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The Bible is a narrative--the story of God's creation, humankind's fall, and God's plan of redemption. And it is filled with countless smaller stories that teach us about people, history, and the nature of God. It's no surprise that God would choose to reveal himself to us in story--after all, he hardwired us for story. Despite this, we so often attempt to share our faith The Bible is a narrative--the story of God's creation, humankind's fall, and God's plan of redemption. And it is filled with countless smaller stories that teach us about people, history, and the nature of God. It's no surprise that God would choose to reveal himself to us in story--after all, he hardwired us for story. Despite this, we so often attempt to share our faith with others not through story but through systems, arguments, and talking points--methods that appeal only to our mind and neglect our imagination and our emotions. In this groundbreaking book, scholar and author Alister McGrath lays a foundation for narrative apologetics. Exploring four major biblical narratives, enduring stories from our culture such as Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, and personal narratives from people such as Augustine of Hippo and Chuck Colson, McGrath shows how we can both understand and share our faith in terms of story.


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The Bible is a narrative--the story of God's creation, humankind's fall, and God's plan of redemption. And it is filled with countless smaller stories that teach us about people, history, and the nature of God. It's no surprise that God would choose to reveal himself to us in story--after all, he hardwired us for story. Despite this, we so often attempt to share our faith The Bible is a narrative--the story of God's creation, humankind's fall, and God's plan of redemption. And it is filled with countless smaller stories that teach us about people, history, and the nature of God. It's no surprise that God would choose to reveal himself to us in story--after all, he hardwired us for story. Despite this, we so often attempt to share our faith with others not through story but through systems, arguments, and talking points--methods that appeal only to our mind and neglect our imagination and our emotions. In this groundbreaking book, scholar and author Alister McGrath lays a foundation for narrative apologetics. Exploring four major biblical narratives, enduring stories from our culture such as Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, and personal narratives from people such as Augustine of Hippo and Chuck Colson, McGrath shows how we can both understand and share our faith in terms of story.

6 review for Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rafael Salazar

    Outstanding work. A reliable introductory work to this incipient field of study. McGrath is technical most of the time but illustrates his concepts and ideas with accessible examples. A fair and insightful description of Lewis' apologetic methodology present in his fiction work. I'm glad to have read this book. Outstanding work. A reliable introductory work to this incipient field of study. McGrath is technical most of the time but illustrates his concepts and ideas with accessible examples. A fair and insightful description of Lewis' apologetic methodology present in his fiction work. I'm glad to have read this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Bruyn

    The premise is excellent, though the book goes in multiple directions with it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: An argument for and description of narrative approaches to offering a defense for the faith. Most of us, when we think of apologetics, the making of a case for Christian belief, think of approaches that offer arguments or evidences that warrant Christian belief. This has its place in contending that Christian faith is rational, rather than a leap into irrationality. At the same time, apologist Alister E. McGrath observes both the power of story in our culture, and how much of the scriptu Summary: An argument for and description of narrative approaches to offering a defense for the faith. Most of us, when we think of apologetics, the making of a case for Christian belief, think of approaches that offer arguments or evidences that warrant Christian belief. This has its place in contending that Christian faith is rational, rather than a leap into irrationality. At the same time, apologist Alister E. McGrath observes both the power of story in our culture, and how much of the scripture consists of narrative, of story and how, from the prophet Nathan to the parable-teller Jesus, story has been a key element in conveying the purposes of God to people. McGrath joins with storytellers like G. K. Chesterton, J.R.R Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis to contend that the "big story," the "Story of a Larger Kind," that makes sense of all of life and tells a better story, may serve to create receptivity to following Christ, and making the Christian story one's own. McGrath begins by laying a theological case for narrative by drawing on H. Richard Neibuhr's observation that when early Christian communities defended their faith in Christ, they used narrative to do so. He defends the idea of the great story or metanarrative against post-modern commentators by arguing that the narrative