Chris Sinkinson’s Confident Christianity is a unique survey of the history of apologetics, written in a highly engaging and entertaining style.
Arguing for a confident (not arrogant) Christian faith, former acheologist and current lecturer at top theological school Moorlands College, Chris clearly explains why the Bible is reliable while avoiding the pitfalls of giving pat answers or patronizing his readers.
Thoughtful but always clear, and written for the average Christian, Chris wants us to think and reason through our faith. He clearly explains the three major styles of apologetics and ultimately embraces them all, while also admitting each of their limitations.
Honest throughout, Chris occasionally stops to point out where common arguments for Christianity fall down. His section on logical fallacies is particularly helpful in identifying both Atheist and Christian arguments that are weak and should be avoided.
It’s the historical aspect that makes the book stand out. Rarely do apologetics books take time to consider how Christians have used different techniques and arguments to reason for the faith down the ages. By focusing on both the broad (enlightenment apologetics for instance) and specific (a detailed analysis of key figures work like Schaeffer and C.S Lewis), Chris gives fantastic context to today’s arguments.
Well researched, Chris is clearly very widely read as he takes the reader on a fascinating journey of Christian thought. The title of second chapter 'Apologetics and Philosophy' may surprise some, but Chris quickly shows the vital contribution philosophy makes to reasoning for the faith without compromising an inch on his view of the infallibility of scripture.
While his arguments are solid, the book will mainly appeal to Christians who have an interest in apologetics, as opposed to non-Christians. It’s a work that will help you think logically and reach sensible conclusions rather than give you a list of set answers to common questions.
That’s not to say Chris doesn’t deal with the typical problems that skeptics raise. His background in archaeology informs the excellent chapter 'Digging Up The Bible'. His section on science is good, though not groundbreaking. It will come as a surprise to some that he suggests Christians should avoid talking about evolution and appears skeptical of the theory in general.
Ultimately, as the subtitle (Conversation that lead to the cross) suggests, Chris is aiming to clear the way for skeptics to consider the ultimate claim of Christianity – the death and resurrection of Jesus. But rather than aim the book at these skeptics, he wants to inform the general, average church-going population. Ultimately, he wants to help you reason with your friends.
Keen to emphasise the importance of a positive attitude, Chris continually exhorts the reader to reason “with grace and love”, reminding us that winning the argument is not the same as winning hearts and minds.
There’s no doubt that he has achieved his aim of helping Christians to think clearly about their faith and reached this destination with absolute sincerity. Confident Christianity is a fine work by a gifted lecturer, church leader and now author.
July 5th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes