Saturday, June 05, 2004

Child sacrifice

A resolution was recently introduced at the SBC urging Christian parents to withdraw their children from the public schools.

What is of interest is the hostile reaction that this is provoking from some putatively conservative Christian quarters. So far I’ve tallied the following objections:

1. It runs counter to the Baptist belief in freedom of conscience.

2. It is divisive.

3. It will be ineffectual, like the Disney boycott.

4. Fundamentalists are busybodies.

5. It is hypocritical. We need to put our own house in order.

6. Public schools are only symptomatic of the problem, not its source.

7. It would dilute our public witness.

Let us weigh the worth of these objections.


i) This sidesteps the question of the child’s welfare in the interest of some abstract principle of freedom. But what is more important—to be a good Baptist, or to be a good parent?

ii) Since the resolution, even if it were to pass, would be a nonbinding resolution, it is hard to see how this infringes on individual conscience.

If a conscientious objection such a hothouse flower that it will wilt under a little heat, then it lacks much moral or intellectual substance.

2. Taking a stand on anything is divisive. Not to take a stand is also divisive. So the only relevant question is whether a given issue is important enough to risk division over. Surely the moral formation of our youth ought to be a high priority.


i) It is hard to see how the same stand can be both divisive and ineffectual. It can only be divisive if it enjoys some measure of popular support, in which case it should enjoy some measure of popular success.

Of course, everyone will not go along with it, but since when is unanimity a condition of moral action?

The pertinent question is whether it would do more good than hard.

ii) The objection is circular. I won’t take a stand since taking a stand is ineffectual. I won’t make a move until you make the first move. Obviously, though, its degree of success is in direct proportion to the number of those who act on it.

iii) In any event, this objection is another red-herring. Parents are primarily responsible for what they do with their own kids, and not what other parents do.

4. Even if true, this ad hominem attack is not germane to the issue.

5. The fact that the SBC has a problematic attendance record and retention rate is hardly an argument against the resolution. If anything, this is designed to counter complacency and get parents more involved.


i) This is a half-truth. Public schools are both a source and symptom of the problem. The NEA is well to the left of the general culture, and is trying to recruit the next generation.

ii) This is an all-or-nothing argument. But you do what you can. You don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. And the only way of doing the most you can is to attack the problem on several fronts at once or over time.


i) Even if this were so, it is not the duty of a child to be an evangelist—any more than to be a boy soldier. In the nature of the case, a child is imitative and impressionable. You corrupt a child by putting him in a corrupt environment.

There are, of course, exceptions, depending on the child’s maturity and strength of character. But this is not a general argument for placing Christian children in the public school system. Rather, the reverse. Make no mistake, this is spiritual warfare, and the battlefield is no place of kids.

ii) The best method of child-to-child evangelism is to raise Christian children, and then let them freely relate with the other kids in the neighborhood. Tossing your kids in a snake pit is a way of losing your own kids rather than saving any others. The way to save a snake-bit victim is not to for me to get bitten as well, but for me to stay healthy so that I can suck the poison from his wound.

License to kill

What, exactly, are the best arguments for abortion, and how should a Christian respond? Jonah Engle has gleaned seven "talking points" for "freedom of choice," from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the National Abortion Federation.

Let's run through each of these and evaluate them one-by-one. For ease of reference, her numbered points will be put in quotation marks.

"1) Reproductive Freedoms Are a Fundamental Human Right
It is a fundamental right of each individual to manage his or her fertility. Such reproductive rights are an integral part of women's social, economic and political rights, and have been affirmed in numerous international treaties and conventions including CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women) and the Program of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development."

i) Note here, and throughout her talking-points, the studied use of abstract nouns and generic designations. "Woman." "Abortion." "Procedure." But abortion is a "procedure" applied to "pregnant" women. A pregnant woman is a mother. So why not discuss abortion in relation to motherhood? Wouldn't that be more accurate? And an expression like "prenatal infanticide" would be more transparent and accurate than an opaque term like "abortion" or an antiseptic term like "procedure."

But, of course, the reason for the choice of such words is—on the one hand—to dehumanize the object of abortion (the baby), while—on the other hand—to distance the subject of abortion (the mother, abortionist) from moral complicity. Clear communication would weaken rather than strengthen the argument for abortion, so Engle resorts to vague euphemisms.

"Mother" is a very loaded word. Motherhood implies a relationship in a way that "womanhood" does not. What is more, motherhood implies a responsible relationship. Consider the difference between saying that "a woman has a right to an abortion" and "a mother has a right to kill her own child"? Obviously it's easier to sell the first formulation than the second. Yet the second is formulation is what we're really talking about.

ii) Note, also, the euphemism of "reproductive rights." Are prolifers denying women the right to reproduce? If Engle believes in abortion, why is she afraid to say what she means?

iii) To say that abortion is a fundamental human right begs the whole question. This is a tendentious assertion rather than a reasoned argument.

iv) But, assuming, for the sake of argument, that abortion is a human right, then why appeal to international law? A political entity cannot confer a human right, but only a civil right. So either abortion is a human right, in which case international law is irrelevant; or else abortion is a civil right, in which case it is not a human right, and is revocable by the same political process that conferred it in the first place.

v) The appeal to international law is viciously circular. To the extent that abortion is a civil right under international law, that is only because the abortion industry has lobbied to make it so.

vi) We might add that the whole notion of having rights is, itself, a cultural construct of the Enlightenment. So how, then, can this framework achieve the force of a universal norm? Why does Engle canonize the ethical scheme of dead white European males?

vii) Why the abrupt introduction of the male pronoun into the discussion—"his or her fertility." I thought we were talking about abortion. Do men have abortions?

"2) The Denial of Safe, Legal and Affordable Abortions Threatens Women's Health
In rare cases, carrying a pregnancy to term can pose a serious health risk to a pregnant woman. Whether or not abortion is safe, legal or affordable, women still have recourse to it. When abortion is illegal they are forced into having underground and often unsafe operations. This greatly compromises the health and well-being of pregnant women. Each year at least 78,000 women die around the world due to complications from unsafe abortions (13 percent of maternal deaths), and hundreds of thousands more suffer short- and long-term disability. Legalizing abortion helps prevent this tragedy--within five years of legalization, abortion-related deaths decreased 85 percent in the United States."

i) A life of crime can also pose a serious health risk. A sniper may be shot. A terrorist may blow himself up. Are we entitled to do wrong with impunity?

ii) How are mothers "forced" into abortion? The only example I know of are boyfriends who resent the prospect of paying child support. Is feminism siding with the boyfriend? Doesn't sound like women's rights to me.

iii) When I was growing up, which was not so very long ago (I was born in 1959), a defining feature of familial love and duty was that a husband would give his life to save his wife, while a mother would give her life to save her child. But now we've come to the point where the child should die to save the mother—even if the mother's life is not in danger. I would only remark that children tutored in the abortion ethic are more than likely to round out the logical by euthanizing their elderly parents. It is a very short, logical step from aborticide to parricide.

iv) Another unspoken assumption which underlies this argument is that no one should ever be called upon to do the right thing if it entails a personal hardship. But this, once again, illustrates the moral inversion of abortion ethics. For the acid test of virtue is doing the right thing when it does cost you something, when it does entail a sacrifice of your own well-being in the interests of another.

"3) Legalizing Abortion Does Not Increase its Incidence
Statistics show that women worldwide, when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, seek abortions regardless of the legality of the procedure, and whether or not safe services are available. Countries as diverse as Canada, Tunisia and Turkey liberalized their abortion laws without an increase in the abortion rate. Holland, though it has a non-restrictive abortion law and free abortions, has one of the lowest abortion rates in the world, far lower than many countries where abortion is illegal (e.g., Chile and Brazil)."

i) Statistics also show that wife-beaters worldwide, when faced with an unwanted wife, seek to batter or murder their spouse regardless of the legality of the procedure. So should we legalized uxoricide? There are, in fact, cultures in which wife-killing is socially condoned.

ii) Suppose we were to substitute "unwanted blacks" or "unwanted Jews" for "unwanted pregnancies." Is the value of my life contingent on the valuation of a second-party? Many genocidal tyrants would appreciate Engle's ethical calculus.

"4) Medical Abortion Is a Very Safe Procedure, Especially in the First Trimester (When 88 Percent of Abortions Take Place)
The health risks from an abortion are minimal.
- Less than 1 percent of women experience a major complication.
- The risk of death associated with childbirth is eleven times greater than the risk of death from an abortion."

i) The abortionist is hardly a disinterested source of information. Malpractice suits are bad for business.

ii) In fact, Planned Parenthood and other abortuaries hide behind privacy laws.

iii) Assuming for the sake of argument that the stats are true, so what? Is murder supposed to be safe?

iv) Were it not for childbirth, there would be no abortionists. The radical feminist comes into the world the same way as the prolifer. The only difference is that the prolifer is grateful for the process whereas the abortionist wants to slam the door on those who come after.

v) Statistics show that 100% of everyone born will die one day. Pretty high risk! Should we outlaw childbirth?

"5) When Women Are Not Free to Choose, Children Risk Coming into the World With Parents Who Are Not in a Position to Properly Look After Them"

i) "Free to choose"? Another euphemism. Isn't "to choose" the sort of verb that ordinarily takes a direct object? You'd think we were talking about a woman's right to choose a dress or order an entrée.

ii) Except for victims of rape and incest, most pregnant women have already made a choice. They chose to engage in procreation. That is what sex is. "Sex" is short for sexual reproduction. Pregnancy is the natural outcome of sexual intercourse.

iii) Either Engle believes that women are moral agents, in which case they're responsible for the consequences of their life-style choices; or else she believes that they are like little children who must be placed under the authority of a guardian. If the latter, they don't have the right to make their own decisions, for they are in a condition of diminished responsibility; if the former, then they don't have the right to demand that government protect them from the consequences of their life-style choices.

iv) The child is already in the world. It has been conceived. The child is in its mother's womb, and the mother is in the world. So this would not be an argument for abortion, but—at most—contraception. Abortion does more than put a child at risk—it kills him in the womb.

v) A child is not like a sales' item you can return to the store if you change your mind.

vi) If women were truly autonomous, why would they seek intimacy with members of the other sex. Why not go the lesbian route? Why are there so many unwanted pregnancies unless women need men because they're emotionally dependent on men, just as men need women for the same reason? What the argument for abortion presupposes is not autonomy, but codependency; but, of course, that's an argument against a "woman's" right to an abortion.