of Christian faith is not rooted in hegemonic modernist rationality but a story of God's telling through the incarnation of the one who epitomized what it means to be in the image of God in human flesh, yet who humbled himself unto death, entering deeply into the human condition of suffering and sin. He offers examples from Chronicles of Narnia that function as apologetics addressing the objection of God as projection, portraying the incarnation, and visualizing sin. He gives four examples of biblical narratives that articulate aspects of the grand story: the Exodus, the Exile, the story of Christ, and one of the parables of the kingdom, and then offers a list of a number of others. He turns to strategies and criteria for narrative apologetics. He quotes C.S. Lewis who proposes that "to break a spell, you have to weave a better spell," that is, tell a better story, one that makes better sense of the world, and offers a better sense of one's place, purpose, and destiny within it. It means both proposing a metanarrative, and critiquing rival narratives. He then proposes four elements of narrative around life's meaning: Identity: Whom am I? Value: Do I matter? Purpose: Why am I here? Agency: Can I make a difference? In his concluding chapter he proposes the weaving of three types of narratives into a narrative apologetic: personal narrative, biblical narrative, and cultural narrative. In the last category, he speaks of literary writers, citing a few example. He admits these are but a tip of the iceberg, but he could also have suggested film and other visual storytelling media. A more extensive appendix of suggested works would have been helpful. One other addition I would have appreciated is an example, perhaps a talk where the elements he has outlined are incorporated, and perhaps either commentary that identifies the elements, or an exercise where the reader must do so and observe how they are woven into an apologetic message. While a model might have been helpful, what McGrath has done is both lay a foundation, and offer a blueprint of what a narrative apologetic consists. The challenge of understanding the cultural story, and telling a better one is matched by the conviction that such stories may be found both in our lives and in the scriptures, and even in dialogue with the stories our culture tells. Of course all of this is premised in Christians understanding in what story they are called to live, and not mistaking the culture's story for the "Story of a Large Kind." ________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    Alister McGrath, a Christian apologist and Oxford professor, has written this book as an apologetic for narrative apologetics. McGrath is educated as both a scientist and a theologian (he holds doctorates from Oxford University in both fields). In Narrative Apologetics, he suggests that stories form a natural link with how the Bible works and how people make sense of their lives. Evidential apologetics and historical truth still have their place in the conversation, but, as McGrath points out, “T Alister McGrath, a Christian apologist and Oxford professor, has written this book as an apologetic for narrative apologetics. McGrath is educated as both a scientist and a theologian (he holds doctorates from Oxford University in both fields). In Narrative Apologetics, he suggests that stories form a natural link with how the Bible works and how people make sense of their lives. Evidential apologetics and historical truth still have their place in the conversation, but, as McGrath points out, “Truth is no guarantor of relevance” (p. 16). Using stories to explain faith can help the truth gain “existential traction” by connecting the gospel to lived experience. After establishing the theological foundations of narrative apologetics, McGrath draws heavily on the works of C. S. Lewis to show how the process might work. “Lewis invites us to enter another world and, in so doing, come to see our own world in a new way” (p. 55). Most readers and would-be apologists will not possess the intellect, wit, and skill of a writer like Lewis, but McGrath recommends they follow Lewis’ example by telling stories to make rational arguments in “an imaginatively engaging and compelling manner” (p. 70). Biblical stories can also be used for apologetic purposes. In a skeptical, post-Christian, post-truth culture, McGrath is keen to point out that the goal is not initially to get people to accept the authority of biblical stories. The goal, instead, is to invite them “to explore the way of seeing reality that [the biblical stories] open up” (p. 75). Perhaps that way of seeing might prove more satisfying and compelling than the narrative structure that presently shapes their lives. McGrath models how this can be done by unpacking stories of the exodus, the exile, and the incarnation, along with the parable of the pearl of great price. A list of seven different biblical episodes is also mentioned for readers to try this process for themselves. McGrath wraps up by explaining how the Christian story of reality helps people answer the four fundamental questions of a meaningful life: Who am I? Do I matter? Why am I here? Can I make a difference? According to McGrath, “By allowing their personal narratives to be embraced and enfolded by the greater narrative of God, Christians see things in a new way – including their own status and identity” (p. 130). Anyone seeking to