Five Views on Apologetics by Steven B. Cowan

Five Views on Apologetics

The goal of apologetics is to persuasively answer honest objections that keep people from faith in Jesus Christ. But of several apologetic approaches, which is most effective?Five Views on Apologetics examines the “how-to” of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Reformed Epistemology, and Cumulative Case. Offering a forum for presentation, critique, and defense, this book all...

Details Five Views on Apologetics

TitleFive Views on Apologetics
Release DateFeb 7th, 2000
GenreReligion, Theology, Christian, Philosophy, Christianity

Reviews Five Views on Apologetics

  • Mark Jr.
    Once upon a time, a fellow Christian young man, age 20 or so, like me, invited me to go witnessing in the downtown area where I live. We ran into a young lady who was reading Neale Donald Walsch's then-popular Conversations with God, some of the worst claptrap ever to proceed from a printing press. I won't give specifics, but as I began to speak my partner began to feel uncomfortable with my approach. Deeper than that, he disagreed with the doctr...
  • Sara Whear
    This book is great if you just want to learn about various apologetic methods from some of the best and brightest apologists in each method. The compare and contrast was helpful, and each author was given time to respond to each other method as presented by the expert in that field and also rebut responses to their own method.
  • JR Snow
    Basically, Habermas, Craig, and Feinberg are all huddled together, attacking Frame, while Clark also attacks Frame, but is the weird kid who can't get in with the cool Evidence guys. Poor Frame. Yay Plantinga!
  • Sean McGowan
    This was a great book. I actually appreciate a lot of what every contributor wrote, although I do not agree with each methodological approach. I am more in line with Frame, although I really appreciate a lot (not all) of what I hear from Alvin Plantinga and the other Reformed Epistemologists.
  • Josh
    Helpful overall, but suffering from the weakness of these type of "five views on _____" books: at times the authors talk past each other and the areas of genuine disagreement become unclear.
  • Craig
    For Apologetics class.
  • Patrick S.
    I had a lot of fun with this book. About a year ago, I really came down on the side of presuppositionalism and have studied the approach, see if it was useful against two of the leading atheistic books (God Is Not Great and The God Delusion), and now I wanted to match it up against four other views of apologetics. I will try to not go into too much detail here as I think the book is an important read for developing an apologetic standpoint.The bo...
  • Clark Goble
    Cowan’s purpose in presenting his Five Views on Apologetics is to provide the reader with a “side by side” view of the varying apologetic methodologies so that one may make up their own mind as to which method is correct (Cowan, page 8). Cowan classifies the apologetic methodologies into five separate categories; classical, evidential, cumulative, presuppositional and reformed epistemology. The editor then attempts to accomplish his self-as...
  • L. R. Bouligny Bouligny
    This edition in the series of “views” books focuses on the subject of apologetics, and with the identical format as the others, gives each author a chance to state his position in 25-30 pages, while also allowing those holding differing views to punch holes in the author’s arguments. While I believe these debate formats can be helpful, I found this particular book to be somewhat discouraging. But, before I share my grievances, I will share ...
  • Josiah
    There were several really good parts about this book. First, I generally really like multi-perspectival books like this one. Second, Cowan clearly did a good job in picking his authors; while he could have picked extreme representatives for each side, he seemed to do a fantastic job of picking really nuanced and balanced authors who both represented their side and also didn't take it to unfortunate extremes. So all of this made this a rather stim...
  • Adam Calvert
    It's tough for me to rate this book. I don't know how else to say it other than this: I didn't like this book, but I'm glad I have it.If you get through the horrible misrepresentations of other views, the logical fallacies throughout the book, and the overall avoidance of addressing the topic from a Biblical mindset, then you're left with a somewhat decent reference on certain Christian views on the theory of how to properly defend the faith. But...
  • Jacob Aitken
    So who won this debate? Nobody, because they were all equally annoying, perhaps excepting John Frame. Pros: 1. Bill Craig's footnotes were far more interesting than his actual essay. Craig nicely summarizes Alvin Plantinga's Warrant Trilogy, which summaries are actually quote helpful for the apologete. Unfortunately for Craig, they do nothing to advance his essay.2. Kelly James Clark, while having the most caustic tone, has the most intriguing es...
  • Doutor Branco
    In this book, Steven B. Cowan presents different views on apologetics to examine the 'how-to' of apologetics, putting five prominent views under the microscope: Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Reformed Epistemology, and Cumulative Case. The entire text is very interesting and exciting, specially for offering a forum allowing the contributors for the diverse viewpoints to interact, providing the reader the opportunity to compare and contr...
  • Jeremy
    Helpful for understanding the way people of different apologetics schools view each other and how they relate their apologetical approach to the others, but this won't be very helpful for those who want to learn how to do apologetics, and it also won't necessarily help people who have never been introduced to each of these viewpoints understand them fully. For example, I think Reformed Epistemology is not really understood in the best way through...
  • Matthew
    Five Views on Apologetics - Five scholars debate 5 different approaches to doing apologetics - classical, evidentialism, cumulative case, presuppositionalism, reformed epistemology. Each methodology is presented, followed by responses, both favourable and critical, from each of the other contributors. A debate summary (written by others) draws out the differences, similarities and implications of the five approaches. The main value of this book l...
  • Frankie Della Torre
    5 Views on apologetics provides an introductory discussion into the realms of religious epistemology, the nature of the Holy Spirit's witness, the necessity of evidence for belief, and other topics. I found Kelly James Clark's chapter ("Reformed Epistemology") to be the most interesting; namely because evidentialism is most common. I walked away from this book feeling like I understood each approach and could defend each of them. Ultimately, I th...
  • Andrew
    A useful overview of different apologetic methodologies, unfortunately there is no author representing presuppositional apologetics since Frame's view is eclectic mixing presuppositional apologetics with Classical apologetics such as arguing that you can use the Transcendental argument along with classical arguments for the existence of God, but that undermines the presuppositional method altogether for the sake of pragmatism. James White would h...
  • Rick
    This is not a book for the casual audience. At many points it virtually requires a working knowledge of some rather esoteric issues, not all of which I possess. Also, some of the other reviews of this book reveal that many readers were not looking for help in honing their own apologetic methods or broadening their own understanding, but for ammunition to use in countering the methods of others or to buttress their own previously established views...
  • Justin Bailey
    Books like these are wonderful in theory (let's have each person explain their position and then respond to the other views! what could be simpler?), but often disappointing in execution (oh, wait, we actually agree on most things? then what are we doing again?) This collection is valuable in surfacing some of the key questions in developing apologetic methodology, but the schools of thought have so much overlap that the water ends up quite turbi...
  • David
    This book claims to present five views on apologetics but as Dr. David Rim so aptly points out it would be more appropriately titled "1.5 Views on Apologetics". The book has three apologists who in essence for an evidential approach to apologetics, then a presuppositionalist who seems strangely open to evidential apologetics and finally a man who argues for the inadequacy of argument (in reality Clark's essay is not quite this logically incoheren...
  • Joe Valenti
    The Counterpoints series by Zondervan are a great group of books that help one understand the complete gamut of the arguments over a specific area in evangelicalism. This book does not disappoint. Craig, Habermas, Frame, Clark, and Feinberg offer a great overview and heated argument in the area of apologetic systems. Christians may not know that there are multiple ways to approach apologetic though we all default to something. Worth the read and ...
  • Cho Yim
    Good overview of the 5 systems/method of apologetics. Little difficult if it's your first book on apologetics and the different systems. Would help to have a general overview of each system before you start reading. Definitely a slower read because it is hard to comprehend at first. Make sure you read the responses to each system because they often clarify points made by the system author and give a more lucid picture of what the system actually ...
  • Hank Pharis
    Like most of the "views" books this is very helpful in helping us to understand the issues and diverse approaches to apologetics. And like most of these books there is not a clear "winner" here. It seems to me that there is definite truth in the presuppositional approach. And yet the Bible does use evidences to defend the faith as well. Thus some kind of combination of approaches seems best to me.
  • Nathaniel
    five views of apologetics gives five different ways of engaging with the topic of the existence of God in Christianity. The most disappointing aspect of this book is that each authors opinions are not all that different from each other, so the reader does not get the full sense of each individual argument and view point. The book does show it's strength in giving many different avenues in approaching conversation concerning Christian theism. I wo...
  • Steve Shuford
    I am currently reading this book for my apologetics class, and it speaks about the five most common ways to defend the faith. What I like about it is the format - it provides a common view written by a theologian and the other 4 critique the stated view. What I would have liked, however, is if it spoke more to the layperson - they make an attempt, but it is not effective enough in my view. I am learning a lot from it, however, and think that it i...
  • Brian
    a good-read for the apologist interested in apologetic methodology. The book lays out the five common forms via essays written by leaders in each category promoting and critiquing each methodology. After reading this book I found a mix of methodologies available to target an apologetic contact to be the best approach. Leaning towards the classical approach, I especially enjoyed Craig's contribution.
  • Richard Minor
    This is a good book to read for an introduction to the different ways of doing apologetics. The essays, with the exception of 1 of the 4 in my opinion, are well written and compelling cases for their method. It is not, as has been suggested, a book on evangelism. This is apologetics, a defense of the faith. Sometimes the two go hand in hand, but they are different.
  • Darby Hughes
    Informative, but this book mainly made me realize I'm not that interested in apologetical methodologies - just in apologetical arguments and evidences.It seemed to me that each of the views had its strengths and advantages - and weaknesses.If you are looking for a detailed explanation of the differences between methodologies, you'll find that.
  • G Walker
    Frame has some helpful observations as does Clark. Frame has done better work elsewhere - and I fear some of his nuance was/is lost on most readers... overall though at least some model of Van Tilianism gets presented here and that is the only reason it gets two stars.