"6) Though Abortion Remains Legal, Restricting Access to Abortion Penalizes the Poor, Who Are Less Able to Pay for Such Operations
Despite the fact that abortion is legal in the United States, access is decreasing as numerous barriers have been set up. These include consent forms, extended waiting periods and, most notably, the Hyde Amendment, passed into law in 1977. The legislation denies federal funding for abortions (except in cases of rape, incest or when a pregnant woman's life is endangered) for poor women who rely on Medicaid, disabled women who rely on Medicare and Native American women who rely on the Indian Health Service for healthcare. In addition to these women, federal legislation denies access to abortions for Peace Corps volunteers, women in federal prison, women in the military, teenagers who participate in the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, patients of Title X family-planning clinics, residents of the District of Columbia and federal employees and their families. Only fifteen states make state Medicaid monies available for nondiscriminatory funding of abortion. Abortions in the first trimester without complications start at $250-$350, and can run into the high hundreds or thousands of dollars. Without Medicaid funding, low-income women do not have equal access to a vital and legal medical procedure. Furthermore, welfare laws discourage states from providing assistance for abortions as well as to unwed mothers, placing low-income women in a double bind."

i) A well-heeled Mafia Don can better afford to hire a hit-man than a guy flipping hamburgers for a living. Does that mean that the government should provide hit-men free of charge for those who cannot afford one?

ii) Where is the father in this equation? Doesn't a man have some contribution to make in this process? How does a pregnant woman become impregnated in the first place?

Why does feminism place all the burden on the mother? Why does feminism let the guy off the hook? To listen to Engle, you'd think that every birth was a virgin birth.

Obviously a man shares equal responsibility. But Engle can't bring herself to make that elementary point, for as soon as she concedes that a man has some input in getting a woman pregnant, then—as the father—he ought to have some input in whether to terminate the pregnancy.

But that would spoil the argument for the feminine autonomy. In order for the woman to be an autonomous agent, she must be held solely responsible; in order for her to be held solely responsible, the man must not be held responsible for his actions. This is a paradox of feminism. It "empowers" women by absolving men of any blame, for men cannot be blameworthy unless they're responsible, and they cannot be responsible unless they share responsibility with the woman they impregnate. Isn't it obvious that promiscuous men get the better of this deal?

iii) If there is a moral disparity in play, it is that children of the well-to-do are at higher risk of being murdered in the womb than the children of the poor. If we outlaw abortion, then that will level out the injustice. Abortion penalizes the innocent child.

iv) Is Engle afraid that we have too many American Indian babies? Is she advocating genocide? Would she like to keep them a permanent and infinitesimal minority? Is she disappointed that more dumpsters aren't overflowing with aborted Indian babies? Seems rather racist to me.

v) There is, of course, a financial correlation between poor mothers and unwed mothers. Once again, lifestyle choices have economic consequences. Whose responsibility is that?

vi) In what sense is abortion a "vital medical procedure." Pregnancy is not a life-threatening disease.

vii) I suppose you can call abortion a "medical procedure," just as you could call the gas chambers a medical procedure.

viii) "Teenagers"? "Parental consent"? Well, yes. Even if you believe in abortion for grown women, is Engle such a fanatic that she would insist on privacy laws which prevent the prosecution of statutory rape because it can't be reported to the authorities?

ix) Why should a school counselor or stranger at an abortion clinic—a stranger with a vested business interest—have more input on the decision than the girl's mother or father? For what other major medical "procedure" would Engel leave the decision-making up to an underage girl and her handlers, then bandage her up and dump her back on the doorstep of her own home—without ever notifying a parent of potential complications or emotional trauma? What if the abortion is botched?

It tells you a lot about the level of moral desperation when the "right" of teenage access to abortion comes at the cost of immunity to medical malpractice and statutory rape. With the teenage "right" to an abortion comes the right to be raped and butchered. Feminism is a beautiful thing, ain't it though?

x) If we have too many unwanted pregnancies in the military, that's an argument, not for abortion, but for abolishing a coed military.

xi) Engle overlooks the obvious correlation between the welfare state and a culture of poverty and dependency. But this is only too typical of left-wing social policy. When one entitlement fails, it demands yet another entitlement to prop up the first.

xii) "Complications"? Whoa! I thought Engle had just assured us, under point #4, that abortion was a very safe "procedure." Now, however, she's warning us about the medical complications. In order to make a therapeutic argument for abortion, she must play down the health risk; but in order to make a fiscal argument, she must play up the risk.

"7) The Most Effective Way to Reduce Abortions Is to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies
Western and Eastern Europe have similar abortion laws but the West has far greater access to effective contraception. They also have, respectively, the lowest and highest abortion rates in the world. The Bush Administration's decision to end contributions to the UN Population Fund, which funds family-planning projects in 142 countries, will perversely result in approximately 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths and 77,000 infant and child deaths."

i) I have no objection to contraction, although some so-called contraceptives are really abortifacients in disguise (e.g. the morning-after pill).

ii) Engle is deliberately confounding abortion with contraception.

iii) Why does Engle suppose that American wage-earners, who work hard to feed and clothe their own kids, are responsible for funding birth-control measures around the world? Isn't that pretty paternalistic?

iv) Of course, the only "effective" form of contraception is abstinence. So Engle should be advocating abstinence programs instead.

v) Hasn't Engle ever heard of private charity? If feminism is really that compassionate about the plight of poor mothers around the world, why don't Engle and her coterie chip in and start their own fund for the free distribution of prophylactics? They seem to be very generous with everyone's money but their own.

vi) For that matter, if Engle and her coterie feel that tender-hearted about the plight of the poor, why don't they sell their domiciles in Malibu and Manhattan, go live with the poor, role up their sleeves, and apply their social theories about the root-causes of poverty in situ? Or would such a move put a crimp in their standard of living?

Friday, June 04, 2004

The many flavors of fideism

Fideism is a common phenomenon in Christendom. And it is generally used as a term of abuse. Hence, it is important for us to define our terms and sort out the varieties and various motives giving rise to fideism.

I. Exposition:

In the nature of the case, fideism tends to be anti-intellectual. Hence, it is somewhat elusive of definition, for it amounts to a rather fuzzy, nugatory position. In general, fideism opposes faith to reason, and places faith above reason. But this is so vague that it could mean almost anything, so let us break the question down into different answers given by different schools of fideism.

1. Pragmatic fideism.

Many believers are too unsophisticated to know how to answer objections to the faith. They become flustered and intimidated when confronted with such objections. A class case is the Christian college student who comes out of a reflexive and unreflective Christian environment, and is suddenly thrown into a social environment hostile to his hereditary and unquestioning faith.

Having no ready-made answers or mental discipline, one reaction is to retreat into the citadel of his fideistic will-power. He has faith in faith. The act of faith becomes a self-validating exercise.

This form of fideism is basically a defense mechanism or default-setting, in the absence of a positive counteroffensive.

2. Dogmatic fideism.

Many believers are committed to a theological tradition or another which assigns a large role to mystery. God is believed to be almost ineffable. We know not what he is, but what he is not. Or else, it is said that the relation between various articles of the faith presents the mind with evident and irreconcilable antinomies. So these teachings must be held in a state of tension, affirming them separately without attempting to relate them. Indeed, any effort at harmonization is deemed to be downright impious.

So (2) has a theological basis, unlike (1). Yet someone raised in (2) will fall back very easily on (1).

3. Liberal fideism.

Some professing believers have divided intellectual loyalties. They believe that precritical faith is simply incredible. But they still wish to retain a foot in the church.

So they compartmentalize faith and reason and devise insulating strategies to safe-guard a little corner for faith. They redefine the scope of faith, relegating it to the confines of an airtight, climate-controlled hothouse where it can flourish on its own, shielded from direct and deadly contact with the outside elements.

Traditional terms and categories are retained, but redefined, as a code language, with a different set of truth-conditions.

These range along the left-hand of the theological continuum from mediating theologians—who continue to honor some remnants of traditional orthodoxy—to Christian-coated infidels—who don’t believe in God at all.

II. Evaluation


i) One problem with this maneuver is that those who resort to it the most are least equipped to shoulder the burden. They repair to faith because their faith has been shaken by reason, or what appears to be reason. So they’re making more demands on their faith at the very time in which their faith is overtaxed. To fall back on faith during a crisis of faith is like trying to clamber one's way out of a gravel pit.

ii) Faith without reason is only as strong as we happen to feel at any given moment. And our feelings are calibrated to our physical and emotional well-being. Putting faith in faith is a form of self-cannibalism that repays ever-diminishing returns. It places a boulder on the wobbly shoulders of a weak-kneed believer who is least able to bear up under the personal pressure.

A few ounces of solid reason are worth a ton of will-power. Uncovering the rational foundations of faith lays a solid foundation for intellectual security, not insecurity. Paving over the fault-lines does not forestall an earthquake. If you suffer from intellectual doubts and impediments to faith, then the best remedy is to answer your doubts and remove your impediments.

This doesn’t mean that you have to have the answers to everything. But, again, one benefit of knowing why you believe is that it helps you to discriminate between what answers you can and cannot live without by teaching you what questions are important and answerable.

iii) Often, too, the proper object of faith is lost sight of in fideism. Faith is not self-referential. Faith does not supply its own object. This is not, or ought not to be, a question of my will-power, of my will to believe—as if faith were a mirror or human monument. Faith is not about me and my will, but about God and God’s will.

iv) A beleaguered believer needs to remind himself that, in the church, different members have different gifts and callings. The fact that he may not feel cut out to do apologetics doesn’t mean that he should turn against sanctified reason. Rather, it means that he should delegate the task of defending the faith to a fellow believer who does have a vocation in apologetics.

v) At the same time, it is easy for a Christian to sell himself short. He may have more intellectual aptitude that he is aware of.

vi) It is often said that Scripture assumes rather than proves the existence of God. But this is a half-truth. It is true that Scripture never treats the existence of God as an open question. God is the foundation for everything else.

