Used in classrooms around the world, including at Oxford and London universities, this book surveys the current cultural context and then sets out a way of sharing one’s religious convictions as respectful gift-giving, rather than as aggressive battle-winning.
Is it still possible, in an age of religious and cultural pluralism, to engage in Christian apologetics? How can one urge one's faith on others when such a gesture is typically regarded with suspicion, if not outright resentment?
In Humble Apologetics John G. Stackhouse brings his wide experience as a historian, philosopher, journalist, and theologian to these important questions and offers surprising--and reassuring--answers. Stackhouse begins by acknowledging the real impediments to Christian testimony in North America today and to other faiths in modern societies around the world.
He shows how pluralism, postmodernism, skepticism, and a host of other factors create a cultural milieu resistant to the Christian message. And he shows how the arrogance or dogmatism of apologists themselves can alienate rather than attract potential converts. Indeed, Stackhouse argues that the crucial experience of conversion cannot be compelled; all the apologist can do is lead another to the point where an actual encounter with Jesus can take place. Finally, he shows how displaying an attitude of humility, instead of merely trying to win religious arguments, will help believers offer their neighbors the gift of Christ's love.
"This book is an aplolgetics that has internalized the legitimate concerns of postmodernity, religious relativism, and human freedom, and thus manages to reveal apologetics not as the theological blunderbuss that it once was, but as a loving engagement with people, driven by a desire to share belief, not overwhelm the opposition." ―Religious Studies Review
Paul Griffiths, Duke University
“John Stackhouse’s Humble Apologetics is a witty, lucid, and extremely intelligent analysis of what Christian apologetics is and how it should be practiced at the beginning of the third millennium.”
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale Divinity School
"Stackhouse mounts as cogent and eloquent a case for apologetics as I have ever read. It's cogent because of what he understands apologetics to be: not browbeating the other into intellectual submission but sincerely and lovingly commending Christianity to the other for his or her shalom. If that's apologetics, I'm all for it."
Os Guinness, author of The Dust of Death
"Humble, but clear and cogent too, John Stackhouse's vision of apologetics combines deep thinking with immense practical relevance."