A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible

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Followers of Jesus need not fear hard questions or objections against Christian belief. In A Reasonable Response, renowned Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig offers dozens of examples of how some of the most common challenges to Christian thought can be addressed, including:

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A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible

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Followers of Jesus need not fear hard questions or objections against Christian belief. In A Reasonable Response, renowned Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig offers dozens of examples of how some of the most common challenges to Christian thought can be addressed, including:

  • Why does God allow evil?
  • How can I be sure God exists?
  • Why should I believe that the Bible is trustworthy?
  • How does modern science relate to the Christian worldview?
  • What evidence do we have that Jesus rose from the dead?

Utilizing real questions submitted to his popular website ReasonableFaith.org, Dr. Craig models well-reasoned, skillful, and biblically informed interaction with his inquirers. A Reasonable Response goes beyond merely talking about apologetics to showing it in action. With cowriter Joseph E. Gorra, this book also offers advice about envisioning and practicing the ministry of answering people's questions through the local church, workplace, and in online environments.

Whether you're struggling to respond to tough objections or looking for answers to your own intellectual questions, A Reasonable Response will equip you with sound reasoning and biblical truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


: In the lengthy introduction to A REASONABLE RESPONSE, Joseph Gorra writes, "I think that the key to victorious Christian living is not to have all your questions answered- which is probably impossible in a finite lifetime-but to learn to live successfully with unanswered questions. The key is to prevent unanswered questions from becoming destructive doubts." A REASONABLE RESPONSE is a collection of letters from individuals asking William Lane Craig questions and his responses to those questions. Sometimes the responses are answers. Other times they are re-directions to what is the real question or the more important questions. In both cases, Craig's breadth of knowledge is remarkable and his defense of the Christian faith solid. 

This is a lengthy book (over 400 pages in my version), and it is structured to not be necessarily read straight through from beginning to end. In fact, it lends itself more to browsing the table of contents and finding topics of personal interest. If you have not read William Lane Craig or seen his debates, He is a brilliant man. Be aware that if you do not have a strong grounding in philosophy, syllogisms, and the advanced mechanics of how arguments work; the first third of the book might not mean much to you. I admit much of it was over my head. Once you get past the "knowing and believing what is real" section, the questions and answers become easier to follow for the average reader who did not major in philosophy. 

Craig tackles all of the tough questions from the existence of God, the problem of evil (several times), origins of the universe, atheism, scientism, homosexuality, morals, Jesus' resurrection, etc. At the beginning of each section, Gorra includes lists of suggested readings divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It is telling that several of the letters begin with the writer stating that they are atheist, but that they respect Craig's work. Craig is not one to mince words. If someone has not done their homework or simply has shoddy thinking, he tells them so up front. He always goes on to explain and address their questions piece by piece.

One of my favorite responses is in regards to Stephen Hawking's book - "The answer to your question, Matthew-'how can physicists make these statements?'-was given long ago by Albert Einstein, when he remarked, 'The man of science is a poor philosopher.' Hawking and Mlodinow's book bears witness to Einstein's sagacity." 

If you are a student of apologetics, philosophy, and the Christian worldview; I would recommend this book. There are appendices that give recommendations for how to use the book for small group studies on apologetics and answering those tough questions. In our world today, which is so hostile to the Christian worldview, this book is a blessing."

Reviewed by Tom Marshall, September 2, 2013, LibraryThing.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802405999
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 234,448
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He has authored or edited over thirty books, including the award-winning Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J. P. Moreland); Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith); Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; On Guard; and his signature book Reasonable Faith. Visit his website at www.reasonablefaith.org.

JOSEPH E. GORRA is engaged in content development and research, editing, and publicity for Biola University's graduate program in Christian apologetics, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and is a tutor for Vineyard Bible Institute. He is also the founder and director of Veritas Life Center, a religious nonprofit devoted to translating and transmitting the Christian tradition as a knowledge and wisdom tradition for flourishing well (www.VeritasLifeCenter.org). Twitter: @GorraResearch.

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Read an Excerpt

Praise for A Reasonable Response

No sincere question about God is out of bounds. Here, one of the world's foremost

apologists offers insightful answers to challenging inquiries sent to him-and models how

to help people get past their spiritual sticking points.

-Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith.

