A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist
Peter Kreeft
Ignatius, 177 pages, $12.95, paper

This is Kreeft's latest foray into philosophical apologetics (e.g., Heaven: The Heart's Deepest Longing, Back to Virtue), and like some of his others, it is cast as an imaginary dialogue. Journalist Libby Rawls, "a classy, Black feminist" (= relativist), interviews 'Isa Ben Adam, a 41-year-old Palestinian and professor of philosophy (= absolutist). Kreeft, a Catholic and professor of philosophy at Boston College, wastes some pages trying to be cute or funny, but enough substance (and entertainment value) remains to comprehend afresh the Christian case for moral absolutes.

Faith on Trial: An Attorney Analyzes the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
Pamela Binnings Ewen
Broadman & Holman, 210 pages, $12.99, paper

Ewen is a partner in the Baker and Botts law firm, where she specializes in corporate finance. Here Ewen tries her hand at the distinctive genre of rationally disinterested examinations of Jesus' resurrection. Perhaps the genre's most influential example is Frank Morrison's 1930 classic, Who Moved the Stone? Devoting chapters to topics like "Admissibility and Authentication of the Evidence" and "The Legal Nature of Testimony," she assesses the case for the resurrection.

Such an exercise can be salutary, and convincing for some. But when the stakes of a trial are high (e.g., when the fate of a celebrity—or one's spiritual commitment—hangs in the balance), juries have been known to ignore what seems to be overwhelming evidence.

On Giants' Shoulders: Studies in Christian Apologetics
Edgar Powell
Day One, 262 pages, £8.99, paper

Powell, curriculum director of computing in a Further Education college (part of the U.K.'s system of continuing education), manages to survey grand themes ("Is There a God?" "Science—or Scientism?") in chapter-size chunks, while quoting the likes of Francis Schaeffer, Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell, Louis Bekhof, and Herman Dooyeweerd—among many others. Fine points are lost and some chapters speed by superficially ("Trage dies—Why?" gets a mere seven pages). Still, it remains a splendid overview of contemporary apologetic challenges.

Finding Common Ground: How to Communicate with Those Outside the Christian Community While We Still Can
Tim Downs
Moody, 200 pages, $11.99, paper

The "while we still can" refers not so much to the decay of culture as to the Second Coming of Christ. Though Downs (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ's Communi cation Center) does not predict a date, he does suggest (wisely) that we should live as if Jesus will return in this generation. Thus the urgency for apologetics. But his method is anything but panicky: his controlling metaphor is the parable of the sower. He devotes chapters to "Cultivating the Soil," "Nurturing," and "Sowing in the Marketplace." This "urgent" appeal, then, says we should treat non-Christians with respect and employ the virtue of patience.

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: General and Historical Objections
Michael L. Brown
Baker, 272 pages, $12.99, paper

Brown describes him self as "a Jewish believer in Jesus," and he answers 35 objections that, in his experience, are stumbling blocks for unbelieving Jews. The objections are mostly Jewish- specific ("If Jesus is the Messiah, why don't more Jews believe in him?"), but some have universal relevance ("No religious or educated Jew would ever believe in Jesus"). Brown, president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, also handles anti-Semitism charges well, admitting the history of Christian cruelty while drawing a fuller picture of the history of relations between Christians and Jews.

Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, and Spin
Os Guinness
Baker, 127 pages, $12.99

Like Kreeft's Refutation, this apologetic chips away at philosophical foundations—in this case, postmodernism (especially its will to power and radical relativism). Modernism (i.e., Enlightenment rationalism) also receives its share of blows as Guin ness outlines a "faith community/tradition" view of truth, which he believes "includes the strengths of the other two views while avoiding the weaknesses of each." The last chapter, "On Record Against Ourselves," is a particularly co gent critique of the postmodernist tendency to self-deceit.

Related Elsewhere

Earlier In Summary features include:

Biblical Studies (March 3, 2000)
Christian Living (Feb. 23, 2000)
Church History (Dec. 20, 1999)
Theology (Nov. 29, 1999)
Christianity & Culture (Sept. 6, 1999)
Biography (July 12, 1999)

Most of these books can be purchased at Worthybooks or other book retailers.

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