Our 5 Best Christian Apologetics Books for Beginners
Elsewhere at Christian Apologetics Training you can find our master list of many of the best Christian apologetics books, but we appreciate that this list can seem overwhelming for those of you who are just getting started with this discipline. Therefore, we have included below our five best Christian apologetics books for beginners.
These books are recommended due to their rich information combined with their unique accessibility. Included with each book is a brief description of its contents and how it can be enriching for those of you who are just beginning to learn about defending the faith.
1. The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel is a former award-winning journalist and legal editor. Once a staunch atheist, he was driven to use his journalistic training to investigate Christianity following his wife’s powerful conversion. As a result, he set out to interview the best contemporary Christian apologists and critically engage with what they had to offer him.
The fruit of these efforts is Strobel’s Case for… series. Each of these books reads like a novel as you get to follow along with Strobel’s thoughts, questions, and dialogues with various Christian apologists throughout each chapter. At the same time, by encountering material from the best contemporary Christian apologists themselves, the books provide a great introduction to the cutting edge material of each area of apologetics.
The Case for Christ follows Strobel’s inquiry into whether there is good evidence for the idea that Jesus is who he claimed to be. It does this by first examining the historical documents we have concerning Jesus and determining whether they stand up to scrutiny. It then investigates whether Jesus really did claim to be God, and whether his actions and character actually fit the description of the Jewish Messiah. Finally, it critically analyses all of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.
We especially recommend this book for anyone who really wants to dig into the historical evidence concerning the person of Jesus.
2. The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel
In The Case for a Creator, Strobel sets out to investigate the scientific evidence for a divine creator of the universe and human life. He begins by looking at the biological evidence concerning human life, and whether the theory of evolution rules out the existence of God. Following this he looks at features of the universe – such as Big Bang cosmology and the fine-tuning of the universe – that point to a transcendent creator. He then returns to the topic of human life to consider positive biological evidence of design.
All along you hear from prominent Christian scientists who testify to the fact that science and Christianity are not in conflict – but rather fit together rather well.
As such, we recommend this book especially for those who are interested in all issues related to science and the existence of God.
3. The Case for Faith – Lee Strobel
The Case for Faith follows Strobel as he puts his skeptical doubts of Christianity to the test. As in his other books, he interviews prominent Christian apologists like William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, and Peter Kreeft. Only this time, instead of assessing their positive arguments for Christian theism, Strobel gives them the most serious objections to the faith and critically interacts with their responses.
Included in the eight challenges to the faith that Strobel investigates are challenges concerning how a loving God can exist despite the evil and suffering in the world, how a loving God can condemn people to Hell, and the claim that church history is littered with oppression and violence.
We especially encourage you to read this book if you have some of these doubts about Christianity yourself, or want to learn what you can say to others who raise these sorts of challenges.
4. On Guard – William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig is without a doubt one of the greatest living Christian apologists. He has produced many great apologetics resources, but as a professional philosopher, some of them are more accessible to academics than to laypersons.
Not so with On Guard. This book represents Craig’s best work, but made accessible for a wide audience with easy-to-understand language and even some graphical illustrations!
The different chapters of the book work together to make up a powerful cumulative case for the Christian faith, starting with the best arguments for the existence of God, adding on evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, and answering the problem of evil and suffering along the way.
We especially recommend this book for those who want to get a taste of all of the different areas of apologetics and see how they work together.
5. Tactics – Gregory Koukl
Tactics is unique from the other books mentioned above in that, rather than primarily focusing on arguments and evidence for the truth of Christianity, Koukl focuses on how to put this knowledge into practice as we talk about Christianity with others.
Concise, engaging, and eminently practical, Tactics teaches you to implement simple yet powerful methods of evangelism better than any other resource we have encountered. It teaches you how to ask the right questions, respond to skeptical questions to which you don’t know the answer, and interact with those who are angry or hostile in a calm and respectful manner. Koukl also offers you his “Columbo” tactic for bringing a non-Christian to question their objections to Christianity – even when you yourself are not yet equipped to provide an informed refutation of them.
We consider Tactics to be the best training resource for using apologetics in evangelism. Therefore, we recommend it especially for anyone who is ready to put their apologetics training into practice.
Why not read them all?
As you can probably tell from the descriptions above, these five books are not ordered from best to worst. Rather, all five are set apart in virtue of the topics they address, and are recommended because they address their respective topics particularly well.
At the same time, each of these topics – from the evidence for Christianity, to objections to the faith, to using apologetics in evangelism – are central to the discipline of apologetics. We thereby encourage those of you who are beginners to read through all five of these books, whether in the order listed here or in another order of your choosing, so that you may obtain the most well-rounded training.
You can find each of these books on Amazon (where they are likely to be cheapest) by clicking the above text links and images.
Please feel free to leave any thoughts, questions, or other suggestions in the comments section below!