Apologetics is an important Christian discipline and I am grateful for theologians and philosophers that are doing good work. However, a lot of apologetics is focused on the academy, aimed at showiing the reliability of scripture (or a religious worldview) in the face of skeptical scholarship. This is important, especially with the growing secular trend in academia, but sometimes the objections to the Christian faith by professor types, is different from the ordinary unbeliever. Apologetics is not just about providing a rational basis for belief in theism for academics, it is about addressing the issues that keep the masses from coming to Christ.
This is what is so refreshing about Christopher Brooks’s Urban Apologetics. Brooks, who is dean of Moody Theological Seminar, radio host and popular speaker on apologetics, is passionate about speaking to the issues that affect urban people. Unlike traditional apologetics, Urban Apologetics is not full of sophisticated proofs for theism Instead the apologetic that Brooks promotes focuses on the issue of religious pluralism and a range of life issues ( abortion, sexuality, family, social justice). Brooks is a conservative Christian but he is not doing apologetics from the center. He is advocating for a Christian apologetic that wrestles with the ideas and options urban people, especially minorities, face. This means he is cognizant of the dynamics of race, poverty and the Christian responsibility to act wisely and graciously in the face of them.
This is a short book (176 pages) and so is not a comprehensive answer book about what the Christian faith has to say to the issues. What Brooks does instead is offer some hints at how to answer questions biblically and relevantly. He also demonstrates a humble and generous spirit in his approach. How he says what he says, is as important as what he says.
In terms of answers to the issues, I don’t agree with everything Brooks says. I won’t nit-pick here, that is probably true of every book of apologetics, especially when the author is not in your own theological camp. However I agree the general tenor and tone of the book and think that Brook’s attentiveness to the issues that face city people (i.e. religious options, social issues, etc) are important touch points that the Christian faith can speak to. I give this book four stars.
Thank you to Kregel Academic for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.