Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best Selling Apologetics Books of 2011

In reviewing some statistics from last year's Amazon affiliate links, a top-10 post came  together. The best-selling book of 2011 by far was Doug Groothuis' excellent book Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. It is also the focus of Ap315's first Read Along project, so that could play a part in its popularity (at least through this site). Others on the list are perennial best-sellers (see #2), and others are especially suitable for group study (see #3). Koukl's Tactics, of course, is essential reading (#4). So here's the list of the top-selling books through Apologetics 315 in 2011, based upon those purchased through Ap315's affiliate links:
  1. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothuis
  2. Know Why You Believe by Paul Little
  3. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig
  4. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl
  5. The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog by James Sire
  6. When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences by Norman Geisler
  7. Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science by John Lennox
  8. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
  9. Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan
  10. Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts by Craig S. Keener
What was your favorite book of 2011?

                  14 comments :

                  Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

                  Thank you for letting me know. I had no idea!

                  Des said...

                  It makes me sick that so many scholars compromise Genesis to accommodate so called science, They are so smart in other areas and I want to learn from them , but how can I trust them if they cannot even get Genesis right. It makes me think if communism was the prevailing view that they would fit the Bible to it also. It makes Christians look like fools, afraid to take a stand, if the Bible is wrong about a young earth then say so,and throw it out, just stop twisting Scripture to fit an evolution story ,that evolutionists don,t even believe, Christians are such,bla, bla, bla,,,, most of the books above do a disservice to Scripture.

                  Brian Auten said...

                  Des,

                  Which of the books here are twisting scripture to fit an evolutionary story?

                  The best that I can suppose is that you are thinking of Lennox's book, but if that were the case then it seems you haven't read the book or just have got a wrong idea about the content.

                  Thanks.

                  Miguel Rodriguez Rivera said...

                  In 2011 I bought 4 apologetics books. Holman Guide of Christian Apologetics by Doug Powell, Reasonable Faith by WLC, Tactics by Koukl and Is God a Moral Monster? By Copan. I love the four of them. Each one has their own focus but the one I like the most, even that it isn't in the top ten list, is Doug Powell's book. Systematic, Very ilustrarive, simple language, wide range of topics and a great introductory book. From the top ten list I like Copan's book. My newest book this 2012 is The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics by Hindson and Caner. Awesome book!

                  Billy Squibs said...

                  Reading Genesis differently to your understanding is not an accommodation to "so called science". Augustine of Hippo didn't share your understanding and he pre-dated modern science by well over a millennia.

                  Evolutionists like myself aren't saying that the Bible is wrong about creation. That you would say such a thing makes me think you have no understanding of your opponents position. What we are are saying is that your particular interpretation, along with all it's mildly hysterical mutterings about science, is just that - an understanding. One that isn't justified by the text and is based on a particular form of 20th century eisegesis.

                  inchristus said...

                  Though Doug is a good friend and I am a product of his tutelage, my fav from the list was Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan.

                  LittleGoose said...

                  Though it is not focused on actual arguments, Tactics has probably been the most influential book I've ever read on apologetics. And I really want to read that Copan book!

                  Chad Miller said...

                  Oh Des...

                  Paul Bruggink said...

                  Des,
                  You might want to keep in mind that:

                  Genesis One does not specify an age for the Earth or an age for the Universe.

                  Genesis One does say that there was a beginning to the Universe and planet Earth.

                  Genesis One does say that God created the heavens and the Earth.

                  Genesis One does say that planet Earth was not always as it is now; changes have occurred.

                  Genesis One does say that God acted to bring the present condition of the Earth into being.

                  Genesis One does not say that the creative times (yom) are 24 hours in duration.

                  Genesis One does not say that the creative times (yom) followed immediately one after another.

                  Genesis One does not specify the total interval of time required for their completion.

                  Genesis One does not say that the commands of God were fulfilled immediately, like a bolt of lightening.

                  Genesis One does not indicate the specific means and steps by which the creative actions were brought to completion.

                  Genesis One does say that God acted and issued commands for changes in the physical environment.

                  Genesis One does say that God commanded the land to bring forth plants.

                  Genesis One does not mention algae, diatoms, or any microscopic plant or creature.

                  Genesis One does not categorize “life” in agreement with the modern categorization of “life.”

                  Genesis One does not say when fish appeared or how they were brought into being.

                  Genesis One does say that God commanded the appearance of air-breathing creatures in the water.

                  Genesis One does say that God commanded and created air-breathing animals of the land.

                  Genesis One does say that God created Adam (mankind).

                  Genesis One does not say that the creation of Eve was accomplished quickly.

                  [Rodney Whitefield, "Reading Genesis One: Comparing Biblical Hebrew with English Translation" (San Jose: R. Whitefield Publisher, 2003), p. 137]

                  Des said...

                  With the development of naturalistic science in the west and the acceptance of evolution and millions of years, evangelical scholars have generally stopped defending the historicity of the early chapters of Genesis. They have tended to distance themselves from six-ordinary-day young-earth creationists, perhaps not wanting their academic standing to be tainted.

                  Within the church it is rare to find an evangelical academic commentary that will take a stand on a six-day, recent creation.3 Many Bible timelines produced by biblical academics will avoid earth history prior to Abraham.4

                  We have seen the disastrous effect of such timidity and compromise as the church has lost much support in the west. Why should people listen when they think the church has no answers in this scientific age?

                  So it is particularly encouraging to see a scholar of the stature of RC Sproul prepared to take a stand on the Word of God as written—and defend it. I was especially impressed that he could admit he no longer believed what he had taught for most of his teaching career. He has set a courageous example of integrity, scholarship and commitment to biblical authority.

