Apologists aim to affirm, defend, and explain Christian faith. Author Alister McGrath proposes that making apologetic cases using stories (narratives) creates a deeper and more meaningful case than a purely academic argument. And the Bible is full of such stories.
In Narrative Apologetics – Sharing The Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of The Christian Faith, Mr. McGrath takes the reader through many examples of narratives that can be used to make arguments, notably C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Most applicable are biblical cases that apologists can use to build bridges from our current culture to Christianity. Examples presented are the stories of Jesus, God’s Kingdom, the exodus from Eygpt, and captivity in Babylon.
Mr. McGrath lays the foundation of narrative apologetics. He calls upon apologists to out-narrate the dominant stories that currently shape our culture. Apologists can accomplish this by telling a better story than their rivals, using the concept he’s described in his book.
Narrative Apologetics is very academic and probably beyond usefulness for novices (like me). Even the section of “Practical Application” is not really applicable for newbies. Narrative Apologetics is well-written and organized. Even with the philosophical weight, the concept is made clear.
How this book affected me:
I wasn’t even familiar with the term apologetics until a few years ago and, quite honestly, it intimidated me. Having only a basic understanding that it was an academic exercise to make a case for Christianity to non-Christians, I knew I would be out of my element because I’m more of a touchy-feeler than a philosopher. But it intrigued me. When Baker Books presented Narrative Apologetics to me, I jumped at the chance to read it. Besides being a good reason to dip my toes into apologetics, I immediately related to the ‘narrative’ aspect. The subtitle of ‘Sharing The Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of The Christian Faith’ is my goal as a Christian, so it seemed to be a perfect fit.
This book proved my assumption to be correct that apologetics is quite academic and this book was not for novices.
Who would enjoy this book:
As stated in the book description, this book is intended for preachers and scholars. Apologists who are interested to understand the ‘emerging field’ of narrative apologetics would find this book to be very helpful due to the many examples presented.
Our Christian Book Reviews:
The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books – adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. We’re proud to be included in the Top 50 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read an ARC from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review is my honest opinion.
Meet the Author:
Alister McGrath is a scholar and writer who is presently Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University. After initial work in the natural sciences, McGrath moved into the field of Christian theology. He is best known for his definitive and widely used textbooks on Christian theology and his authoritative biography of C. S. Lewis. As a former atheist, McGrath is fascinated by the interaction of faith, science, and atheism, and writes regularly on these themes.
You might also enjoy:
If you like this book, you might enjoy these book reviews for similar books: