Most of us who are interested in making the case for Christianity sense a continuing shift in the culture. Christianity is under increasing scrutiny, the nature of the questions are changing, and the issues under debate are more contentious than ever. Christian case makers need to rethink their environment and approach. That’s why Sean McDowell’s latest book, A New Kind of Apologist, is a timely resource. Sean gathered essays from twenty-seven current Christian apologists and organized them in three major categories. A New Kind of Apologist will help you understand the task at hand in the following three ways:
It Will Help You Adopt A New Approach
Several of the essays in the book will help you think outside your personal apologetics “box” and consider the broader approaches available to each of us. Sean collected essays from a variety of writers and thinkers, including professors like Tim Muehlhoff, pastors like Dan Kimball and evangelists like Mark Mittelberg. They address a variety of different approaches and discuss the importance of embracing new technology, the rise of an “argument culture” and the importance of addressing social justice issues as Christian case makers.
It Will Help You Develop a New Methodology
In perhaps the most creative section of the book, McDowell collected essays from popular practitioners who share their methodologies. This section of essays includes work from Brett Kunkle, Jeff Myers, Holly Ordway, Lenny Esposito and Mary Joe Sharp. Several divergent methods are described in this section, including the value of storytelling, the importance of women in apologetics, and the apologetic example of multi-ethnic churches. One of my favorite chapters is “A Practical Plan to Raise Up the Next Generation.”
It Will Help You Address New Issues
The section on new issues facing the Church is a critical part of Sean’s book, including essays from Michael Licona, Jonathan Morrow, Jay Richards and John Stonestreet. Authors provide key insight to some of the “hot topic” issues in our culture today: authentic Christianity as it relates to the LGBT issue, the role of Christianity in economics, concerns about religious liberty, and how to question the Bible in a Post-Christian culture.
Sean’s also done a wonderful job inserting key interviews throughout each section, including conversations with Bart Campolo, J. P. Moreland, Dennis Rainey, Gavin McFarland, Hemant Mehta and John Njoroge. These interviews address issues specific to each section of essays and bring insight and additional interest to each topic. A New Kind of Apologist captures nearly every important issue facing those of us who hope to reach our friends and family with the Gospel. For this reason, I want to encourage you to get the book, even if you don’t think of yourself as an “apologist”. This book is important to all of us who understand our role in the Great Commission. A New Kind of Apologist will help prepare you to share what you believe about Jesus, regardless of your role in the Church or your calling in life.