The premise of this very helpful volume is stated up front: "questions are our friends." I

couldn't agree more, and that's why I love this new book. Dr. Craig's responses to questions

he's been asked over the years will stretch you, but with Joe Gorra's assistance you'll gain the

benefit of understanding new insights. You won't regret the journey.

- John Stonestreet, author and speaker for Colson Center for Christian

Worldview (BreakPoint.org) and Summit Ministries (Summit.org).

What a book! Combining a top-notch reference work with solid, practical instruction, Bill

Craig and Joe Gorra have created a unique and innovative title that will help all Christians

grow and minister. Bill's sharp insights answer the biggest questions surrounding Christianity,

while Joe's analysis and framework provides real-world wisdom that can be employed by the

evangelist as well as the philosopher.

A Reasonable Response not only gives you the answers but shows the value of apologetics

and helps the reader be a more effective communicator of the gospel message. This is a

rich resource for the pastor and apologist, and an effective tool for personal growth.

- Lenny Esposito, founder and president, Come Reason Ministries


As a pastor for more than 30 years, I know firsthand the importance of apologetics in the

life of the church and the personal journey of believers. I've faced the questions of confused

believers and disgruntled skeptics. A Reasonable Response has comprehensive content yet

a user-friendly approach that leverages a Q&A format. Dr. Craig strikes an impressive

balance between gifted philosopher and compassionate sage. Of special interest are the

appendixes, which provide practical advice to pastors on recommendations for doing

apologetics in the local church.

- Dr. Brent Strawsburg, Equipping & Outreach Consultant, Conservative

Baptist Association of Southern California

Dr. Craig's credentials are well known, so it will not surprise the reader that serious questions

about God and the Christian life are answered with wisdom and respect. An added bonus

to this work is how well the church and pastor are handled. I don't know of another book

that answers the seeker, trains the Christian, and models the apologetic task in the context

of the church as well as this one does.

- Phil Steiger, senior pastor, Living Hope Church (Colorado Springs)

Unlike similar books that repackage the same tired answers to perennial questions, A

Reasonable Response offers thoughtful and philosophically astute, yet succinct, answers to

some of the most challenging queries of both skeptics and believers. You'll gain valuable

insight from reading Bill Craig's winsome, enlightening approach to apologetics.

- Joe Carter, editor, The Gospel Coalition (TheGospelCoalition.org)

If learning is often by example, then A Reasonable Response can be a valuable source of

encouragement to current and emerging leaders in apologetics. Read it for your own

equipping. Read it to gain confidence in answering people's tough questions. Every Christian

at every university should have a copy on their bookshelf!

- R ick Schenker, president, Ratio Christi: A Student Apologetics

Alliance (RatioChristi.org).

This is a Q&A book that goes well beyond mere questions and answers. It will linger with

you, inviting you into the practice of thinking itself. If you study this book carefully, you will

certainly gain a rich storehouse of Christian answers. But more importantly, it will equip

you to think for yourself so that eventually you're able to arrive at answers on your own.

And when you can do that, you will be well-positioned to help others discover satisfying

answers to their deepest questions.

- Brett Kunkle, Student Impact Director at Stand to Reason (STR.org).

Dr. Craig not only tackles some of the toughest questions people are asking today, but we

get an "insider's glimpse" as to how and why he answers them as he does. This book will be

helpful to beginners and experts alike.

- Sean McDowell , educator, speaker, and general editor for The Apologetics

Study Bible for Students

When I am preparing for a debate or a presentation before an atheistic college audience,

there is no one I rely on more for clear arguments than William Lane Craig. Now the most

important of those arguments appear in this one volume! A Reasonable Response should

convince anyone who is truly reasonable that Christianity is indeed true.

- Dr. Frank Turek, president of CrossExamined.org and coauthor of I Don't

Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

For many years, William Lane Craig has thoughtfully and graciously engaged in

answering questions from people around the world. A Reasonable Response combines some

of the most difficult questions Dr. Craig has received with the answers he has given into

one incredibly valuable resource! Not only will the reader gain insight into Dr. Craig's

arguments, but she will see an excellent model of how to be an ambassador for Christ.

Here's a resource that not only attends to the life of the mind but also challenges Christians

in the daily practice of Christianity. This is a timely work in the field of apologetics!

