and depraved; the church’s ministry is both proclamation and charity).
McGrath, Alister E. Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. Scholarly discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary evangelical tradition.
Noll, Mark A. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
Wells, David F. No Place for Truth: Or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.
Moral Absolutes (ch. 10)
Ball, William Bentley, ed. In Search of a National Morality: A Manifesto for Evangelicals and Catholics. Grand Rapids: Baker; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992. Catholics and evangelicals call for a conservative consensus on social and political issues in America.
Beckwith, Francis J., and Michael A. Bauman, eds. Are You Politically Correct? Debating America’s Cultural Standards. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993.
Bellah, Robert, et. al. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. Includes arguments calling for a return to more traditional values.
Bender, David, ed. American Values: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1989. Authors defend opposing positions on traditional values, whether and how America’s values have changed, and the religious aspects of American values.
Bennett, William J. The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Bestselling collection of poems, stories, and lessons on moral virtues.
Clark, David K., and Robert V. Rakestraw, eds. Readings in Christian Ethics, Volume 1: Theory and Method. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994. Collection of essays on theoretical issues of ethical philosophy and Christian morality.
Geisler, Norman L. Christian Ethics: Options and Issues. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989. Representative evangelical approach to Christian ethics, integrating a Thomistic natural-law philosophical ethics with an evangelical understanding of biblical ethics.
Gonsalves, Milton A., rev. Fagothey’s Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice. 8th ed. St. Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing, 1985. Revision of Austin Fagothey’s classic textbook on ethics from the “Aristotelian-Thomistic” natural-law perspective that has long dominated conservative Catholic ethics.
Holmes, Arthur F. Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions. Contours of Christian Philosophy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984. Primer in Christian philosophical ethics.
Kreeft, Peter. Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1990. Lucid, insightful discussion of ethics by a Catholic philosopher.
Lewis, C. S. The Abolition of Man. New York: Macmillan, 1947. Classic book arguing that all great cultures and religions have recognized certain fundamental moral truths.
Watkins, William D. The New Absolutes. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1996. Evangelical author argues that older, more beneficial absolutes are being traded in for politically correct new absolutes under the guide of moral relativism.
Multiculturalism (ch. 11)
Adeney, Bernard T. Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. Missions-sensitive treatment of Christian moral standards applied in diverse cultural and cross-cultural situations.
Boyd, Gregory A. Cynic Sage or Son of God? Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books — BridgePoint, 1995. Excellent book which among other things emphasizes Jesus’ Jewish cultural context.
Niebuhr, H. Richard. Christ and Culture. New York: Harper & Row, 1951. The classic work delineating five ways in which Christians have related to culture.
Whitehead, Fred, book ed. Culture Wars: Opposing Viewpoints. David Bender and Bruno Leone, series eds. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1994. The first two chapters contain several relevant readings on issues of cultural diversity and values from such diverse authors as Allan Bloom, Peter Marshall, and Mortimer Adler.
Wilkins, Michael, ed. Jesus Under Fire: Crucial Questions about Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. Essays by leading evangelical scholars defending the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection.
Biblical Morality (ch. 12)
DeMar, Gary. “You’ve Heard It Said”: 15 Misconceptions That Render Christians Powerless. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991. Discusses objections to Christian involvement in public issues — morality can’t be legislated, church and state should be kept separate, and the like.
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Toward Old Testament Ethics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983. Comprehensive textbook by one of the leading evangelical Old Testament theologians.
Poythress, Vern S. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991. A Reformed biblical-theological study of the Law, wrestling in subtle fashion with questions about the application of the Law to modern ethics and social issues.
Schreiner, Thomas R. The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. One of the best of many recent books on Paul’s view of the Law.
Skillen, James W. The Scattered Voice: Christians at Odds in the Public Square. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990. Critical analysis of seven Christian perspectives on faith and politics.
Smith, Gary Scott, ed. God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government: Theonomy, Principled Pluralism, Christian America, National Confessionalism. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1989. Excellent, challenging comparison of different Christian views of the place of Christian beliefs in human government.
Strickland, Wayne G., ed. The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian: Five Views. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993. Different evangelical and Reformed approaches to the Law, interesting for the agreements as well as the disagreements over the details.
Abortion (ch. 13)
Alcorn, Randy. Pro Life Answers to Pro Choice Arguments. N.p.: Multnomah, 1992. Comprehensive, well-organized handbook of answers to objections to the pro-life view.
Beckwith, Francis J. Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. Excellent defense of the pro-life view by a Christian philosopher.
Beckwith, Francis J., and Norman L. Geisler. Matters of Life and Death: Calm Answers to Tough Questions about Abortion and Euthanasia. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. Easy to use question and answer format by two leading evangelical Christian philosophers.