On the other hand, most of Scripture is addressed to the community of faith, so there is rarely occasion even to raise the issue. When, however, the Bible is addressed the unbeliever, as in Isaiah’s indictment of idolatry (Isa 40-48), or Paul’s speech before the Areopagus, it does make a case for faith.



i) This argument is only as good as the argument for the theological tradition that underwrites it. So it only pushes the problem back a step. Why believe that God is ineffable? Why believe in dialectical theology?

ii) "Faith" means more than one thing. "Faith" can mean conviction, a conviction founded on trustworthy testimony or self-evident intuition.

Or faith can mean "taking on faith" something you don’t know to be true. You hope it’s true, and you act as thought it’s true.

Now certainly there are cases in Scripture where a believer simply takes God’s word for it, without any corroborative evidence, or even in the teeth of apparently contrary evidence.

So you might say that he’s taking something on faith, and yet he’s not taking everything on faith. He believes in the promise of God because he knows that God has given him this promise.

iii) It is licit to invoke mystery as a result of exegesis; it is illicit to invoke mystery as an exegetical short-cut.

iv) One of the problems with dogmatic fideism is that it lacks a principled criterion for telling when and when not to apply the harmonistic principle. For example, universalism, conditional immortality, and everlasting punishment have all found proponents who cite Scripture in defense of their doctrine.

Yet conservative churches otherwise amenable to irreconcilable tensions in theology are quick to reconcile the Biblical data to the exclusion of one or more rival views on the afterlife.

v) These churches almost make it an article of faith that certain articles of faith are paradoxical. But the Bible itself never says that. This is, at most, a subjective impression that some readers receive when they study Scripture and do systematic theology.

And this impression is often generated by certain preconceived notions they bring to the study of Scripture, such as the one-over-many relation, or relation between time and eternity, or conditions of moral incumbency.

Yet we should never canonize our extra-canonical preconceptions, according them a dogmatic status, and then appeal to that as justification to disdain apologetics. Ironically, to do so is—itself—a tacit appeal to rationalism in defense of fideism.

vi) The conventional terms of the debate tend to prejudice our expectations and options. When you talk about the relation between faith and reason, this treats faith as one thing and reason as another. But, of course, that is one of the very points at issue.

Is this the best way to frame the contrast? Could we not recast the issue as a contrast between divine and human reason? And even though finite reason is naturally subordinate to infinite reason, there is, in this, a reasonable, and not unreasonable, submission of lower reason to higher reason.

vii) There is also the question of whether we have a right to divide the spoils of God’s kingdom, ceding the high ground of reason to the Devil while we reserve the low road of faith for ourselves. Does the devil really have a monopoly on reason? Doesn’t Scripture present infidelity as irrational—even insane?

viii) It is frequently felt that reason is a threat to faith. And it often works out that way, does it not? But if reason can incline to infidelity, ignorance can incline to heresy. So fideism is as much a threat to the faith as unbridled reason.


i) Liberal fideism is a transparent exercise in damage control, and one wonders just who the liberal fideist thinks he’s kidding. He isn’t fooling the outright atheist; he isn’t fooling the conservative. Is he fooling himself? If so, this evinces an unhealthy and insatiable appetite for self-delusion. But oftentimes the exercise is so calculated that it’s hard to think there isn’t an element of willful deception as well. It is, however, psychologically possible to be both a deceiver and self-deceived, to varying degrees.

ii) There is a basic duplicity to liberal fideism. On the one hand, it seems to demote reason, holding reason in low esteem. On the other hand, this is a last-ditch maneuver. It really believes that reason got the better of the argument, that science or philosophy or higher criticism has invalidated precritical faith. Hence, the resort to faith, which appears to promote faith over reason, really assumes a very low view of faith and a very high view of reason. So the paeans to pious faith and existential authenticity are a fairly conspicuous and clumsy charade.

iii) The Christian faith claims to be both true and obligatory because it is a revealed religion, predicated on certain historic events, reflecting the direct intervention of God in time and space. But unless the Christian faith is true on these grounds, it cannot be validated on any other grounds; and unless it is credible on these grounds, it cannot be rendered credible on any other grounds.

iv) Liberal fideism often lays stress on non-cognitive knowledge, on an ineffable, existential encounter with God. But this surrogate is false on two grounds:

a) In this life, we know Christ by description, and not by acquaintance. As John often explains, authentic faith is a matter of knowing and doing the truth. We enter into a personal relationship with Christ by exercising faith in propositions about the person and work of Christ.

b) Unless God is, in some measure, an object of reason, there is no cause for supposing that an existential encounter, however defined, is an encounter with God rather than an undigested apple dumpling.

Another duplicitous feature of fideism, and this is something it shares in common with its principled and liberal forms alike, is that the astute fideist devotes a lot of time and ingenuity to devising a sophisticated case for fideism. But why come up subtle arguments to prove that there’s no need of proof? Why not spend the same time devising subtle arguments to make a positive case for faith?

Instead of rendering a rational justification for the subject of faith—the believer—why not render a rational justification for the object of faith—God and God’s word?

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Read any good books, lately?-3

XV. Commentaries


Baker (forthcoming)
Hamilton (moderate)
Sarna (Jewish)
Waltke (moderate)
Walton (OEC; strong on ANE background)
Wenham (moderate)
Youngblood (OEC)


Alexander (forthcoming)
Longman (forthcoming)
Motyer (popular)
Ross (forthcoming)
Sarna (Jewish)


Baker (forthcoming)
Hess (forthcoming)


Currid (forthcoming)
Sailhamer (forthcoming)


Block (forthcoming)
Duguid (popular)




Block (includes Ruth)


Duguid (popular)

1-2 Samuel

Block (forthcoming)

1-2 Kings

Hess (forthcoming)
Provan (moderate)

1-2 Chronicles

Dillard (moderate)






Clines (learned, liberal)
Longman (forthcoming)


Allen (moderate)
Craigie (moderate)
Goldingay (learned, liberal)
Tate (moderate)
Wenham (forthcoming)




Kidner (moderate)
Longman (liberal)
Provan (moderate)


Longman (moderate)
Provan (moderate)


Ridderbos (moderate)


Craigie (Jer 1-25)
Kaiser (on Lamentations)


Allen (moderate)


Longman (moderate)
Mitchell (forthcoming)

Minor Prophets

Baldwin (Haggai-Malachi)
Garrett (Hosea, Joel)
Hubbard (Hosea, Joel-Amos)
Kidner (Hosea)
McComiskey, ed. (Hosea-Malachi)
Merrill (Haggai-Malachi)
Robertson (Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah)
Robertson (Jonah)
Smith (Hosea-Micah)
Stuart (Hosea-Jonah)
Verhoef (Haggai-Malachi)
Waltke (Micah)


Evans (forthcoming)
France (moderate-conservative, NICNT)
Keener (advanced. moderate-conservative)
Nolland (moderate, advanced)
Turner (forthcoming)


Evans (moderate, advanced)
France (advanced)
Horsley (learned, liberal, forthcoming)
Stein (forthcoming)


Bauckham (moderate, forthcoming)
Garland (forthcoming)


Bauckham (moderate, forthcoming)
Keener (advanced)
Ridderbos (moderate)

Robinson, J. The Priority of John


Bruce (both commentaries)
Gasque (forthcoming)
Keener (forthcoming)
Porter (forthcoming)
Witherington (advanced)

Alexander, L. Acts
Porter, Paul in Acts


Cranfield (Barthian, advanced)
Fitzmyer (Roman Catholic)
Longenecker (NPP, forthcoming)
Murray (Reformed, postmil)
Porter (forthcoming)
Schreiner (Reformed, premil)
Piper, The Justification of God (Rom 9)

1 Corinthians

Ellis (forthcoming)
Fee (Charismatic)
Thiselton (advanced)

2 Corinthians

Harris (technical)
Seifrid (forthcoming)


Carson (forthcoming)
Longenecker (NPP)
Ryken (popular, Reformed)
Silva (forthcoming)
Wright (NPP, forthcoming)


Hoehner (advanced)


Silva (2nd ed.)


Fitzmyer (Philemon)
Moo (forthcoming)
Wilson (learned, liberal)


Bruce (moderate)
Vine (premil)


Johnson (Catholic)
Quinn (Catholic)
Towner (moderate, advanced)
Yarbrough (forthcoming)


Carson (forthcoming)
DeSilva (strong on background)
Ellingworth (advanced)
Lane. (Arminian)
O’Brien (forthcoming)
Witherington (uneven)


Davids (Anabaptist)
Witherington (uneven)

1 Peter

Clowney (popular)
Davids (Anabaptist)
Marshall (popular—with scholarly touch)
Schreiner (Reformed Baptist)

2 Peter &/or Jude

Bauckham (liberal, learned)
Davids (moderate)
Green (forthcoming)
Schreiner (Reformed Baptist)
Witherington (uneven)

1-3 John

Carson (forthcoming)
Marshall (Arminian)
Yarbrough (forthcoming


Aune (liberal, technical)
Beale (amil, technical)
Caird (liberal, learned)
Carson (forthcoming)
Keener (popular—with scholarly touch)
Michaels (moderate, popular)
Poythress (amil, popular)
Smalley (moderate)
Thompson (liberal, brief but scholarly)
Witherington (semi-popular, premil, erudite)

*New Testament Commentary series by W. Hendriksen and S. Kistemaker). A very readable series in the Dutch-Reformed tradition. Nothing unpredictable, but sound and sober-minded.




