Sean McDowell, ed., Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblical and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking about God (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2009). $13.99, 246 pages.
How should Christians do apologetics in a postmodern cultural context?
Some Christians claim that we shouldn’t do apologetics at all, for postmoderns are not interested in truth claims. This book’s contributors disagree. Postmoderns are interested in truth claims. But biblical truth claims must be presented in a culturally relevant manner. In the words of Sean McDowell: “Apologetics for a new generation must be about winning people rather than winning arguments.”
Apologetics for a New Generation majors in strategies for winning postmodern people. This does not mean that the book is devoid of apologetic arguments. Several contributors outline arguments they find compelling. But the intended readership is not non-believers or spiritual seekers. Rather, it is pastors, evangelists, and lay Christians who desire better tools for answering the questions postmoderns ask.
Those tools include building relationships, engaging in conversations, utilizing storytelling and the arts, being sensitive to the emotional side of apologetic exchanges, and letting the questions postmoderns ask determine the apologetic agenda. Postmoderns want to know whether God exists, the Bible is historically reliable, and belief in Jesus’ resurrection is rational. But they also want to know whether Christians are racists, homophobes, and misogynists. These are not questions apologetics training courses have traditionally addressed.
Who will profit from reading this book? Pastors and evangelists, first and foremost—especially pastors who work with high school students or college-and-career young adults. But any Christian who reads this will profit from its emphasis on presenting and defending the gospel in a winsome, intelligent, and creative manner.