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apologetics

Apologetics Guided Reading: Historical Apologetics Read-Along

Image from a camping trip I took.

Image from a camping trip I took. The beauty of creation points to the existence of God.

I am going to lead a read-through of a historical apologetics work, Manual of Christian Evidences by George Park Fisher. Why choose this book? There are a few reasons. First, it is public domain and therefore available for free through various online formats (including getting it on your Kindle or other e-reading formats). Second, it provides a good framework for understanding the historical development of apologetics from its time (late 19th century) until now. Third, it introduces a few arguments that most people familiar with modern apologetics will find novel, thus showing the importance of exploring historical apologetics. Finally, fourth, I’ve already been doing a read-along of the book in the Facebook group, “Dead Apologists Society,” and I can both tie this discussion back to that group and also use what I’ve been writing up there for this.

I’m interested to get some feedback on this read along because I want it to be useful both for myself and for you, my readers. I have a few questions for you, then, readers. First, are you interested in this? Second, what kind of format would be most helpful for you? I already have a few posts in the works with some questions on the content and application. Third, how often would work for reading along? The chapters are quite short and readable, and I was thinking either weekly or monthly would be the goal. I’m leaning towards monthly so I can space them out more easily.

The book can be acquired here. We’ll be using the 1892 edition, which is available in various e-formats here.

I hope you’ll join me in this read-along!

Read Along Links

Chapter 1– What is the purpose of the Manual? This chapter gives us a preview of what kind of arguments Fisher will use going forward. I provide some questions and discussion for chapter 1 here.

Chapter 2– Fisher defines and defends the possibility of miracles. Come talk about some related issues regarding free will, the definition of miracles, and more.

Chapter 3– Fisher introduces the “argument from felt need” for Christianity (also known as the “argument from desire”). Learn about this argument and its defense.

Chapter 4– A great difference between Christianity in Fisher’s time and in our time is revealed. How does it impact his defense of Christianity? How must ours change?

Chapter 5– Jesus’s character is unique, argues Fisher, such that we can see the person himself as unique.

Chapter 6– Jesus’s behaviors, argues Fisher, show that they are not invented.

Chapter 7– Paul’s letters offer more insight into the life of Christ.

Chapter 8– A brief argument for the authenticity of the Gospels is offered.

Chapter 9– Are the writers of the apostles themselves trustworthy? If we can trust them to tell the truth and their words are accurately reported, then we have reason to believe Christianity.

Links

Dead Apologists Society– A page for Christians interested in the works of historical apologetics. There is also a Facebook group for it.

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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. His interests include theology, philosophy of religion--particularly the existence of God--astronomy, biology, archaeology, and sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Apologetics Guided Reading: Historical Apologetics Read-Along

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Manual of Christian Evidences: Fisher Chapter 1 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - May 2, 2016

  2. Pingback: Manual of Christian Evidences: Fisher Chapter 2 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - June 6, 2016

  3. Pingback: “Manual of Christian Evidences”- Fisher Chapter 3 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - July 18, 2016

  4. Pingback: “Manual of Christian Evidences”- Fisher Chapter 4 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - September 12, 2016

  5. Pingback: “Manual of Christian Evidences” – Fisher Chapter 5 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - April 17, 2017

  6. Pingback: “Manual of Christian Evidences” – Fisher Chapter 6 Guided Reading | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - May 15, 2017

  7. Pingback: Fisher Manual of Christian Evidences Chapter 7 | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - September 4, 2017

  8. Pingback: Apologetics Guided Reading: George Park Fisher “Manual of Christian Evidences” Chapter 8 | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - October 23, 2017

  9. Pingback: Apologetics Guided Reading: George Park Fisher “Manual of Christian Evidences” Chapter 9 | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - October 1, 2018

  10. Pingback: Apologetics Guided Reading: George Park Fisher “Manual of Christian Evidences” Chapter 10 | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - December 31, 2018

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