Wisdom of Solomon




XVI. Reference Works

Augustine Through the Ages
Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible
Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity
Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals
Blackwell Companions to Philosophy
Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought
Calvin's Commentaries
Cambridge Companions (series)
Concise Dictionary of Christian Theology (M. Erickson)
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation
Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature
Dictionary of Christian Biography
Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology
Dictionary of the Ancient Near East
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books

Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism
Encyclopedia of Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Encyclopedia of Christianity
Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects & New Religions
Encyclopedia of Early Christianity
Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy & Religion
Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism
Encyclopedia of Postmodernism
Encyclopedia of Religion
Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
Encyclopedia of Protestantism
Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith
Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire
Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament
Handbook of Metaphysics & Ontology
Historical Dictionary of the Orthodox Church
Illustrated Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
IVP New Testament Dictionary Set
New Bible Dictionary
New Catholic Encyclopedia
New Dictionary of Biblical Theology
New Dictionary of Theology
New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology
New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis
Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
Oxford Dictionary of Popes
Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Oxford Companion to Christian Thought
Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (C. Evans)
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Papacy: an encyclopedia
Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible

XVII. Devotional reading

Richard Baxter
John Bunyan
William Cowper
Martin Lloyd-Jones
Abraham Kuyper
J.I. Packer
John Piper
Christian Rossetti
Samuel Rutherford
John Ryle
Richard Sibbes

Read any good books, lately?-2

X. Countercultism

_Armstrong, J., ed. Roman Catholicism (Moody 1994). Best general post-Vatican II critique.
_ Baker, D., ed. Biblical Faith & Other Religions (Kregel 2004).
_Beckwith, F.(ed.), See the Gods Fall (College Press 1997). Best general contemporary treatment.
_____, The New Mormon Challenge (Zondervan 2002).
_Beckwith, R. Elders in Every City: The Origin & Role of the Ordained Ministry (2003).
_Berkouwer, G. The Conflict with Rome (Baker 1958). Erudite critique from pre-Vatican II perspective.
_Berlinski, D. The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky: Astrology and the Art of Prediction (Harcourt 2003)
_Blomberg, C. How Wide the Divide? (IVP 1997). Tends to shade the differences, but Blomberg's material is useful.
_Bowman, R. Jehovah's Witnesses (Zondervan 1995)
_Brown, R. et al eds. Mary in the New Testament (Fortress 1978).
_Caird, G. Our Dialogue With Rome (Oxford, 1967). Erudite critique by NT scholar and Congregationalist.
_Caner, E. Unveiling Islam (Kregel 2002).
_ Carter, S. & D. Groothuis, eds. Dictionary of Contemporary Religion in the Western World (IVP 2002).
_Chaudhuri, N. Hinduism: A Religion to Live By (London 1979). By an erudite Indian secularist.
_Corduan, W. A Tapestry of Faiths: Common Threads Among the World’s Religions (IVP 2002). Evangelical. Good coverage.
_____, Neighboring Faiths (IVP 1998).
_Cunningham, W. Discussions on Church Principles (Still Waters, 1991). Useful critique of Romanism.
_Edwards, P. Reincarnation (Prometheus1996).
_Fairbairn, D. Eastern Orthodoxy Through Western Eyes (2002).
_Fregosi, P. Jihad in the West (Prometheus 1998). Secularist.
_Gabriel, M. Islam & Terrorism (Charisma House 2002)
_____, Islam & the Jews (Charisma House 2003)
_Garrett, D. Angels and the New Spirituality (B&H 1995)
_Hoekema, H. The Four Major Cults (Eerdmans 1963). Reformed.
_Kenny, A. A Path From Rome (Oxford, 1985). By an ex-priest and philosopher.
_Kidd, B. The Roman Primacy to AD 461 (SPCK, 1936). Historical exposé.
_Lampe, P. From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (Fortress 2003).
_Larson, S. Quest for the Golden Plates (Freethinker Press 1996). Exposé of Mormon archeology.
_Leeming, G. (ed.). Towards Christian Unity (Oxford, 1967). Good essays by Packer and Caird.
_ Letham, R. Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy: A Reformed Perspective (2007).
_Lewis, B. The Crisis of Islam (Random House 2003).
_Lloyd-Jones, M. The Basis of Christian Unity (IVP 1962). Broadside against ecumenism.
_Margoliouth, D. The Early Development of Mohammedanism (AMS 1979). Witty and erudite exposé of Islam.
_Metzger, B. "The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ," Theology Today (1953), 10:65-85.
_ Miller, E. & K. Samples, The Cult of the Virgin Mary: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary (Baker 1992).
_Mozley, J. The Theory of Development (New York, 1879).
_Nazir-Ali, M. Islam: a Christian Perspective (Westminster, 1983). Written by a Pakistani Christian and Anglican bishop.
_Netland, H. Encountering Religious Pluralism: The Challenge to Christian Faith & Mission (IVP 2001).
_North, G., Unholy Spirits (Dominion Press 1986). Exposé of the occult. A tad gullible. North is a brilliant but erratic writer.
_Preus, R., Justification & Rome (CAP 1997). Traditional Lutheran.
_Rahner, K. Visions and Prophecies (Herder & Herder 1963). Catholic.
_ Ross, H. et al. Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men (NavPress 2002).
_Schatz, K. Papal Primacy: From Its Origins to the Present (M/G 1996).
_Spencer, R., Islam Unveiled (Encounter Books 2002).
_____, Onward Muslim Soldiers (Regenary 2003).
_Stamoolis, J. ed. Three Views On Eastern Orthodoxy (2004).
_Svendsen, E. Evangelical Answers (Reformation Press 1999).
_____, Who is My Mother (Calvary Press 2001).
_Trifkovic, S. The Sword of the Prophet (BHB Int. 2002).
_Von Döllinger, I., The Pope and the Council (Boston, 1870)
_Vos, J. A Christian Introduction to Religions of the World (Baker 1965). Dutch-Reformed.
_Ware, T. The Orthodox Church (1997).
_Warraq, I. Why I am not a Muslim (Prometheus 1995). Secularist.
_Watt, W. The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali (Allen & Unwin, 1967). Spiritual autobiography of Islam's leading thinker. Recounts his crisis of faith.
_Whitaker, W., A Disputation on Holy Scripture (Still Waters, n.d.).
_Wills, G. Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (Doubleday 2000).
_Ye'or, B. Islam & Dhimmitude (Fairleigh Dickinson U 2001)

XI. Epistemology 101

_Alston, W. A Realist Conception of Truth (Cornell 1997). Important and astute defense of alethic realism.
_____, Beyond Justification (Cornell 2005). Tries to recast the terms of the debate.
_____, Divine Nature & Human Language (Cornell 1989), Useful, but suffers from some libertarian concessions.
_____, Perceiving God (Cornell 1993). Astute defense of argument from experience.
_____, Realism & Antirealism (Cornell 2003)
_____, The Reliability of Sense Perception (Cornell 1996)
_Frame, J. Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (P&R 1987). A reconstruction of religious epistemology in light of Scripture. A groundbreaking work.
_Helm, P. Faith & Understanding (Eerdmans 1997). An exploration of the Anslemian epistemic tradition.
_____, Faith with Reason (Oxford 2000). On faith and assurance.
_____, Objective Knowledge (IVP 1989). Critique of post-modernism, relativism.
_____, Varieties of Belief (Allen & Uwin 1973). Comparative historical Christian epistemology.
_Marechal, J. Studies in the Psychology of the Mystics (Benziger Brothers 1927). Transcendental Thomism.
_Mavrodes,G. Belief in God (Random House, 1970). Shifted debate from abstract arguments to the real reasons people believe.
_____, Revelation In Religious Belief (Temple U 1988)
_Meek, E., Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People (Brazos Press, 2003). Influenced by Michael Polanyi.
_Pike, N. Mystic Union (Cornell 1992)
_Plantinga, A. Warranted Christian Belief (Oxford 2000). His magnum opus on "Reformed Epistemology."
_Polyanyi, M. Personal Knowledge (Chicago 1958).
_____, The Tacit Dimension (Routledge 1967). Updated version of Newman's illative sense.
_Wolsterstorff, N. Divine Discourse (Cambridge 1995). Critique of post-modernism.
_____, Thomas Reid & the Story of Epistemology (Cambridge 2000)
_Young, W. Foundations of Theory (Craig Press 1967).

XII. Bible 101

1. Canonics

_Beckwith, R. The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church (Eerdmans 1986). The standard-bearer.
_Bruce, F. The Canon of Scripture (IVP 1988)
_Desilva, D. Introducingn the Apocrypha (2004).
_Ellis, E. The Making of the New Testament Documents (Leiden: Brill 1999).
_____, The Old Testament in Early Christianity: Canon and Interpretation in Light of Modern Research (Baker 1992).
_Gamble, H. Books & Readers in the Early Church (Yale 1995).
_Hengel, M. The Septuagint as Christian Scripture (2002).
_Jobes, K & M. Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint (2005).
_Metzger, B. An Introduction to the Apocrypha (1977).
_____, The Canon of the New Testament (Oxford 1987)
_Roberts, J. & Du Toit, A. Gude to the New Testament, Vol. I (Pretoria, 1989).
_Sailhamer, J. Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach (Zondervan 1995).
_Trobisch, D. Paul’s Letter Collection (QWP 2001).
_____, The First Edition of the New Testament (Oxford 2000).

2. Hermeneutics

_Beale, G. & D. A. Carson, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (2007).
_Carson, D. Exegetical Fallacies (Baker 1996)
_Fee, G. & Stuart D. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth (Zondervan 1993)
_Longman, T. Making Sense of the Old Testament (Baker 1999)
_____, Reading the Bible with Heart & Mind (NavPress 1997)
_Poythress, V. God-Centered Biblical Interpretation (Zondervan 1999)
_Pratt, R. He Gave Them Stories (Wolgemuth 1990)
_Schreiner, T. Interpreting the Pauline Epistles (Baker 1990)
_Stein, R. A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible (Baker 1997).
_Thiselton, A. Interpreting God & the Postmodern Self (Eerdmans 1995).
_VanGemeren, W. The Progress of Redemption (Academic Books 1988).
_Vanhoozer, K. ed. Dictionary of Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Baker 2005).
_____, Is There a Meaning in This Text? (Zondervan 1998).

