The History of Apologetics

A Biographical and Methodological Introduction

by Benjamin K. Forrest, Joshua D. Chatraw, Alister E. McGrath, Zondervan,

On Sale: 2020-06-16

Book Summary

The History of Apologetics surveys the great apologists in the history of the church to understand how they approached the task of apologetics in their own cultural and theological context. Each chapter looks at a well-known apologist from history, unpacks their methodology, and show how it has contributed to the fields of apologetics today.

About the Book

ECPA Christian Book Award 2021 Finalist: Biography & Memoir

Explore Apologetics through the Lives of History's Great Apologists

The History of Apologetics follows the great apologists in the history of the church to understand how they approached the task of apologetics in their own cultural and theological context. Each chapter looks at the life of a well-known apologist from history, unpacks their methodology, and details how they approached the task of defending the faith.

By better understanding how apologetics has been done, readers will be better able to grasp the contextualized nature of apologetics and apply those insights to today's context. The History of Apologetics covers forty-four apologists including:

Part One: Patristic Apologists

  • Justin Martyr by Gerald Bray
  • Irenaeus of Lyons by Stephen O. Presley
  • Athenagoras of Athens by W. Brian Shelton
  • Tertullian of Carthage by Bryan M. Litfin
  • Origen by A. Chadwick Thornhill
  • Athanasius of Alexandria by Jonathan Morgan
  • Augustine of Hippo by Chad Meister

Part Two: Medieval Apologists

  • John of Damascus by Daniel J. Janosik
  • Theodore Abu Qurrah by Byard Bennett
  • Timothy I of Baghdad by Edward L. Smither and Trevor Castor
  • Anselm of Canterbury by Edward N. Martin and Steven B. Cowan
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas by Francis J. Beckwith and Shawn Floyd
  • Ramon Lull by Greg Peters
  • Gregory Palamas by Byard Bennett

Part Three: Early Modern Apologists

  • Hugo Grotius by Bryan Baise
  • Blaise Pascal by Tyler Dalton McNabb and Michael R. DeVito
  • Jonathan Edwards by Michael McClymond
  • William Paley by Charles Taliaferro
  • Joseph Butler by David McNaughton

Part Four: 19th C. Apologists

  • Simon Greenleaf by Craig A. Parton
  • John Henry Newman by Corneliu C. Simut
  • Søren Kierkegaard by Sean A. Turchin and Christian Kettering
  • James Orr by Ronnie Campbell
  • B. B. Warfield by Kim Riddlebarger

Part Five: 20th C. American Apologists

  • J. Gresham Machen by D. G. Hart
  • Cornelius Van Til by K. Scott Oliphint
  • Gordon Haddon Clark by Robert A. Weathers
  • Francis A. Schaeffer by William Edgar
  • Edward John Carnell by Steven A. Hein

Part Six: 20th C. European Apologists

  • A. E. Taylor by Michael O. Obanla and David Baggett
  • G. K. Chesterton by Ralph Wood
  • Dorothy Sayers by Amy Orr-Ewing
  • C. S. Lewis by Alister McGrath
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Matthew D. Kirkpatrick
  • Lesslie Newbigin by Krish Kandiah

Part Seven: Contemporary Apologists

  • John Warwick Montgomery by Craig A. Parton
  • Charles Taylor by Bruce Riley Ashford and Matthew Ng
  • Alvin Plantinga by James Beilby
  • Richard Swinburne by Greg Welty
  • William Lane Craig by R. Keith Loftin
  • Gary R. Habermas by W. David Beck and Benjamin C. F. Shaw
  • Alister E. McGrath by James K. Dew and Jordan Steffaniak
  • Timothy Keller by Joshua D. Chatraw


'The History of Apologetics is a must-have for the shelves of any serious student of apologetics. With an impressive list of contributors, it provides a comprehensive yet detailed survey of various approaches to the defense of the Christian faith from patristic to modern times. Of particular value is the diversity of approaches represented by the apologists included, with notable entries among the more modern figures including John Henry Newman, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and C. S. Lewis. This provides substantial content for approaches to defending the faith that engage with cultural issues and draw on imagination and the arts as a methodology. The result is a volume that genuinely presents the historical and ecumenical richness of apologetics as a discipline and will serve as a valuable foundation for working apologists.'

'This book contains richly developed surveys of the apologetic arguments and approaches of a wide array of the Christian faith's greatest and most influential advocates over the centuries. Though the book is easily readable, it is extraordinarily informative--like the best apologetic works themselves! I learned so much from reading this book, even with regard to authors whose writings I know. Highly recommended to every Christian and especially to clergy and scholars, for whom the task of Christian apologetics is an urgent call.'

'This is a most valuable guide to the history of Christian apologetics throughout the ages. Expert authors provide readable summaries that will be useful both to those being introduced to the subject and to those who wish to review the wide range of options.'

'This volume employs competent scholars to write about noteworthy apologists throughout the history of the church's intellectual engagement with the unbelieving world. Apologists shouldn't defend the faith in a historical vacuum since we ought to stand on the shoulders of giants. This is the most thorough history of its kind that I know of and will repay careful study for the defense of the faith given once and for all to the saints.'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan Academic
  • On Sale: 2020-06-16
  • Pages: 848
  • Publisher: Zondervan Academic
  • Publication Date: 2020-06-16
  • Trim Size: 161.000mm x 236.000mm x 48.000mm
  • Weight: 1250.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christianity / History
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / Apologetics
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Preaching
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Church / History