                  May RC Sproul’s example embolden more evangelical academics to seriously consider this controversial issue, examine the scientific evidence and refuse to be intimidated by the dominant, anti-biblical, scientific view within our culture that opposes the gospel. May our Bible colleges, seminaries and Christian universities be encouraged to declare together ‘In six days’—and give a reason for the foundation of our Christian faith.

                  Paul Bruggink said...

                  Des,

                  The foundation of our Christian faith is the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not one particular INTERPRETATION of the early chapters of Genesis.

                  Regarding interpretation, the Hebrew word "yom" (day) has THREE DIFFERENT MEANINGS in the first two chapters of Genesis:
                  1.the light part of the day (Genesis 1:5a, 14a, 16, 18);
                  2.a day of 24 hours (1:14b)
                  3.a period of undefined length (1:5b; 2:4).
                  [Peter Rüst, “The Biblical Creation Report and Science,” www.aneste.ch, accessed April 16, 2010]. The same information is presented in John C. Lennox's book "Seven Days that Changed the World," pp. 50-51.

                  Augustine said it best way back in around AD 400: "Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men." [Augustine, The Literal Interpretation of Genesis (De Genesi ad Litteram), Book 1, Chapter 19; from "Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, No. 41," (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press), 1982 (A.D. 408)]

                  One of many modern statements of the same thought reads as follows:
                  "Because of the outspokenness of young-universe creationists, most people now assume that the Bible directly declares God created everything in 144 hours about six to ten thousand years ago. And because of the scientific implausibility of such a position, many people reject the Bible without seriously investigating its message or even reading for themselves what it says. All to often, people are left with the hard choice between believing what they think are the words of the Bible (actually a particular interpretation) and rejecting the facts of nature or believing the facts of nature and rejecting the words of the Bible. Christians have tragically set up a false dilemma that creates barriers to serious consideration of the really crucial spiritual issues." [Hugh Ross, "Creation and Time," NavPress, 1994, p. 42]

                  Ex N1hilo said...

                  In a similar vein, here's a little pearl of wisdom from J. P. Moreland (transcribed from a presentation entitled Reconciling Science & Scripture, which can be found here.):

                  "Nobody has a clue what Genesis 1 through 3 is saying. Nobody. Period...I'm not an Old Testament scholar, so if you ask me what do Genesis 1, 2, and 3 teach, I'm going to tell you, 'I don't have the foggiest idea; I have no clue. All I know is that somebody wants to say it's six literal 24-hour days, they are out of their stinking minds. They're crazy.'"

                  Miguel Rodriguez Rivera said...

                  I think that this kind of conversation (Genesis and so forth) should be taken out of this post. It suppose to be of the books you like in 2011 not to argue. Hope next posts can be post related.

                  Anonymous said...

                  The fact that such heated arguments on the "terms of creation" is a matter of faith. To become a follower of Christ, we must be approached by the Father and in faith believe He is who He says He is. He says He is the creator, the Saviour, the Judge, etc... The fact of whether we believe Gen 1 happened in 6 days or 1000's of years should not be based upon our limited "faith" on science. God created science in addition to this world. Either we believe He is capable, or not... If He is capable of doing it in thousands of years through evolution, then I believe He is capable of doing in the blink of an eye. It is a simple fact of how He wanted to do it. Our beliefs should be based around our "relationship" (which is by grace through faith), not from the framework of science. Yes, God works in such a way that if we fully understand science, then creation makes sense. But can we fully understand science? Can we fully understand God's ways (Romans 11:33-36, I Cor 1:26-31). When we share the gospel, we are to share it in such a way that God is glorified. Faith is the biggest part. We are capable of using apologetics to help individuals along the path to knowing the Father, but it is the Holy Spirit's job to introduce individuals to the Father. If we fail to see this fact, no scientific logic will ever succeed in leading someone to Christ.

                  It is amazing that throughout this strain many books are quoted, but the Bible is put on the back burner. If we as Christians cannot support our beliefs with the Bible and trust the Holy Spirit to bring the lost to a point of trust, then I believe we have missed the whole point.

                  Paul states in several places (especially I Cor 2) that we doesn't speak with words of man's wisdom. He preaches the Gospel. In Acts 17 when Paul addresses teh Athenians on Mars Hill (the pagans) he doesn't try to use scientific wisdom to prove they are wrong. He brings them to a point of looking at nature (God's creation) from a simply logical point that deep down they know there is a Creator. Paul points out that we all know deep down that there is a God, and He is the Creator. And then Paul reveals there is coming a day of accountability...

                  Again, let me reiterate there is a need to be educated and to know why God/creation/Jesus Christ/the Gospel can and does reside in the realm of science. But, this is not the logical information that is going to convince someone to trust in Christ. The Holy Spirit (by grace through faith, Eph 2:8) is going to reveal the Father and create the desire to have a relationship with the Father...

                  Our responsibility is to point towards the Father (scientifically in some instances) but more so through faith. Giving our testimony of how the Father has changed our life.

                  And biggest of all, we are to live the live Christ has commanded us to (because we love Christ and the Father). I believe we as 21st century American Christians try to side-step living the life Christ has commanded (light of the world, salt of the earth Philipians 2, Matt 5, etc). We inadvertently think it is easier to argue about science than to truly live a Christian life (sacrifical giving, loving all including our enemy, working on God's timetable and not worrying about our timeline, loving our family, not divorcing our spouse because we are incompatible, not backbiting and gossiping in church, etc....

                  I challenge all, to fully surrender to the Lord, His will, and all His ways and let your actions speak louder than your words.

                  I believe the Holy Spirit is so much more powerful than we beleive (and our ability to convince someone else to be a Christian). Lets, with a child-like faith trust and believe in God's ways (obeying Him, staying in His perfect will) and work where we see the Father working!!!

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