3. Veracity

_ Aalders, G. The Problem of the Book of Jonah (Tyndale 1948).
_Alexander, T. From Paradise to the Promised Land (Baker 2002). Emphasis on thematic unity of the Pentateuch.
_Allis, O. The Old Testament (P&R, 1972). His magnum opus.
_Archer,G. (Moody 1994). A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Strong on inerrancy, weak on creation.
_____, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan 1982). Archer is a great scholar. Useful material. Rather wooden grasp of harmonization. Blomberg is more nuanced.
_Barnett, P. Is the New Testament Reliable? (IVP 1986). Anglican scholar and Classicist.
_____. The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (Eerdmans 2005).
_Bauckham, R. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans 2006).
_____, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple (2007).
_Blomberg, C. The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel (IVP 2001)
_____, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (2007).
_ Bruce, F. F., The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1984).
_ Carson, D. A. & D. Moo, An Introduction of the New Testament (Zondervan 2005).
_ Casey, M. An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew & Luke (Cambridge 2002).
_____, Aramaic Sources of Mark’s Gospel (Cambridge 1998).
_Comfort, P. (ed.). The Origin of the Bible (Tyndale 1992). Excellent collection of essays.
_Currid, J. Ancient Egypt & the Old Testament (Baker, 2001).
_ Garrett, D. Rethinking Genesis: The Sources & Authorship of the First Book of the Pentateuch (Mentor 2000).
_Guthrie, D. Introduction to the New Testament (IVP 1990). Standard conservative introduction. Detailed.
_Harris, R. Inspiration and Canonicity of the Scriptures (A Press, 1995). Interesting analysis of prophetic office.
_Helm,P. The Divine Revelation (Crossway Books 1982). Philosophical defense of Scripture. Only weakness is the plausible, but specious assumption that evidentiary arguments must cut both ways.
_Hemer, C. The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (Eisenbrauns 1990). Erudite.
_Hengel, M. The Four Gospels & the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (SCM 2000). Moderate. Useful material.
_Hess, R. Israelite Religions (2007).
_Hoffmeier, J. Israel in Egypt (Oxford 1996).
_____, Ancient Israel In Sinai (Oxford 2005).
_Hoffmeier, J. & A. Millard, eds. The Future of Biblical Archaeology (Eerdmans 2004).
_Hurtado, L. The Earliest Christian Artifacts (2006).
_Kaiser, W. & D. Garrett, eds. Archaeological Study Bible (Zondervan 2006).
_Kim. S. The Origin of Paul's Gospel (Coronet 1984).
_Kitchen, K. On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Eerdmans, 2003). Moderate. Useful material.
_ Köstenberger, A. Encountering John (Baker 2003).
_Lightfoot, J. Biblical Essays (Baker, 1979). Definitive Victorian essays in defense of Scripture.
_Linnemann, E. Historical Criticism of the Bible (Baker 1990). Convert from liberal to Evangelical faith.
_Long, V. et al., eds. Windows into Old Testament History (Eerdmans 2002).
_Long, V. The Art of Biblical History (Zondervan 1994).
_Marshall, I. Luke: Historian & Theologian (Zondervan 1989).
_Mauck, J. Paul on Trial (Nelson 2001)
_Metzger, B. The Text of the New Testament (Oxford 1992). The standard work.
_____, “Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Christianity,” Historical & Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish, & Christian (Eerdmans 1968), 1-24.
_____, The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content (Abingdon 1983).
_Millard, A. Reading & Writing in the Time of Jesus (NYU 2000).
_____, “Zechariah Wrote (Luke 1:63),” The New Testament in Its First Century Setting, P. Williams et al., eds., 47-55.
_Mitchell, T. The hbible in the British Museum: Interpreting the Evidence (2004).
_Neuer/Yarbrough, Adolf Schlatter (Baker 1995).
_Provan, I. et al., eds. A Biblical History of Israel (WJK 2003).
_Robinson, J. Redating the New Testament (SCM, 1976).
_____. The Priority of John (Meyer-Stone Books 1987).
_Stonehouse, N. Origins of the Synoptic Gospels (Baker, 1979)
_Tov, E. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress 1992)
_Walton, J. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament (Baker 2006).
_Wegner, P. The Journey from Texts to Translations (Baker 2001)
_Wenham, J. Christ & the Bible (IVP 1973)
_Winter, B. (ed.). The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting (Eerdmans/Paternoster 1993-96)
_Wiseman, J. & E. Yamauchi, Archaeology & the Bible (1979).
_Yamauchi, E. Africa & the Bible (Baker 2000)
_____, Jesus, Zoroaster, Buddha, Socrates, Mohammad (IVP 1972).
_____, Persia & the Bible (Baker 1990)
_Young, E. Thy Word is Truth (Eerdmans, 1981)
_Zahn, T. Introduction to the New Testament (Kregel 1953). Moderate-to-conservative by the most erudite 19C NT scholar of his generation.

XIII. Ethics 101

_Adams, R. Finite & Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics (Oxford,1999). Philosophical theology.
_Ames, W. Conscience (Still Waters, n.d.). Classic of Reformed casuistry.
_Bahnsen, G. Homosexuality: A Biblical View (Baker 1979). Theonomic.
_Baxter, R. A Christian Directory (Soli Deo Gloria, 1990). Concerned with cases of conscience.
_Chamblin, J. Paul & the Self (Wipf & Stock 2002). Reformed.
_Davis, J. Evangelical Ethics (2004).
_Feinberg, P. & J. Feinberg, Ethics for a Brave New World (1993).
_Fox, F. & D. Virtue, Homosexuality (Emmaus Ministries 2002). Evangelical Anglican. Goes into the gory details of the so-called homosexual "lifestyle."
_Frame, J. Medical Ethics (P&R, 1988). Best work in the field.
_____, Perspectives on the Word of God (P&R, 1990). Metaethics.
_Gagnon, R. The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Nashville 2001). Definitive.
_Geach, P. The Virtues (Cambridge 1977). Thomistic.
_Harrison, R. Encyclopedia of Biblical Ethics (Testament 2003)
_Henry, C., Wycliffe Dictionary of Christian Ethics (Hendrickson 2000).
_Hoekema, A. The Christian Looks at Himself (Eerdmans 1975)
_Hughes, P. Christian Ethics in Secular Society (Baker, 1983). Evangelical Anglican.
_Johnson, P. Intellectuals (Harper & Row 1988). Exposé of unbelievers.
_Jones, E. Degenerate Moderns (Ignatius 1993). Excellent expose except for the hatchet-job on Luther.
_Jones, S. & Yarhouse, M. Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate (IVP 2000)
_Kaiser, W. Toward Old Testament Ethics (Academie 1983)
_Lovelace, R. Homosexuality: How Should Christians Respond? (Wipf & Stock 2002).
_Murray, J. Principles of Conduct (Eerdmans 1957). Focus on creation-mandates.
_Packer, J. A Passion for Holiness (IVP 1992). Focus on Puritan ethics.
_Prigg,D. Getting It Straight
_Rushdoony, R. Politics of Guilty & Pity (Thornburn 1978)
_Schmidt, T. Straight & Narrow? (IVP 1995)
_Sears, A. & Craig Ostenm C. The Homosexual Agenda (Broadman 2003).
_Waltke, B. Finding the Will of God (Eerdmans 2002). Iconoclastic.
_Wold, D. Out of Order: Homosexuality in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (Baker 1998).
_Wolfe, C. (ed.). Homosexuality & American Public Life (Spence 1999).

XIV. Occult/Paranormal

_Amoroth, G. An Exorcist Tells his Story (1999). Catholic
_____, An Exorcist: More Stories (2002).
_Beekman, S. Enticed by the Light (1997).
_Braude, S. The Limits of Influence (1986). Secular.
_____, ESP & Psychokinesis (2002).
_____, Immortal Remains (2003).
_____, The Golden Leaf Lady (2007).
_Decker, R. & Michael Dummett, A History of the Occult Tarot (2002).
_Findlay, A. Demons: The Devil, Possession and Exorcism.
_Fontana, D. Is There An Afterlife (2007). Pluralistic.
_Gauld, A. Mediumship & Survival (1982).
_ Goodman, F. How About Demons? (1988).
_ Houran, J. & R. Lange, eds. Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2001).
_Koch, K. Christian Counseling & Occultism (1972). Evangelical.
_____, Demonology: Past & Present (1973)
_____, Occult ABC (1986).
_____, Occult Bondage & Deliverance (2006).
_ Kselman, T. Miracles & Prophecies in Nineteenth-Century France (1983).
_Lane, A. ed. The Unseen World: Christian Reflections on Angels, Demons and the Heavenly Realm.
_Lloyd-Jones, M. Healing & the Scriptures (1988). Evangelical.
_ Lester, D. Is there Life After Death? (2005).
_Martin, M. Hostage to the Devil (1992). Catholic.
_McAll, K. A Guide to Healing the Family Tree. Evangelical.
_____, Healing the Family Tree.
_Montgomery, J. ed. Demon Possession: Papers Presented at the University of Notre Dame (1975). Evangelical.
_Montefiore, H. The Paranormal: A Bishop Investigates (2002).
_ Paterson, R. Philosophy and the Belief in a Life After Death (1995).
_Peck, M. Scott. Glimpses of the Devil (2005). Protestant.
_Radin, D. Entangled Minds (2006). Secular.
_Richards, J. But Deliver us from Evil (1974).
_ Sabom, M. Light & Death (1998). Analysis of NDEs from a Christian scientist.
_ Stoeber, M. & H. Meynell, eds. Critical Reflections on the Paranormal (1996).
_ Storm, L. & M. Thalbourne, eds. The Survival of Human Consciousness: Essays on the Possibilities of Life After Death. (2006).
_Twelftree, G. In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism Among Early Christians (2007). Moderate evangelical. Heavy on redaction criticism.
_Unger, M. Beyond the Crystal Ball (1974). Evangelical.
_____, The Haunting of Bishop Pike: A Christian View of the Other Side (1971).

