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Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblical and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking About God

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Many teenagers leave home for college but don't take their faith with them. Popular writer and speaker Sean McDowell offers a solution for this problem: a new way of approaching faith that addresses the questions the emerging generation is asking and that incorporates a radically humble and relational approach. An impressive list of contributors including Dan Kimball (They Many teenagers leave home for college but don't take their faith with them. Popular writer and speaker Sean McDowell offers a solution for this problem: a new way of approaching faith that addresses the questions the emerging generation is asking and that incorporates a radically humble and relational approach. An impressive list of contributors including Dan Kimball (They Like Jesus but Not the Church), Brian Godawa (Hollywood Worldviews), and Josh McDowell show that today's apologetics must employ... a clear connection with everyday life an invitation for people to express their doubts and wrestle with tough questions a culturally savvy understanding of the way secular people view Christians an engaging methodology that captures the imagination before engaging the mind a strong emphasis on the resurrection and how it changes everything This resource is imperative for leaders who are ready to engage a new generation with the claims of Christ.


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Many teenagers leave home for college but don't take their faith with them. Popular writer and speaker Sean McDowell offers a solution for this problem: a new way of approaching faith that addresses the questions the emerging generation is asking and that incorporates a radically humble and relational approach. An impressive list of contributors including Dan Kimball (They Many teenagers leave home for college but don't take their faith with them. Popular writer and speaker Sean McDowell offers a solution for this problem: a new way of approaching faith that addresses the questions the emerging generation is asking and that incorporates a radically humble and relational approach. An impressive list of contributors including Dan Kimball (They Like Jesus but Not the Church), Brian Godawa (Hollywood Worldviews), and Josh McDowell show that today's apologetics must employ... a clear connection with everyday life an invitation for people to express their doubts and wrestle with tough questions a culturally savvy understanding of the way secular people view Christians an engaging methodology that captures the imagination before engaging the mind a strong emphasis on the resurrection and how it changes everything This resource is imperative for leaders who are ready to engage a new generation with the claims of Christ.

30 review for Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblical and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking About God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Schrock

    Offered a few good thoughts, mixed with copious quantities of heresy and topped with compromising ecumenicalism. May contain nuts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book conveys an important message for the Church. Unfortunately, it's a message that will make many Christians uncomfortable, since it puts some of the blame on their shoulders for the way young people are currently fleeing the Church in droves. Though never suggesting that we water down anything the Bible teaches, the authors of the essays in this book encourage us to become more empathetic and circumspect in presenting the gospel message so as not to turn away non-believers unnecessarily. This book conveys an important message for the Church. Unfortunately, it's a message that will make many Christians uncomfortable, since it puts some of the blame on their shoulders for the way young people are currently fleeing the Church in droves. Though never suggesting that we water down anything the Bible teaches, the authors of the essays in this book encourage us to become more empathetic and circumspect in presenting the gospel message so as not to turn away non-believers unnecessarily. APOLOGETICS FOR A NEW GENERATION isn't so much about what we ought to say to people as it is about when and how we should say it. Too many Christians believe that the best way to evangelize is simply to run up to people and start reciting Bible verses. They don't see the need for a tactical approach to presenting the gospel, since they rely on God to do all the heavy lifting. And if the listener isn't persuaded, then it must be because that person's heart is too deeply hardened to receive the Truth. I mean, what other explanation could there be, right? When it comes to sharing the gospel, Christians tend to emphasize quantity over quality. That's something this book tries to fight against. And while I would never criticize someone for relying on God for help in softening people's hearts, that doesn't erase our responsibility to be GOOD witnesses, not simply determined or persistent ones. Whenever I am randomly approached by a Christian who starts trying to convert me without even taking the time to learn we're already on the same team, I find the experience annoying to say the least. I can only imagine how non-Christians must feel. Reaching one or two people at the expense of turning away hundreds is a big part of why the church is so ineffective in the world today. APOLOGETICS FOR A NEW GENERATION is hardly revolutionary for suggesting that we can more effectively witness to people after we get to know them a little first, and that waiting for the right opportunity is not the same as shirking our Christian duty. I hardly consider it controversial to recommend that we stop raising our children in a manner that leaves them totally vulnerable to social peer pressure and secular college professors. Nor am I taken aback by the notion of trying not to offend people unnecessarily. To me, this all seems like common sense. But apparently, there are those who disagree. One Goodreads reviewer flippantly describes the book as being "mixed with copious quantities of heresy and topped with compromising ecumenicalism." No specific examples given. Speaking as someone who loves God but is often put off by churches and the whole Christian subculture in general, I consider APOLOGETICS FOR A NEW GENERATION a big step in the right direction. The book's editor, Sean McDowell, did a terrific job putting all this together. Sixteen different essays, and not a lemon in the bunch. The essays on homosexuality, femininity, and race felt especially timely and important, especially since most Christian teachers avoid such hot-button issues altogether. And I was impressed by how in-touch Josh McDowell is with everything that's going on with today's youth. Most of all, I enjoyed the essay by Brian Godawa, who emphasizes the importance of storytelling and engaging with mainstream culture to better promote our worldviews. He's the only noted Christian apologist I've ever heard proclaim the need for more Christian-based horror films. For that statement alone, he's my hero. My only criticism would be in regard to the interviews. Not only are they too short to be of any real value, they were obviously conducted by email and therefore lack the spontaneity that would've made them interesting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Clark

