Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith

image So, consider this a recommendation. Bahnsen was known for his precision, scholarship, and deep commitment to the Lord Jesus. This work, published posthumously, displays all of these things. It also shows his pastoral care for Christ’s Church. If you are new to apologetics, or you would like to learn more about defending the Christian faith, get this book.

I would like to add some comments here, however, in light of my recommendation. Firstly, it should be noted that the theological framework presented here for apologetics is both timeless and applicable to any apologetic conversation: Bahnsen was incredibly concerned with the development and exposition of a full-orbed Christian worldview. This means, necessarily, kneeling first the Lordship of Christ over every area of life. The second comment here is that, in some ways, the specific apologetic concerns addressed in this book are primarily in the context of atheism or agnosticism. There have been other works specifically focused on “world religions” from a Reformed perspective, but this is not one. I thought that would be worth noting, since the issue seems to be more current now than perhaps when these chapters were compiled. Lastly, this book is intended for Christians. I am sure that it would be helpful to the unbeliever in understanding Christianity, but that is not the intent. This book was intended to help teach Christians the task to which they are commanded (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

The book itself is split up into five categories: the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge, the conditions necessary for the apologetic task, how to defend the faith, the conditions necessary for apologetic success, and finally answers to apologetic challenges. Each one of these sections is logically built on the ones previous to it, and contains numerous short chapters. I found the layout and logical progression of the book to be very helpful.

I wanted to end this post with a very helpful admonition from this book, especially to the theological student. Bahnsens writes that when “all is said and done, it is not the theory of apologetics which defends the faith and stops the mouths of critics. Only the practice of apologetics can do that.”[1]

May God continue to raise up faithful men who are always ready to defend the hope that is within them.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Page 151.
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