XV. Church History

1. Primary Sources:

_Philo, Therapeutae
_Josephus, Jewish War
_____, Antiquities of the Jews
_Luke, Book of Acts
_Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History
_Isidore, Chronica Majora
_Jerome, On Illustrious Men
_Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People
_Pilgrimage of Etheria
_Socrates, The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates
_Sozomenus, The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen
_The Bordeaux Pilgrim
_Anna Comnena, The Alexiad
_Theodoret, The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret
_Michael Psellus, Chronographia
_John Zonarus, Epitome of History
_Beza, Life of Calvin
_Knox, Reformation of the Scottish Church
_William Bradford , Old Plymouth Plantation (1620-1647)
_Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana
_John Witherspoon (Works)

2. Secondary sources:

_Aland, K. A History of Christianity (Fortress 1986)
_Berkouwer, G. A Half Century of Theology (Eerdmans 1977)
_Bratt, J. Dutch Calvinism in Modern America (Eerdmans 1984)
_Brown, C. Christianity & Western Thought (IVP 1990)
_Bruce, F. New Testament History (Doubleday 1980)
_____, The Spreading Flame (Eerdmans 1995)
_Cairns, E. Christianity Through the Centuries, (Zondervan, 1996).
_Cameron, N. Biblical Higher Criticism and the Defense of Infallibilism in Nineteenth Century Britain (Lewiston, 1987).
_Chadwick, H. The Church in Ancient Society (Oxford 2001)
_Chadwick, W. The Victorian Church (London 1966-70).
_Cunningham, W. The Reformers & the Theology of the Reformation (Banner of Truth 1967).
_Ferguson, E. Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Eerdmans 2003)
_Gonzalez, J. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Day (Hendricksen , 2001).
_Himmelfarb, G. The Demoralization of Society (Knopf, 1995).
_Hughes, P. Theology of the English Reformers (Eerdmans 1965).
_Kelly, J. Early Christian Creeds (Longman 1989)
_____, Early Christian Doctrines (A. C. Black 1977)
_Kroner, R. Speculation & Revelation in the Age of Christian Philosophy (Westminster 1959)
_____, Speculation & Revelation in Modern Philosophy (Westminster 1961)
_Landow, G. Victorian Types, Victorian Shadows (RKP 1980).
_Latourette, K A History of Christianity (Prince Press 2000).
_____, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age (Longdon 1959-63)
_Marsden, G. Fundamentalism & American Culture (Oxford 1993)
_____, Reforming Fundamentalism (Eerdmans 1987)
_____, The Soul of the American University (Oxford 1996)
_Murray, I., Evangelicalism Divided (Banner of Truth 2000).
_Noll, M. The Old Religion in a New World (Eerdmans 2001)
_____, The Rise of Evangelicalism (IVP 2004-)
_____, America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (Oxford 2002)
_____, American Evangelical Christianity (Blackwell 2000).
_Schaff, P. History of the Christian Church (Eerdmans,1979).
_Sell, A. Defending and Declaring the Faith: Some Scottish Examples (1860-1920),(Exeter, 1987).
_____. Dissenting Thought and the Life of the Church (Mellen, 1991).
_Sheldon, H. History of the Christian Church, (Hendrickson 1996).
_Shelley, B. Church History in Plain Language. (Word, 1995). Topical rather than chronological.
_Schlossberg, H. The Silent Revolution & the Making of Victorian England (Ohio, 2000).
_Toon, P. Evangelical Theology, 1833-1856: A Response to Tracterianism (Knox, 1979).
_Torrance, T. Scottish Theology: From John Knox to John McLeon Campbell (T&T Clark, 1996).
_Verduin, L. The Anatomy of a Hybrid: A Study in Church-State Relationships (Eerdmans 1976).
_Wells, D. Reformed Theology in America (Eerdmans 1985)
_White, H. Southern Presbyterian Leaders 1683–1911 (Banner of Truth 2000).
_Wiles, M. & M. Santer, Documents in Early Christian Thought (Cambridge 1979)
_Yamauchi, E. Pre-Christian Gnosticism (Baker 1983)

Read any good books, lately?-1

Half the time spent on study lies in finding out who's worth reading, and the other half in reading him. This reading list consists of a number of entry-level works, along with some intermediate and advanced works. Most selections fall within the Reformed or Evangelical ambit. I'd like to thank John Frame, Randy Broberg, and Daniel Wright for some helpful input.

I. Periodicals
Banner of Truth
Bibliotheca Sacra
Books & Culture
Bulletin for Biblical Research
Calvin Theological Journal
Chalcedon Report
Christian Renewal
Christian Scholar's Review
Christianity Today
Credenda Agenda
Evangelical Quarterly
Faith & Philosophy
First Things
Founders Journal
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Mid-America Journal of Theology
Modern Reformation
New Horizons
New Southern Presbyterian Review
Philosophia Christi
Presbyterian Reformed Magazine
Protestant Reformed Theological Journal
Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Trinity Journal
Tyndale Bulletin
Westminster Theological Journal
World Magazine

II. Worldview 101

_Jordan, J. Through New Eyes (Wolgemuth, 1988). Quirky and iconoclastic.
_Kuyper, A. Lectures on Calvinism (Eerdmans 1983). Seminal, programmatic.
_Nash, R. The Meaning of History (Broadman 1999). Popular.
_____, Worldviews in Conflict (Zondervan 1992). Popular.
_Rea, M. World Without Design (Clarendon 2002). Exposition and exposé of naturalism.
_Schilder, K., Christ and Culture (Winnipeg: Premier, 1977).
_Schlossberg, H., Idols for Destruction (Regnery, 1990)
_Seerveld, C., A Christian Critique of Art and Literature (Toronto: AACS, 1964)
_Van Til, H. The Calvinistic Concept of Culture (Baker, 1959
_Young, W. Toward a Reformed Philosophy (Piet Hein 1952). Kuperian.

III. Philosophy of Religion

_Davies, B. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford 2004).
_Lewis, H. Philosophy of Religion (London 1969). Popular. Excellent breadth.
_Quinn, P & Taliaferro, C. Companion to the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford 1997)
_Stump E. & Murray, M. Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions (Oxford 1999).
_Taliaferro, C. Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (Oxford 1998)

IV. God 101

_Frame, J. Doctrine of God (P&R 2002). Best work of its kind. Supersedes Bavinck. Philosophical and exegetical. I demur from his model of divine immanence (in relation to time and space).
_Helm, P. Eternal God (Oxford 1988). Collection of occasional pieces defending God's timeless eternality. Needs updating.
_Leftow, Divine Ideas (Cornell, forthcoming)
_____, Divine Simplicity (Cornell, forthcoming)
_Miller, B. A Most Unlikely God (Notre Dame 1996). Defense of divine simplicity.
_Morris, T. Our Idea of God (IVP 1991). Good orientation to philosophical theology. More speculative than Scriptural.
_Richards, J. The Untamed God (IVP 2003). Better at asking questions than answering them.
_Rogers, K. Perfect Being Theology (Edinburgh 2000). Good introduction to this tradition. Shares its strong and weak points.
_Ware, B. God's Lesser Glory (Crossway 2000). Critique of open theism.
_Wierenga, E. The Nature of God (Cornell 1989). Study of classical theism. Philosophical theology.
_Warfield, B. "The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity," Works, vol 2.
_Young, E. The Way Everlasting. Study of Ps 139 (Banner of Truth 1997).

V. Theology 101

_Adams, R. The Virtue of Faith (Oxford 1987).
_Barth, K. Protestant Theology in the Nineteeth Century (London 1972). Barth is a 20C liberal critic of 19C liberal theology.
_____, Protestant Thought: From Rosseau to Ritschl (Harper & Row, 1959)
_____, The Theology of John Calvin (Eerdmans, 1995). Fine exposition.
_Bavinck, H. Reformed Dogmatics (in process of translation). Strong on historical theology, weak on exegetical theology.
_Calvin, J. Institutes (Westminster 1977). By turns pastoral, polemical, and systematic.
_Cooper, J. Body, Soul & Life Everlasting (Eerdmans 2000). Standard defense of mind/body dualism
_Cunningham, W. Historical Theology (Banner of Truth 1969). Uses historical theology to do polemical theology. A very exacting thinker.
_Edwards. J. The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Banner of Truth 1984). Edwards was a very versatile theologian.
_____, Treatise on the Trinity (Clarke & Co., 1971), P. Helm, ed.
_Elliot, M. The Surviors of Israel (Eerdmans 2000). Learned critique of the new perspective on Paul.
_Engle, P. ed. Understanding Four Views on Baptism (2007).
_Ferguson, S. John Owen on the Christian Life (Banner of Truth 1987). Introduction to Owen's prolific opus.
_Helm, P. John Calvin's Ideas (Oxford 2004)
_____, The Providence of God (IVP 1994)). Reformed. Strong on philosophical theology, weak on exegetical theology. Good complement to Warfield.
_Hoeksema, H. Reformed Dogmatics (RFPC 1985)). A bit reactionary, but a useful counterbalance.
_Miller, B. The Fulness of Being (Notre Dame 2002).
_Muller, R. Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. Definitive exposition, but weaker on analytical side than Cunningham.
_Murray, J. Collected Writings of John Murray (Banner of Truth 1973-82). Murray's main contribution was to put Reformed theology on a firmer exegetical footing. Generally successful although Murray is prey to occasional word-study fallacies.
_Nicole, R. Standing Forth (Christian Focus, 2002). Essays by an extremely erudite Reformed Baptist theologian.
_Owen, J. The Works of John Owen (Banner of Trust), Greatest Puritan theologian and English theologian. Discursive style, Latinate prose.
_Packer, J. Concise Theology (Tyndale 1993). Reformed Anglican. Best brief intro to Christian theology.
_Rainbow, J. The Will of God & the Cross (Pickwick 1990). Defense of Calvin on special redemption.
_Ridderbos, H. Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Eerdmans 1992). Standard exposition. Useful, but resorts too often to the already/not yet as a disguised description masquerading as a genuine explanation.
_Schreiner, T. New Testament Theology (2008). Reformed Baptist.
_Turretin, F. Institutes (P&R 1992-97). Exceptionally thorough defense of Reformed theology.
_Vallicella, W. A Paradigm Theory of Existence: Onto-Theology Vindicated (Kluwer 2002). Philosophical theology & metaphysics.
_Vos, G. Biblical Theology (Eerdmans 1959)). Seminal work in redemptive-historical theology.
_____, Redemptive History & Biblical Interpretation (P&R 1980). Essays & reviews.
_____, The Eschatology of the Old Testament (P&R 2001).
_Waltke, B. An Old Testament Theology (2007). Reformed. Touches of liberalism.
_Warfield, B. The Works of Benjamin Warfield (Baker, 2003). Warfield was a man of very versatile brilliance and erudition. His Persian flaw was theistic evolution.