    This is NOT a book that will teach you how to defend your faith. In fact, the editor, son of Josh McDowell, is quite adamant that you still read his father's book in order to do that. This IS the book that is tackling the subject of how we approach apologetics in a post-postmodern world. I LOVE how they take all of the good, amazing qualities behind the philosophy of the emergent movement and then affirm that we still MUST have truth, absolute truth. This is a great book for anyone that is looki This is NOT a book that will teach you how to defend your faith. In fact, the editor, son of Josh McDowell, is quite adamant that you still read his father's book in order to do that. This IS the book that is tackling the subject of how we approach apologetics in a post-postmodern world. I LOVE how they take all of the good, amazing qualities behind the philosophy of the emergent movement and then affirm that we still MUST have truth, absolute truth. This is a great book for anyone that is looking to explore how to teach apologetics now, how to bring discussion to our churches, and even how to have some outreach into the world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah Gumm

    With the exception of maybe 3 essays, I found this book very helpful for how to go about Christian apologetics in the 21st century. Not only is it a worthwhile tool to equip one to defend the Christian faith, but also to train others to clearly proclaim the truth of Holy Scripture in this day and age. This is a necessity that we have ignored for far too long.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This book is technically my husband's, as his father gave it to him several years ago. However, he never expressed interest in reading it, so it gradually migrated to my section of the bookshelves. I went into this thinking it would be a new twist on Christian apologetics I was already familiar with, perhaps with some new information or refreshed nuances for presenting support of the Bible to those who don't believe it or don't know anything about it. This is not that book. This is... a guide to a This book is technically my husband's, as his father gave it to him several years ago. However, he never expressed interest in reading it, so it gradually migrated to my section of the bookshelves. I went into this thinking it would be a new twist on Christian apologetics I was already familiar with, perhaps with some new information or refreshed nuances for presenting support of the Bible to those who don't believe it or don't know anything about it. This is not that book. This is... a guide to approaching apologetics, mainly geared toward those who are involved in ministry, or some other kind of spiritual guidance role, with young adults, primarily teens. I found it very enlightening, but also affirming, about the shift from logic focus to relational focus (mirroring the shift from modernism to postmodernism) and the need for both, about the different issues confronting young people - their misconceptions about Christianity and the Bible, their most common questions - and a few hot topics, such as race, homosexuality, abortion, and feminism. Above all, I found this book to be insightful into my own person, and into my peer group, and never did I feel like I was being attacked. In several chapters, I had moments where I felt "ah, that finally explains it" and "so there's not actually anything wrong with me" and "I was doing it right after all." Further, I even felt that perhaps God was (finally) showing me why He asked me to give up my writing for Him so many years ago - because I don't understand human nature, or God's nature, enough to write well about either. I very much dislike pat, trite, or cliche answers to difficult issues, and I don't want to be guilty of it in any of my stories. Perhaps someday I will be able to write something that means as much to someone as Narnia means to me. I recommend this book to people who are already interested in Christian apologetics, and maybe has some previous exposure; this book assumes the reader is already familiar with such. Support your local library!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Holvik