- Mary Jo Sharp, assistant professor of Apologetics, Houston Baptist

University, founder, Confident Christianity Apologetics Ministry

William Craig is one of the top Christian thinkers in the world today. A Reasonable Response

is a classic collection of his responses to readers' questions. Readers will be delighted to

see how Dr. Craig handles even the most difficult questions people ask today. Read this

accessible book to sharpen your own skills in apologetics.

- Dennis McCall um, author, Discovering God: Exploring the Possibilities of

Faith, and a lead pastor at Xenos Christian Fellowship (Ohio).

For the Christian ambassador seeking to master his subject and become a tactful

communicator, there is no better example than William Lane Craig. In A Reasonable

Response, budding apologists will find not only a rich resource of scholarly content but

wisdom and insight for engaging others with gentleness and respect.

- B rian Auten, founder of Apologetics315.com and director of Reasonable

Faith Belfast

A Reasonable Response is God's gift to Christendom. We not only benefit from Dr. Craig's

cogent and insightful answers to tough perennial questions, but we get a glimpse into what

really excites the heart of the author-one who is passionate and dedicated in reaching the

genuine seeker through the defense of the truth claims of Christianity. His example is one

to emulate. This is a must-read.

-Harry Edwards, founder and director, Apologetics.com

Christians today have access to tremendous informational resources for defending the faith

-but information by itself is not enough. Apologetics is relational; questions and objections

come from real people, whether they are family, friends, coworkers, or even strangers on the

Internet. A Reasonable Response provides a valuable resource for Christians who seek both to

have good answers to questions, and to share those answers in a way that will be genuinely

respectful and helpful. The question-and-answer format makes A Reasonable Response a

handy reference guide while also modeling how to graciously answer questions. A further

benefit of this book is the extensive introduction, conclusion, and appendixes that explore

crucial ideas about apologetics dialogue as a ministry.

- Dr. Holl y Ordway, chair of the department of apologetics, Houston

Baptist University

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: On Believing and Knowing

Chapter 2: On Argumentation and Logic

Chapter 3: On the Basis for Objective Morality

Chapter 4: On the Authority of Scripture

Chapter 5: On the Existience of God

Chapter 6: On the Trinity

Chapter 7: On Divine Attributes

Chapter 8: On the Origins of the Universe

Chapter 9: God and Time

Chapter 10: On Atheism and Meaning in Life

Chapter 11: On Theology and Science

Chapter 12: On the Afterlife, Hell, and the Unevangelized

Chapter 13: On the Problem of Evil

Chapter 14: On Jesus

Chapter 15: On Discipleship to Jesus

Chapter 16: On Social-Moral Issues

Chapter 17: On Practical Advice


Appendix 1: Tips On Using The Book for Small Group Study                                            

Appendix 2: On Fostering Question-Asking, Answer-Seeking Environments                     

Appendix 3: Civility Guidelines for (Online) "Third Places"

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    If you have tough questions related to Christianity, then this i

    If you have tough questions related to Christianity, then this is the book for you. It is a fun read and tackles real questions from real people on a broad spectrum of topics.

    Several positive features caught my attention while I was reading through the book. First, Dr. William Lane Craig offers clear thinking on complex issues. Even though Dr. Craig has multiple PhDs, he is able to communicate in a way that his readers can understand. Second, as mentioned before, the book is full of real questions from real people. As you read each question you get a chance to sense and feel what the asker is struggling with and see how Dr. Craig responds. Third, this book contains concise questions that can be easily consumed in a single brief sitting, making it ideal for someone with a busy schedule. You could easily read one question a day or skim through the book to find the questions and answers that are relevant to your situation. Finally, the book has great footnotes and could be used as a spring board for further reading.

    On the flip side, there were two things that I thought were possible negatives. First, I found the introduction long, repetitive, and boring. Although the introduction provided good information, it wasn’t until I got to part one of the book that I really started to enjoy myself. Second, although Dr. Craig does a good job of making complex issues digestible for the average reader, there were several questions and answers that I thought were so esoteric that only someone with a background in philosophy could understand them. I worry that some of Dr. Craig’s responses might leave the average reader with more questions than answers.Despite these short comings, I thought this was a great book! Anyone looking for clear answers to tough questions related to Christianity should pick up a copy. They won’t regret it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 7, 2013



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    Posted October 5, 2013

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