Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Review: Tactics by Gregory Koukl

I first came across Greg Koukl while looking for material to download of the internet. For half of the year I have a commute of just over 3 hours total and I was looking for mp3s to help pass the time. I found the website Stand To Reason which had archives of Koukl's radio program available for download.

I quickly became an avid listener of Stand To Reason and became acquainted with Koukl's strengths as an apologist for the Christian faith. I was impressed with Koukl's commentary on the most controversial topics in our culture as well as his ability to discuss, argue, and defend his position with live callers and program quests.

I had the opportunity to participate in a small group which was using Stand To Reason's Ambassador's Basic Curriculum material as its content. I was exposed to many of Koukl's conversational techniques that he lays out in Tactics for the first time in that small group setting. Koukl is at his finest when dealing with controversial or sensitive cultural issues and his teachings on these issues and how to deal with them are excellent.

Tactics is an in-depth look at these techniques for 'discussing your Christian convictions'. The book describes how one can purposeful engage others in conversation so as they think about the Christian perspective in general and about Jesus in particular. His goal is both attainable and beneficial to those he speaks with; he wants to 'put a stone in their shoe'. He teaches how you can leave someone thinking and contemplating about Christ and Christianity. This goal is attainable to all of us.

Tactics also discusses different types of attacks that Christianity regularly faces and how a believer can recognize and respond to those challenges. Koukl describes very practical steps one can take to competently communicate the Christian faith.

Books on apologetics have two benefits which I think are excellent reasons to read them: first, they explain and teach how one might defend their beliefs against competing ideologies; second, they affirm the soundness and intellectual legitimacy of Christianity to the Christian. Because Tactics faithfully accomplishes both of these ends, along with others, I recommend this book.

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