AUTHOR: Voddie Baucham Jr
PUBLISHER: Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015, (208 pages).
What are Apologetics? Should every Christian learn about it? If so, how then do we go about learning and doing apologetics? As far as author and dean of African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, is concerned, the answer is Yes! Progressing from expository preaching of the Word, Baucham brings his conviction of the Word into the defense of the Word, to give the reasons for faith. Anchored in the passage from 1 Peter 3 about contending for the faith and to give everyone a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, the author seeks to help us discover a defense for the gospel using the Word of God. In contrast to the normal ways in which apologetics are done, this book is about the "nature and practice of apologetics."
For Voddie Baucham Jr, "expository apologetics" is about applying the principles of Bible exposition to the "art and science of apologetics." It is a method that is anchored on the "inerrancy, infallibility, sufficiency, and authority of the Bible." The barriers to faith are many. For believers, there is the threat of biblical illiteracy which means not only are such believers unable to defend their faith, they are susceptible to being influenced by all other spiritual forces. Then there is the threat of postmodern thinking that throws out any views that are perceived as absolute. Written for three groups of people, this book aims to equip the evangelist, the preacher-teacher, and the disciple. Not only that, in order for us to be a credible apologist, we need to be established in our character for Christ; that we live in righteousness, that we behave in a way that is congruent with our faith. Expository apologetics essentially aim to do three things:
- Being biblical
- Intuitively easy to remember
- Being conversational.
The book of Romans is a classic example of expository apologetics. We can also learn apologetics through creeds, confessions, and catechisms. Using the Ten Commandments, we can engage others with the Bible's interpretation of the world. Baucham helps us learn to tackle objections with regard to the Christian faith.
This is a wonderful resource that we can have to be trained in apologetics. Sometimes, people may feel like they needed to read a lot of books, attend many courses, and to be trained specifically on how to handle objections, and argue for the defense of the gospel. There is no need to panic as long as we have the Bible. That said, the best way we can prepare for expository apologetics is to read the Bible and be familiar with its teachings in the first place. If we do not know the Word of God, how can we explain it, let alone defend it? If we are not in love with the Word of God, will non-believers be interested? It really comes back to how well we know the Bible and how much love we have. Perhaps, this is the key take-away. In reading this book, I believe that if readers are moved to read and study more of the Bible for themselves, it would have already worth every cent when one purchases this book.