VI. Salvation 101

_Beilby, J. & P. Eddy, eds. The Nature of the Atonement (2006).
_Berkouwer, G. Studies in Dogmatics: Faith & Justification (Eerdmans 1954).
_Coppes, L. Are Five Points Enough? (REF 1980) Reformed, Presbyterian. Breaks out of the 5-point cliché to offer a more well-rounded definition and exposition.
_Engelsma,D. Hyper-Calvinism & the Call of the Gospel (RFPA 1994)
_Frame, J. "Introduction to the Reformed Faith" (
_Helm, P. Calvin & the Calvinists (Banner 1982)
_____, The Beginnings (Banner 1986)
_____, The Callings (Banner 1987)
_____, The Last Things (Banner 1989)
_Hoekema, H. Saved by Grace (Eerdmans/Paternoster 1989)
_Jeffery, S. et al. Pierced for Our Transgressions (2007)
_Jewett, R. Election and Predestination (Eerdmans 1985) .
_Murray, J. Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Eerdmans 1955)
_Nicole, R. Our Sovereign Saviour (Christian Focus 2002)
_Peterson A. & R. Williams, Why I am not an Arminian (IVP 2004)
_Piper, J. Counted Righteous in Christ (Crossway Book 2002).
_____, Let the Nations be Glad (Baker 1993).
_____, The Future of Justification (2007). A critique of N. T. Wrights new perspective on Paul.
_Schreiner, T. Paul: Apostle of God's Glory in Christ (IVP 2001)
_____, Still Sovereign (Baker 2000)
_Warfield, B. The Plan of Salvation (Eerdmans 1984)

VII. Jesus 101

1. Christology

_Berkouwer, G. The Work of Christ (Eerdmans 1965). Berkouwer began as a Calvinist, but took a hard left somewhere along the line. He is, as such, a very uneven author.
Bowman, R. & J. Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place (2007).
_Bruce, F. Jesus: Lord & Savior (IVP 1986).
_Fee, G. Pauline Christology (Henrickson 2007).
_Harris, M. Jesus as God (Baker, 1992). Standard treatment.
_____, Three Crucial Questions About Jesus (Baker 1994)
_Hurtado, L. At the Origins of Christian Worship (Eerdmans 2000)
_____, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2003).
_Machen, J. The Virgin Birth of Christ (Baker 1977). Definitive.
_Morris, L. Jesus is the Christ (Eerdmans/IVP 1989)
_Reymond, R. Jesus, Divine Messiah (P&R 1990)
_Vos, G. The Self-Disclosure of Jesus (Eerdmans 1954). Less breadth, more depth, than Warfield.
_Warfield, B. The Lord of Glory (Guardian Press 1907). Definitive overview.
_____, "Christology & Criticism," Works, vol. 3.

2. Messianic Judaism

_Alexander, T. The Servant King (Regent College 2003).
_Brown, M. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus (Baker 2000-). By a Messianic Jew.
_Clowney, E. The Unfolding Mystery (NavPress 1988). Popular.
_Evans, C & D. Hagner. Anti-Semitism & the Early Church (Fortress 1993).
_France, R. Jesus & the Old Testament (Tyndale, 1971). Standard work on typology.
_Goldberg, L. (ed.), How Jewish is Christianity? (Zondervan 2003)
_Hagner, D. Jewish Reclamation of Jesus (Academie Books 1984)
_Hess, R. et al., eds. Israel's Messiah in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Baker, 2003).
_Hurtado, L. One God, One Lord (Fortress 1998)
_Kaiser, W. The Messiah in the Old Testament (Zondervan 1995). Useful for prooftexting.
_Longman/Grove. Immanuel in our Place (P&R 2001)
_Motyer, J. "Messiah," The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 2:987-95. Better methodology than Kaiser. Thematic progression.
_Poythress, V. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses (Wolgemuth 1991). Klinean and theonomic by turns.
_Robertson, O. The Christ of the Prophets (P&R 2004).
_Sailhammer, J. The Pentateuch as Narrative (Zondervan 1992). Thematic progression.
_Satterthwaite, P. et al., eds. The Lord's Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messianic Texts (Baker & Paternoster, 1995).
_Snow, E. A Zeal for God (iUnivese, Inc. 2005).

3. Quest for the Historical Christ

_Barnett, P. Jesus and the Logic of History (Eerdmans 1997)
_____, Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity (IVP 1999).
__Bauckham, R. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans 2006).
_Blomberg, C. Jesus and the Gospels (Broadman 1997)
_Bock, D. Breaking the Da Vinci Code (Thomas Nelson, 2004)
_____, Jesus According to Scripture (Baker 2002)
_____, Studying the Historical Jesus (Baker, 2002)
_____, The Missing Gospels (Nelson 2006).
_Bock, D. & D. Wallace, Dethroning Jesus (2007).
_Bockmuehl, M. This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah (IVP 1994).
_Borg, M. & N. Wright. The Meaning of Jesus (HarperSanFrancisco 1998). Debate between a moderate and a liberal.
_Bruce, F. Jesus & Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (Eerdmans 1974).
_ Catchpole, D. The Trial of Jesus; A Study in the Gospels and Jewish Historiography from 1770 to the Present Day (Brill 1971).
_Chilton B. & C. Evans, eds. Authenticating the Activities of Jesus (Brill 1998).
_____, Authenticating the Words of Jesus (Brill 1998).
_____, Studying the Historical Jesus (Brill 1994).
_Copan, P & R. Tacelli, eds. Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment? (IVP 2000).
_Davis, S. Risen Indeed (Eerdmans, 1993). Supports postmortem evangelism. Otherwise, a fine treatment.
_Evans, C. Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (IVP 2006).
_____, Jesus & His Contemporaries (Leiden: Brill, 1995)
_Guthrie, D. A Shorter Life of Christ (Academie Books 1970).
_ Habermas, G. & M. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Kregel 2004).
_Harrison, E. A Short Life of Christ (Eerdmans, 1968)
_Johnson, L. The Real Jesus : The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth (Harper SanFrancisco1997). Roman Catholic.
_Komoszwski, J, M. Sawyer, & D. Wallace. Reinventing Jesus (Kregel 2006).
_Ladd, G. I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus (Eerdmans 1975)
_Longenecker, R. Life in the Face of Death (Eerdmans, 1998)
_Moore, P. (ed.), Can A Bishop Be Wrong? The Scholars Challenge John Shelby Spong (Moorehouse, 1998). Evangelical Anglican.
_Porter, S. The Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research (Sheffield 2000).
_Quarles, C. ed. Buried Hope or Risen Savior? (2008).
_Schlatter, A. The History of the Christ (Baker, 1997). Moderate-conservative Lutheran.
_Stein, R. Jesus the Messiah (IVP 1996)
_Stonehouse, N. The Witness of the Synoptic Gospels to Christ (Baker 1979).
_Strimple, R. The Modern Search for the Real Jesus (P&R 1995).
_Strobel, L., ed. The Case for Christ (Zondervan 1998).
_Swinburne, R. The Resurrection of God Incarnate (Oxford 2003).
_Twelftree, G. Jesus the Exorcist (Hendrickson, 1993). Standard work.
_____, Jesus the Miracle Worker (IVP, 1999). Standard work.
_Warfield, B. "The Historical Christ," Christology & Criticism, Works, vol. 3.
_Wenham, D. Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? (Eerdmans 1995)
_Wilkins/Moreland (eds.). Jesus Under Fire (Zondervan 1995). Reply to Jesus Seminar.
_Witherington, B. The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth (IVP 1997)
_Wright, N. The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is (IVP 1999)
_____, The Contemporary Quest for Jesus (Augsburg/Fortress 2002)
_____, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Fortress 2003). Definitive.
_____, Who Was Jesus? (Eerdmans 1993). Lethal book reviews of liberal writers.

