Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 6:09 PM

Book Review: Presuppositional Confrontations

Presuppositional Confrontations by Vincent Cheung is a very readable introduction to presuppositional apologetics as contrasted to evidential apologetics. The first chapter is a brief introduction on why we need presuppositional apologetics (basically, evidence needs to be intepreted by our assumptions, so we can't just present evidence because non-Christian assumptions are wrong, but we also need to deal with those assumptions... those "presuppositions").

The next chapter (very long) is an exposition of Paul's speech in Athens in Acts 17. It demonstrates quite convincingly how Paul does not seek a common ground approach, but rather arranges a complete worldview clash, where he systematically presents the Christian gospel at the same time as demolishing the non-Christian worldview, and gives many suggestions for how we can ourselves apply such an approach to our own evangelism.

The last chapter is an encouragement to continue to do biblical apologetics and have faith in a God whose foolishness is greater than the wisdom of the wise.

For the most part, I thought the book was excellent. It was very readable and provided an excellent introduction of presuppositional apologetics and how Paul himself used a similar approach in Acts 17. It adequately refuted the idea that Paul tried to find common ground first and emphasized the uniqueness and the supremacy of the biblical worldview. It challenged and encouraged me to continue to know God so that I might make Him known better (which, by the way, is one aspect I often find lacking in books on evangelism, always seem to say "don't worry about not knowing the answer" without any encouragement to actually "know God!")

A small quibble - There were a few places in the book where Vincent Cheung seems to launch off into a particular topic that seems at best tangentally related to the text at hand. (One prominant example is his treatment of Islam's "moon God") It often reads like I'm just listening to him talk about presuppositional apologetics off the cuff rather than a thelogical discussion and comprehensive treatment of the topic at hand. He does treat the topic adequately, and the tangents are certainly informative and enjoyable, but they were surprising. It does give more of a personal feel to things, like this is something he deeply cares about rather than some academic exercise. Reminds me of reading Martin Luther =)

Apart from that, this was excellent and very informative. Makes the need for systematic theology, presuppositional apologetics, and the power of God clear. A great encouragement and emboldener, to say the least.

My Recommendation: borrow it (or download it: here)

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