On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

In these skeptical times, in which books by the so-called New Atheists make the bestseller lists, it is more important than ever for Christians to be able to explain their faith clearly and reasonably. This is necessary to not only defend the faith from attacks from the New Atheists but also to, as Peter wrote,

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

A Christian who goes out into the world without knowledge of apologetics is like a soldier going into battle unarmed.

Fortunately, William Lane Craig provides the tools you need with his book On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision.

On Guard is no less than a training manual for the defender of the faith. Craig teaches the reader good reasons to believe in Christianity and how to argue these reasons convincingly.

After the first two chapters, in which he introduces the subject of and necessity for apologetics, Craig uses the next section to explore reasons to believe in the existence of God. He does not specify the Christian God in this section, nor does he rely on revelation. Instead, Craig uses the Cosmological and Moral arguments, asking why anything at all exists, why is the universe so fine-tuned, where do our ideas on morality originate. I think that this section could be used by the believers of any of the monotheistic religions, Jews, Muslims, even Deists, with very little modification.

Chapter seven deals with the questions of suffering and evil in the face of a good, omnipotent Deity. The final three chapters deal specifically with the Christian faith, giving evidence for the historical existence of Jesus and His resurrection. I think that this final section is slightly weaker since it seems to me that Craig did not spend enough time establishing the historical reliability of the Gospels but seemed to grant their accuracy for granted.  I also think that the book could have used a chapter defining what faith is and is not. Faith is not believing in things that you have no evidence.

Despite the two minor reservations I have mentioned, On Guard is a valuable resource for any Christian interested in apologetics, or who simply wants to explore why he believes what he believes.

5 thoughts on “On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision”

  1. Enjoyed your post. I am leading a small group book study using “On Guard” right now. We are partially through Craig’s chapter on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The one caveat I will add is that even though the book is meant to be a more accessible treatment of “Reasonable Faith,” for the one not conversant in the field it can still be a bit of rough sledding. That is not to take away from the book at all. It is well worth the effort.

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    1. I agree it is well worth the effort. My only complaint was that I thought he didn’t deal enough with the historical accuracy of the Gospels. I suppose this was due to lack of space and he gives the matter more attention in Reasonable Faith, which I will have to read.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. I believe knowledge of the Bible, especially the Gospel, is absolutely necessary for a Christian when speaking with others who do not understand. Christians must study scripture seriously and know and love Christ deeply in order to teach and share the Lord successfully. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

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