Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Accessible Approach to Reformed Apologetics: Covenantal Apologetics by K. Scott Oliphant

Although Oliphant characterizes his book as a translation of Van Til's Reformed apologetics, it broadens the scope and makes it more accessible to a general audience. In fact, he is responsible for making it more Christ-centered and proposing the name change from presuppositional apologetics to convenantal apologetics. Like other reviewers, I find this term much easier to understand and makes clear our covenantal relationship to God.

Chapters one through four lay out Oliphant's methodological approach including the basic biblical content. While these chapters are interesting and important, I found the last three chapters where Oliphant demonstrates his method in three imagined dialogues to be the most interesting. It's easy to read a lot about method, but to see it put into action is most instructive and most likely to give the reader an understanding of how to use the material. Chapter five focuses on the atheistic objector and the incompatibility of the coexistence of God and evil. Chapter six takes on the Darwinian controversy and addresses Dennett's and Dawkins issues with human origin. Chapter seven was to me the most fascinating. It was a dialog between a Muslim and Oliphant. Oliphant arguing that the Muslim God is not the same as the Christian God and that the Christian God is greater.

I highly recommend this book. It is very readable, although I admit some parts need a bit of study, and gives an excellent overview of the present state of Reformed apologetics.

I reviewed this book for Crossway.