Cozic, Charles P., and Jonathon Petrikin, eds. The Abortion Controversy. Current Controversies series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995. Good collection of articles and excerpts from books taking different positions on abortion.
Cozic, Charles P., and Stacey L. Tipp, eds. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1991. Similar to the Cozic/Petrikin collection, with shorter and more numerous pieces.
Garton, Jean Staker. Who Broke the Baby? Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1979. Very good popular style response to such abortion slogans as “every child a wanted child” and “freedom to choose.”
Gorman, Michael J. Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish and Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1982. Excellent survey of abortion in ancient Judaism and early Christianity in light of the surrounding pagan culture.
Grant, George. Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1988. One of the best books on the leading pro-choice organization.
Kreeft, Peter. Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1990. Very nice discussion of basic Christian morality.
________. The Unaborted Socrates. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984. Delightful book by a Catholic philosopher of fictional dialogues between “Socrates” (returned to the present from the dead) and modern defenders of abortion.
Lee, Patrick. Abortion and Unborn Human Life. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1996. One of the best presentations of the basic pro-life argument, centering the entire discussion on the status of the unborn.
Melton, J. Gordon. The Churches Speak On: Abortion. Official Statements from Religious Bodies and Ecumenical Organizations. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. Pro-life and pro-choice statements from various religious bodies; Melton’s own introduction is heavily biased in the pro-choice direction.
Olasky, Marvin. Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1992. An indispensable historical account that dispels pro-choice and pro-life myths about abortion in American history.
Reardon, David C. Aborted Women: Silent No More. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987. Women who suffered from or regretted their abortions tell their stories.
Schlossberg, Terry, and Elizabeth Achtemeier. Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995. Two women theologians offer a careful, insightful, and compassionate analysis of the abortion question.
Schwarz, Stephen. The Moral Question of Abortion. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1990. Fairly rigorous yet readable defense of the pro-life position.
Stetson, Brad, ed. The Silent Subject: Reflections on the Unborn in American Culture. Foreword by Richard John Neuhaus. Westport, CT, and London: Praeger (Greenwood), 1996. In-depth essays on specific questions or problems relating to abortion.
Feminism (ch. 14)
Bilezekian, Gilbert. Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says About a Woman’s Place in Church and Family. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985. Egalitarian.
Clark, Stephen B. Man and Woman in Christ: An Examination of the Roles of Men and Women in Light of Scripture and the Social Sciences. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1980. Roman Catholic complementarian.
Evans, Mary J. Woman in the Bible: An Overview of All the Crucial Passages on Women’s Roles. Foreword by Donald Guthrie. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983. Egalitarian.
Foh, Susan T. Women and the Word of God: A Response to Biblical Feminism. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1979. Complementarian.
Grenz, Stanley J., with Denise Muir Kjesbo. Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. By far the best defense of the consistent egalitarian view.
Groothuis, Rebecca. Women Caught in the Conflict: The Culture War Bteween Traditionalism and Feminism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994. Egalitarian study of the history leading up to the contemporary debate.
Kroeger, Catherine Clark, and James R. Beck, eds. Women, Abuse, and the Bible: How Scripture Can Be Used to Hurt or Heal. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996. Egalitarian.
Mickelsen, Alvera, ed. Women, Authority, and the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. Egalitarian views dominate this “multiple-views” book.
Piper, John, and Wayne Grudem, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991. Important, somewhat uneven collection of essays from a complementarian perspective.
Scanzoni, Letha Dawson, and Nancy A. Hardesty. All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today. 3d rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992. Classic work in the developing egalitarian perspective.
Spencer, Aida Besançon. Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Egalitarian.
Homosexuality (ch. 15)
Bahnsen, Greg L. Homosexuality: A Biblical View. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978. Excellent, tightly argued biblical study of homosexuality.
Cozic, Charles P., ed. Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints series. David Bender and Bruno Leone, series eds. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1995.
Dannemeyer, William. Shadow in the Land: Homosexuality in America. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989.
Dudley, William, ed. Homosexuality: Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1993.
Melton, J. Gordon. The Churches Speak On: Homosexuality. Official Statements from Religious Bodies and Ecumenical Organizations. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.
Michael, Robert T., John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata. Sex in America: A Definitive Survey. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1994.
Reisman, Judith A., and Edward W. Eichel. Kinsey, Sex and Fraud. Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1990.
Satinover, Jeffrey, M.D. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. A Hamewith Book. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996. A Harvard-trained Jewish psychiatrist critiques contemporary myths about homosexuality and discusses various approaches to treatment.
Schmidt, Thomas E. Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995. Widely hailed as the best Christian analysis of the contemporary debate.
Related Topics: Apologetics