    I have a few issues with this book, but first let me say that the author has done a good job collecting articles, and interviewing some of the most well known name in the apologetics scene. My favorite chapter is chapter 8: "storytelling and persuasion", which is an article by screenplay writer Brian Godawa. Lots of helpful images and analysis of biblical passages from the perspective of telling good stories as a means of explaining the Christian faith to others. I did find other articles intere I have a few issues with this book, but first let me say that the author has done a good job collecting articles, and interviewing some of the most well known name in the apologetics scene. My favorite chapter is chapter 8: "storytelling and persuasion", which is an article by screenplay writer Brian Godawa. Lots of helpful images and analysis of biblical passages from the perspective of telling good stories as a means of explaining the Christian faith to others. I did find other articles interesting as well, but my overall review is that there is too much overlapping and repetition of things, particularly concerning relativism. Which is understandably hard to avoid in book made by 16 different authors. Also, I found several articles to be suffering of a "confirmation bias" style of apologetics, where one only picks the positives sides of Christianity and the negative sides of the religion one is comparing it too. This is not a good way of doing apologetics. Some issues which the book tackles are also too oversimplified, for instance on the chapter dealing with homosexuality the author states that biblical interpreters who are affirming of gay marriage,"...go to great lengths to reinterpret those six passages [which address homosexuality]. Although they're not successfully, their claims sound appealing to people who don't carefully interpret the Bible. If we learn and understand these verses, clearing up this distortion is easy". This is bordeline insulting to the biblical scholars who have worked on these issue, and it is in a sense comical to claim it's easy to clear up the distortion. All in all, I recommend this book for it's chapter 8. I also again want to commend the editor for doing the work of collecting and putting together these articles, which can't be an easy job. However, due to the confirmation bias and oversimplification of certain topics, I can't give more than 2 stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book was a bit all over the place. At times McDowell seemed to be a little full of himself but I want to believe this was more a matter of my being challenged by the content and not an inflated sense of self on the author’s behalf. That being said, the content challenges the modern Christian to search for ways to convey biblical truths in a postmodern world. It is clear that no one has a corner on understanding just what is the best way to convey the fact of objective truth as espoused in th This book was a bit all over the place. At times McDowell seemed to be a little full of himself but I want to believe this was more a matter of my being challenged by the content and not an inflated sense of self on the author’s behalf. That being said, the content challenges the modern Christian to search for ways to convey biblical truths in a postmodern world. It is clear that no one has a corner on understanding just what is the best way to convey the fact of objective truth as espoused in the Bible; rational argument of the facts or building relationships. I have to believe that the proper answer lies somewhere in between. There were definitely points of interest which challenged me to see different perspectives on pressing issues. If you approach this book with a willingness to possibly being made to feel uncomfortable in your way of thinking you will take something away.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Each chapter is written by a different apologist, and the writers vary significantly in their helpfulness/reasonableness. Overall, however, I appreciated the variety and the editor's efforts to approach so many topics. While this book not an in-depth study, it has sparked a number of deep conversations in our youth group, which has been reading this together. Each chapter is written by a different apologist, and the writers vary significantly in their helpfulness/reasonableness. Overall, however, I appreciated the variety and the editor's efforts to approach so many topics. While this book not an in-depth study, it has sparked a number of deep conversations in our youth group, which has been reading this together.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shane Griffin

    I thought this was going to be a deep insight by a single author, but it is more of anthology of several authors speaking about a single issue. Some were better than others. The editor did a good job of getting several good writers to contribute.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Douglas

    Get this book! Apologetics is a task any person could become better equipped in for helping others. This book provides extremely practical ways to use apologetics. The recommended resources are worth getting the book alone.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This is a must read for every pastor, especially youth pastors. It’s also a good read for parents. So many Christian leaders today seem completely out of touch with this generation.(But that's changing!) Instead of addressing the real heart issues, engaging in meaningful dialogue, we use music, pizza, and other things to distract and attract. All the while Christians grapple with these questions in their hearts, alone and afraid to voice their doubts or concerns. The entire theme of this book is This is a must read for every pastor, especially youth pastors. It’s also a good read for parents. So many Christian leaders today seem completely out of touch with this generation.(But that's changing!) Instead of addressing the real heart issues, engaging in meaningful dialogue, we use music, pizza, and other things to distract and attract. All the while Christians grapple with these questions in their hearts, alone and afraid to voice their doubts or concerns. The entire theme of this book is to create relationships and how relationships are so crucial to our faith and sharing of our faith. I docked a star because some of the ideas are just the same thing we’ve heard over and over from apologists. I wasn’t impressed in the beginning, but as I continued to work my way through the book, I found a very refreshing look and approach to apologetics. Beauty, love, art, imagination, and storytelling were emphasized. Those don’t seem like concepts or methods often accompanied with apologetics. Yet, they did a great job of explaining how these things play a very crucial role in addition to our premises, and deductive arguments. Jesus often used parables to convey certain truths. Another thing I really liked is there were several examples given of how leaders have gotten their youth to start engaging in deep conversations by asking specific questions. I did notice some people seemed to be surprised at the lack of apologetic content in this book. The front of the book specifically states “…relevant approach to talking about God.” You won’t find arguments and evidences for the Christian faith in this book. This book is all about how we approach apologetics. However, at the end you will find a long list of apologetic resources (websites, books, podcasts, etc.).

