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Posted April 16, 2015
This review critiques True For You But Not For Me: Overcoming Objections to Christian Faith by Paul Copan. As the title implies, Copan has compiled arguments that can be used against five common objections to or issues non-believers have with the Christian faith: relativism (dealing with the establishment of the existence of truth), moral relativism (claiming morality is not based upon cultural conditioning or personal preference), religious pluralism, unique status claims regarding Jesus, and questions/issues regarding the unevangelized.
To begin with, the book itself is attractive, clearly laid out, contains summaries and further reading, uses attractive font, end notes, and is easy to navigate. These are important points, especially for students/readers interested in trying to find information quickly on the front end. Surprisingly, there is no index, which is a negative for a non-fiction academic work. This is especially bad for scholars and students who need to cite material as they will have to guess where specific information is and then skim through the book to find it. This deficiency alone moves me to take away one star in the ranking.
I think this book is a good basic tool for dealing with objections to the faith. The two things (beyond the lack of an index) I do not like about the book are Copan’s inclusion of the Roman Catholic religion into Christianity and blaming the church for Catholic crimes such as the Inquisition as well as his stance on slavery. The Roman Catholic faith has never been Christian, in the full sense, despite its claims to the contrary. It has always been a pagan entity with Christian trappings. Copan is able to recognize the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are not Christian despite their claims to the contrary, so I do not know why he does not recognize the same quality with the Roman Catholics. He also seems to think the Bible views slavery as wrong, and I believe this to be demonstrably false. Slavery is considered repugnant in our modern culture, and this may be why Copan uses it as an example. However, it is the Bible, not current culture, that serves as the standard for Christian practice. I do not know why the author makes these errors. He may be ignorant of them in the sense he has not considered them (although, in the introduction, he claims to have written about slavery previously) or he may have considered them and reached what I believe can be demonstrated biblically to be the wrong conclusion regarding these two areas. Either way, it creates sufficient doubt in my mind as to the credibility of the author.
I really do not recommend this book. As a survey, virtually all the information herein can be found in other books. There are evangelical authors who do not make the mistakes Copan makes (slavery; Roman Catholicism), and I would urge folks to use their texts, instead. Finally, the lack of an index is inexcusable for an academic work, especially as peripheral and/or non-obvious information appears in books that the reader would not know is present or, if he did, he would not know where to find it.
Posted July 23, 2011
No text was provided for this review.