VIII. Apologetics 101

_Adams, R. Leibniz (Oxford 1994). Parts are greater than the whole. Although he was no paragon of Evangelical orthodoxy, one can glean some apologetic fodder from the chaff.
_Alston, W. A Sensible Metaphysical Realism (Marquette U 2001).
_Anderson, J. Paradox in Christian Theology (2007). Van Tilian.
_Beauregard, M. & D. O'Leary, The Spiritual Brain (2007). A defense of dualism. Soft on religious pluralism.
_ Beckwith, F. David Hume’s Argument Against Miracles (U Press of America 1989).
_____, Beckwith, F. et al., eds. To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian World View (IVP 2004).
_Berkeley, G. Three Dialogues Between Hylas & Philonous, R. Adams, ed. (Hackett, 1988). Although theistic idealism represents an unorthodox extreme, Berkeley is an acute critic of radical empiricism.
_Boa, K., & Bowman, R. 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists. Popular.
(Tulsa: River Oak, 2002).
_____, Faith Has Its Reasons (NavPress, 2001. Comparative metapologetics. Gives equal time to Reformed apologetics. Better at exposition than synthesis.
_Boethius, Consolations of Philosophy (Bobbs-Merrill 1962). Classic exposition of Christian platonism.
_Brown, C. Miracles & the Critical Mind (Word 1984)
_Bruce, F. The Defense of the Gospel in the New Testament (Eerdmans 1977). Exegetical study of NT apologetics.
_Byl, J. The Divine Challenge (Banner of Truth 2004).
_Campbell-Jack, C. & G. McGrath, eds. New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (IVP 2006).
_Carson, D. How Long, O Lord? A pastoral, Bible-based approach to the problem of
Evil (Baker 2006).
_____. The Gagging of God. Critique of post-modernism (Zondervan 1996).
_Clark, G. A Christian View of Men and Things (Baker 1981). Better at tearing down than building up.
_Coady, C. Testimony: A Philosophical Study (Oxford 1994).
_Cooper, J. Body, Soul, & Life Everlasting (Regent College 1995)
_Copan, P. & P. Moser, eds. The Rationality of Theism (Routledge 2003).
_Corduin. W. No Doubt about it (Broadman 1997). Eclectic, good anecdotes.
_Craig. W. Reasonable Faith (Crossway Books 1994). Electic, erudite.
_Davis, R. The Metaphysics of Theism & Modality (Peter Lang 2001)
_Dembski,W. Unapologetic Apologetics (IVP 2001). Useful reflections, but too much time on opening moves and too little on checkmate.
_Dulles, A. A History of Apologetics (Wipf & Stock 1999). Catholic.
_Earman, J. Hume’s Abject Failure (Oxford 2000).
_Fischer, J. The Metaphysics of Free Will (Blackwell 1997). Philosophical defense of compatibilism.
_Fischer, D. Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought (Harper & Row 1970).
_Fischer, J. et al. Four Views on Free Will (2007).
_Foster, J. The Immaterial Self (Routledge 1996). Defense of Cartesian dualism.
_Frame, J. Apologetics to the Glory of God (P&R 1994). A model of how to do apologetics. His Reformed theology and perspectivalism supply a unifying principle.
_Fudge, W. & R. Peterson, Two Views of Hell (IVP 2000). Although Peterson has the better of the argument, and even stronger case could be made for the traditional position.
_Gerstner. J. Theology in Dialogue (Soli Del Gloria). Reformed theology, eclectic methodology.
_Goodman, F. How About Demons? (Indiana, 1988). Based on field studies of possession.
_Guinness, O. Long Journey Home (Waterbrook 2001). An exercise in biographical apologetics.
_Gundry, S. (ed.). Show Them No Mercy (Zondervan 2003). Four views on the judicial execution of the Canaanites.
_Habermas, G. & Moreland, J., Beyond Death (Crossway Books 1998). Good defense of dualism, but overly indebted to Aristotelian realism.
_Johnston, P. Shades of Sheol. Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament (IVP, 2002).
_Kane, R. ed. The Oxford Handbook of Free Will (Oxford 2002).
_Keller, T. The Reason for God (2008). Popular. Reformed. Supports theistic evolution.
_Lewis, C. Screwtape Letters. Insightful satire on the stereotypical strategies deployed by the Enemy.
_Lewis, H. The Elusive Mind (Allen & Unwin, 1969). Standard defense of dualism.
_Machen, J. Christianity & Liberalism (Eerdmans 1983). Classic attack on liberal theology. Although the names have changed, the moves remain the same.
_Martin, G. Does it Matter?: The Unsustainable World of the Materialists (Floris Books 2005).
_Miller, B. From Existence To God (Notre Dame 1992).
_Montgomery, J. W. Tractatus Logico-Theologicus (Bonn 2003).
_Moreland, J. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (IVP 2003). Encyclopedic and eclectic. Well worth reading, but beware of attachment to presentism, Molinism, scientific realism, and Aristotelian realism.
_____, Scaling the Secular City (Baker 1989). Eclectic.
_Morgan. C. & Peterson R. Hell Under Fire (Zondervan 2004).
_Mozley, J. On Miracles (Longmans 1902). Classic Victorian defense.
_Murray, M. (ed). Reason For the Hope Within (Eerdmans, 1999). Uneven.
_Nash. R. Faith & Reason (Academie 1988). Popular, eclectic, Clarkian.
_____, Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Zondervan 1984). Reformed.
_____, The Gospel & the Greeks (P&R 2003).
_Newman, J. Grammar of Assent (Doubleday, 1955). Exposition of what would today be called tacit knowledge.
_Pascal, B. Pensees (Random House, 1941). Existential emphasis by an Augustinian Catholic and polymath. Very influential. His appeal crosses the theological spectrum.
_Peterson, M. Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell, 2004)
_Plantinga, A. Analytical Theist (Eerdmans 1998). Classic essays by the leading Christian philosopher of the day.
_____, God & Other Minds (Cornell, 1967). Critique of Hume & Kant.
_____, Warrant & Proper Function (Oxford, 1993). Critique of evolutionary epistemology.
_____, Warranted Christian Belief (Oxford 2000). Magnum opus. Plantinga's strength comes from his Dutch-Reformed background; his weakness from his departures.
_Pruss, A. The Existence of God (Ashgate 2003).
_Reppert, V. C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason (IVP 2003).
_Samples, K. Without a Doubt (Baker 2004).
_Schleisinger, G. New Perspectives on Old-Time Religion (Oxford 1988).
_Smart, J. & J. Haldane. Atheism & Theism (Blackwell 2003). Stimulating debate between an analytical Thomist and a Quinean atheist.
_Sudduth, M. A Reformed Objection to Natural Theology (Cornell, forthcoming). Actually, a critique of the Neo-Dutch Reformed objection to natural theology by a Reformed Baptist.
_Van Inwagen, P. The Problem of Evil (Oxford 2006).
_Van Til, C. Christianity & Barthianism (P&R 1962). How you react to this book says as much about your own theology as it does about Barth and Van Til's. If you're expecting an exposition, you may not recognize Barth. Van Til's method is to judge a position, by merely by what it says, but what it implies.
_____, Why I Believe in God. Popular, semi-autobiographical.
_Wilson, D. Letter from a Christian Citizen (American Vision 2007).
_Yandell, K. Philosophy of Religion (Routledge 1999). Useful for its coverage of Oriental philosophy.

IX. Science 101

1. Philosophy of Science

_Dooyeweerd, H. The Secularization of Science (CSC, 1954).
_Hapgood, C. Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (Adventures Unlimited Press 1996).
_____, Path of the Pole (Adventures Unlimited Press 1999). First edition had a forward by Albert Einstein, no less!
_Janet, P. Final Causes (Scriber 1892).
_Kuhn. T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 1970). Made a big splash, with continuing ripples. The point of reference for antirealism.
_Laudan, L. Progress and Its Problems (Berkeley 1977).
_, Le Poidevin, R. The Images of Time (2007). Defends the B-theory of time.
___, Travels in Four Dimensions (2003). Defends the B-theory of time.
_Moreland, J. Christianity & the Nature of Science (Baker, 1989). Critical realism.
_Newton-Smith, W, ed. A Companion to the Philosophy of Science (Blackwell 2001).
_Oaklander, L. The Ontology of Time (2004). Defends the B-theory of time.
_Ratzsch, D., Nature, Design, and Science (SUNY 2001).
_____, Science & Its Limits (IVP 2000). Nuanced exposition and analysis.
_Van Fraassen, B. The Scientific Image (Oxford 1980)
_____, Laws & Symmetry (Oxford 1989)
_____, The Empirical Stance (2004). By an astute antirealist. Interesting interaction with religion, but weak on sola scriptura.

2. Creation/Evolution

_Barr, S. Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Notre Dame 2003). A traditional Jewish perspective.
_Behe, M. Darwin's Black Box (Free Press 1996). Intelligent Design theory. Very influential. Unanswered by the other side.
_____, The Edge of Evolution (Free Press 2007).
_ Brown, M. The Darwin Wars (Simon & Schuster 2001).
_Brown, W. In the Beginning (2001). Young earth creationism.
_Byl, J. God & Cosmos (Banner of Truth 2001). Young earth creationism.
_Copan, P. & W. Craig. Creation Out of Nothing (Baker 2004).
_Dembski, W. Intelligent Design (IVP 1999). Popularization of his doctoral thesis.
_____, No Free Lunch (Rowman & Littlefield 2002). Intelligent design.
_Dembski, W. & J. Wells, The Design of Life (2008). The best current critique of macroevolution.
_Denton, M. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Burnett, 1985). Biochemical critic of evolution from a (then) secular scientist.
_____, Nature's Destiny (Free Press, 1998).
_Gee, H. In Search of Deep Time (Cornell 2001).
_Gentry, R. Creation's Tiny Mystery (Knoxville, 1986). Young earth creationism.
_Green, J. Debating Darwin (Regina Booksk 1999).
_____, The Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought (Iowa State 1973).
_Hoyle, F. Mathematics of Evolution (Acorn Enterprises (1999).
_McGrath, A. The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine (IVP 2007).
_Menuge, A. Agents Under Fire (Rowman & Littlefield 2004).
_Midgley, M. Evolution as a Religion (Routledge 2006).
_Milton, R. Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (Park Street Press 1997).
_ Morris, R. The Evolutionists (Henry Holt & Co. 2001).
_Poythress, V. Redeeming Science (Crossway 2006).
_Ratzsch, D. The Battle of Beginnings (IVP 1996). Tries to clear away straw man arguments on both sides of creation/evolution debate. Somewhat overtaken by intelligent design debate.
_Ruse, M. The Evolution Wars (Rutgers 2002).
_Sanford, J. Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome (Elim Press 2005).
_Sarfati, J. Refuting Evolution 2 (Master Books 2003).
_Sermonti, G. Why is a Fly Not a Horse ? (Discovery Institute 2005).
_ Sterelny, K. Dawkins vs. Gould (Totem Books 2001).
_Smolin, L. The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next (Houghton Mifflin ).
_Spetner, L. Not By Chance! (Judaica Press 1998).
_ Stove, D. Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, & Other Fables of Evolution (Encounter Books 1995).
_Wells, J. Icons of Evolution (Regnery 2002). Exposé of doctored evidence.
_____, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. (Regnery Publishing 2006)
_Wise, K. Faith, Form, and Time (Broadman 2002). By the golden boy of contemporary creationism.
_Woit, P. Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory & the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics (Jonathan Cape 2006).
_Woodmorappe, J. Noah's Ark (ICR 1996). Defends the feasibility of the flood account against scientific and commonsense objections.
_Young, E. In the Beginning (Banner of Truth 1976). Popular exposition by a top scholar—with an eye on science.