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

    Quotes that stood out to me as I read: Ch. 4: CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE: DEFENDING OUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS "Cultures can change - quickly. Why should we care? We care about cultures because we care about people. Bad cultures hurt people, and good cultures help them." (pg. 70) "We discredt our spiritual parents by ignoring the cultural gifts they gave us while mindlessly benefiting from them." (pg. 71) "Biblical faith (among other things) a reasonable belief in the truth of an uncertain proposition. F Quotes that stood out to me as I read: Ch. 4: CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE: DEFENDING OUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS "Cultures can change - quickly. Why should we care? We care about cultures because we care about people. Bad cultures hurt people, and good cultures help them." (pg. 70) "We discredt our spiritual parents by ignoring the cultural gifts they gave us while mindlessly benefiting from them." (pg. 71) "Biblical faith (among other things) a reasonable belief in the truth of an uncertain proposition. Faith makes decisions based on the provisional acceptance of ideas that could be wrong but that the believer has good reasons to believe are true." (pg. 73) "Being reasonable is an attempt to make one's beliefs correspond to the truth." (pg. 73) "...beauty follows truth and flees error." (pg. 75) "Just as the church outlasted the Soviet Union, so it will endure the hedonism, materialism, and the antichrist spirit of our time." (pg. 77) "All is not lost, for even when all seems lost, God still governs the world." (pg. 77) "Every generation must ask whether it will renew its covenant with the Almight and so revive its hopes for further greatness, or plunge into decadence, destroying so much for short-term gain." (pg. 79)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bryce Kyle

    I randomly picked this book up at the library to help put together some Sunday School Lessons I will be teaching and I'm glad that I did. The culture in the church is rapidly changing, today's youth and young adults are more concerned about "worldview" and "tolerance". So, how do Christians share, reach and bring a lost and dying generation to the truth? What this book teaches is, Instead of focusing on the "issues" start building relationships with people, Instead of focusing on their sin and h I randomly picked this book up at the library to help put together some Sunday School Lessons I will be teaching and I'm glad that I did. The culture in the church is rapidly changing, today's youth and young adults are more concerned about "worldview" and "tolerance". So, how do Christians share, reach and bring a lost and dying generation to the truth? What this book teaches is, Instead of focusing on the "issues" start building relationships with people, Instead of focusing on their sin and how wrong it is. This will increase the chance of making a greater impact in someone's life, and eventually could lead to opening a dialogue to lead them to Christ. Of course, this should be pretty obvious for Christians as we have the greatest example of this through Jesus himself , (i.e. Woman at the well, The Adulterous Woman, to name a couple). Yet, the church has managed to alienate and condemn instead of embrace and show compassion. Apologetics for a New Generation teaches ways to bridge that gap. How to properly defend your faith to a generation that doesn't want to hear that what the are doing is wrong.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Cash

    Unfortunately the book's biggest strength, its variety, is ultimately its downfall as well. The information and authors are top notch and the material is useful, but the organization is messy. It would have been nice if someone had thought to add more bridges of thought for cohesion. Unfortunately the book's biggest strength, its variety, is ultimately its downfall as well. The information and authors are top notch and the material is useful, but the organization is messy. It would have been nice if someone had thought to add more bridges of thought for cohesion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Really liked this...he made some interesting points and I thought some of the techniques he used were quite effective...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    A good reminder to be constantly developing and changing our approaches to people.

  17. 5 out of 5

    G. Connor Salter

    Easily one of the most relevant Christian living books I've read in a long time. Challenging, talks about important current issues, literally a must-read. Easily one of the most relevant Christian living books I've read in a long time. Challenging, talks about important current issues, literally a must-read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Excellent compilation of quite a few authors looking at what they think young adult Christians today want to know about the Christian faith. Good insights.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    I'm not a student ministry major, but I would recommend it to all my friends who are. One issue is the entire book is about the importance of apologetics and not much about the apologetics itself. I'm not a student ministry major, but I would recommend it to all my friends who are. One issue is the entire book is about the importance of apologetics and not much about the apologetics itself.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeta Merlino

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Tanner

  23. 5 out of 5

    THOMAS E WALKER

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brent

  26. 4 out of 5

    Al Imboden

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luke Perstrope

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  30. 4 out of 5

    Macaylan

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