Friday, September 09, 2011

Read Along: Christian Apologetics Ch01

Today kicks off Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Each week’s post will provide a brief summary of the chapter, an audio introduction to the chapter by the author, as well as a PDF study guide suitable for printing and using for personal or group study. The audio is also available in a podcast feed for easier weekly listening. Here’s everything you need to get started:

[Audio Intro] – Dr. Groothuis introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 1 Study Questions] – PDF study guide.
[Podcast Feed RSS | Podcast in iTunes] – Click to subscribe to the audio.

Chapter One: Introduction. Hope, Despair and Knowing Reality (pages 15-22)
Is there hope for the universe? The author introduces the questions that we all face about life and reality. How we answer these questions is crucial. In our quest, finding the truth is essential. Without truth, meaning becomes a lie. The importance of one’s worldview is introduced. Groothuis suggests that one’s orientation to Jesus Christ will make the most crucial difference in one’s life.

Groothuis offers a bit of personal background about himself, then introduces and summarizes his approach to this book. He describes the three sections of the book: Apologetic Preliminaries, The Case for Christian Theism, and Objections to Christian Theism.


  1. Do you agree with the author about what matters most?
  2. How does Groothuis describe apologetics?
  3. Do you agree with the author’s approach (that of Francis Schaeffer)?
Next week
Chapter Two: The Biblical Basis for Apologetics


  1. The Atheist Missionary September 9, 2011

    This is a daunting tome for someone like me who is relatively unfamiliar with Christian apologetics. Thanks to you and Dr. Groothuis for embarking on this project.

  2. Craig September 9, 2011

    One problem when reading the book on Kindle. The Kindle edition does not have real page numbers available. When using the study guide you can't use the page number given for each question.

  3. Brian Auten September 9, 2011

    I was taking that into account when preparing the study guide, and was going to include the kindle locations. However, I noticed when I looked at the kindle that is does also give you the option to see the "real" page numbers. This can also be seen on the desktop app versions of kindle.

    As a side note, the kindle is also searchable, making some of the study questions a little easier to answer, perhaps. : )

  4. Brian Auten September 9, 2011

    But let me know if you would like the locations added as well. It's still early in the study and it can be done if it is hard to search for the actual page numbers.

  5. Craig September 9, 2011

    Thank you for your attention to this. It really is not a big deal, I will just have to actually know the material rather than just look up the answer in the book:). Anyway I went to the product description on the Amazon site and it seems page numbers are not available for this book; unless I missed something. Kindle locations would be handy but not necessary.
    Thank You,

  6. Brian Auten September 9, 2011

    I didn't check on my actual kindle device, but the "paper" page numbers are showing up on the kindle app itself for mac/pc. I'll check the kindle device later to see.

  7. _Nate September 9, 2011

    Tried to finish the two other books I've got going before today but didn't make it, I'll try to catch up for next week.

  8. Chad Miller September 10, 2011

    This is going to be such an amazing study. First thing I learned; how to properly pronounce Groothuis. 😉

    Thanks again for this!

  9. T. James Archibald September 10, 2011

    I've been looking for a study plan for an apologetics group next month. This may do nicely. Will these blogposts be up for a long while?

  10. Brian Auten September 10, 2011

    T. James Archibald:

    These posts begin this week, and will carry on for 26 weeks total. Each week will provide another chapter study and will remain on Ap315 and iTunes indefinitely.

  11. Al September 13, 2011

    I have been thinking a lot about the approach of Francis Schaeffer – how he approaches every problem as if he were not a Christian. I find it interesting how on the surface this appears to be in direct contradiction to presuppositionalism but upon deeper reflection it is really an attempt to see how the non-christian worldview falls well short of viable solutions. This I find to be similar to how presuppositionalists approach invalidating other worldviews.

    – Al

  12. Brian Auten September 13, 2011

    I think one good point about the Schaeffer approach as spelled out in the book is that it treats the opposing views with respect and consideration; it's doesn't write them off without weighing them fairly.

  13. Mark September 14, 2011

    On Dr. Groothuis' approach to apologetics and the parallels to Francis Schaeffer – when engaging in conversation on any subject, the participants need to know if they can trust the intellectually honesty of those presenting their views. Seeking first to understand the position held by others with differing beliefs does help in treating others with respect and consideration. Anticipating questions and acknowledging weaknesses in your own position can also keep the door open for an honest discussion.