We should begin by acknowledging that this review is not a typical review. Instead, it uses one book, A. N. Wilson's Paul: The Mind of the Apostle (New York: Norton, 1997), as a point of entry into an entire class of atheistic literature. Treating such literature as a class, especially in an issue of MR devoted to the challenges of apologetics, is helpful because reading atheistic literature can be corrosive of faith even when a good, hard answer is at hand to counter unbelief at every point. Why? Because a skeptical stance can be picked up over time even when each skeptical argument is found wanting. I wish to question an overall direction of emphasis more than particular factual points. I question not primarily our author's theories, but his stance. While hard apologetics are definitely necessary, there is a place for soft apologetics as well. In reviewing this book, I aim to analyze Wilson's apparently well-educated and civilized but actually almost cultic skepticism.
Rick Ritchie resides in Southern California and is a long-time contributor to Modern Reformation. He is a graduate of Christ College Irvine and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
Issue: "Exploring Mars Hill: Common Ground in Apologetics" March/April 1998 Vol. 7 No. 2 Page number(s): 42-46
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