Review: On Guard

On Guard, Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision was recently published by David C. Cook by prominent Christian apologist William Lane Craig.  Dr. Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.  He  has authored over 30 books defending the historic Christian faith and is a frequent speaker/debater on college and university campuses all over the world.  You can read more about him at www.reasonablefaith.org.

On Guard is billed as a “one stop guide-book to learn how to defend your faith.”   On Guard is written for the  layperson who themselves may be struggling with the reliability of the faith or who desires to provide answers but may be afraid of the questions.  At 286 pages, it is very accessible to the layperson.  On Guard avoids the pitfalls of overindulgence and oversimplification.  While it wrestles with large philosophical questions (and language) it does so in a manner that does not overwhelm the lay reader.   The complex is made accessible through careful explanation and illustration but without oversimplifying.  My thoughts on this book were verified recently when my 73-year-old father-in-law saw this on my desk and read it while on a recent visit.  Though not college educated and dyslexic, he loved the book and was eager to buy a copy when he returned home.

The formatting of the book contributes greatly to the accessibility of the contents of the book.  On Guard is full of call out boxes, sidebars, and illustrations which aid the reader in digesting the information.    Important people, ideas, and questions are placed outside the main text for explanation or illustration.  This is one of my favorite features of the book.

On Guard is classic apologetics text and is laid out to present the historic philosophical arguments for the existence of God for the lay believer.  The ontological, cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments are each presented in light of recent discussion.  While there is nothing new added to the centuries old arguments, Dr. Craig’s interaction with 20th & 21st century opponents give them a freshness.   He also defends the historicity of Jesus’ person and work as well  addressing the question of exclusivity.

Who would benefit from this book and how could it be utilized?

  1. Christians who are interested in solidifying their faith and building an intellectual bulwark against the rising tides of secularism.
  2. This would be an excellent apologetics text for a Christian College or Secondary school.  Teachers would love the questions at the end of each chapter.
  3. 73 year old lay Christians who love the Lord and want to see others come to love Him too!
  4. A college and career class at church or as part of a discipleship program.  Combine this with Keller’s, The Reason for God, and you would have a great course.

This is a very helpful re-presentation of the reasonableness of the Christian faith.  Anyone who is just beginning to ask these types of questions or who has yet to find the right explanation for them would benefit from On Guard.  Dr. Craig has written an excellent text and the publishers have done a wonderful job of formatting the information to create a great work.

[Our thanks to B & B Media for the review copy of On Guard.]

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