share the truth and relevance of Christian faith today will be stimulated and helped by reading Narrative Apologetics. For some people, rational lines of argument will not work to break down their walls of defense. But everyone loves a good story. To that end, McGrath has written a good introduction to help readers introduce others to the greatest story ever told. Disclaimer: This book was received for free from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Especially in our postmodern culture, it is important to not merely prove that Christianity is true, but also show that the Gospel has the capacity to transform lives and bring meaning—that it works. How can we thus convey that "Christianity offers a rationally plausible and imaginatively compelling 'big picture' of reality"? Stories, suggests scholar and author Alister McGrath in his new book, Narrative Apologetics. In this self-described brief, yet thorough book, McGrath makes a solid case for Especially in our postmodern culture, it is important to not merely prove that Christianity is true, but also show that the Gospel has the capacity to transform lives and bring meaning—that it works. How can we thus convey that "Christianity offers a rationally plausible and imaginatively compelling 'big picture' of reality"? Stories, suggests scholar and author Alister McGrath in his new book, Narrative Apologetics. In this self-described brief, yet thorough book, McGrath makes a solid case for narrative apologetics (using stories to affirm, defend, and explain the Christian faith), referencing quotes from classic and contemporary authors and theologians, and exploring as examples stories such as Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Lewis' Narnia series (my favorite), as well as four major Biblical narratives (the Exodus, the Exile, Christ, and the Kingdom). It is a well-written (albeit quite dry), well-organized introduction to the subject and significance of using stories for understanding and explaining Christianity. However, it is academic, not practical. McGrath offers an insightful why and convincing what, but does not broach how. I imagine this book may be more useful for a pastor or apologist who can better make his own personal applications; not so much for those of us who are less experienced in the study and art of apologetics specifically. Nevertheless, we all may be similarly encouraged and challenged by the reminder that "the personal narratives of individual Christians have enormous apologetic potential. They depend not on verbal brilliance for their appeal but on the fact that they are real-life accounts of truthful and faithful living." In the words of Sharon Garlough Brown, one of my favorite authors in part because of her ability to wonderfully weave the truth and beauty of Christ and the Gospel into fictional stories: "Jesus understood the power of story and imagination and used it to reveal the kingdom of God. Stories can sneak around our defenses and penetrate us when we're least expecting it." Disclaimer: This book was received for free from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.  Note as with all reviews and references, I do not necessarily agree with (or am even aware of) any or all of the beliefs, views, etc. of the author; please read my disclaimer here.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).McGrath's proposal sounds very good. But I wish he would have provided some illustrations of what this would really look like.Here are a few quotes:The problem is that evidential apologetics fails to engage or (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).McGrath's proposal sounds very good. But I wish he would have provided some illustrations of what this would really look like.Here are a few quotes:The problem is that evidential apologetics fails to engage or display the existential traction of the Christian faith. To its critics, it seems obsessed with historical detail yet curiously inattentive to “big picture” questions—such as the meaning of life. … It fails to set out its powerful vision of truth, beauty, and goodness. (16)Back in the eighteenth century, it was important to show that Christianity was true; in the twenty-first century, it has become important to show that it works. (17)Apologetics is not primarily about persuading people that a certain set of ideas is right, although the demonstration of the truth and trustworthiness of the Christian faith is clearly important. It is more about depicting its world of beauty, goodness, and truth faithfully and vividly, so that people will be drawn by the richness and depth of its vision of things. It is helpful to think of there being three main elements to this task … 1. Cultural Empathy; 2) Evangelical Depth; 3) Effective Translation (16-18)A Christian narrative apologetics will aim to show that Christianity tells a better story than its rivals; that it presents a deeper account of reality, enfolding whatever truths are communicated by other stories; and that it enables rival narratives of reality to be challenged and critiqued. In what follows, we shall consider each of these approaches and reflect on its potential application. (98) flag 1 like · Like  · see review Oct 28, 2019 David Steele rated it liked it Shelves: apologetics-worldview, evangelism Alistair McGrath is no stranger to the field of apologetics. He as penned some noteworthy books that are widely read and utilized by Christ-followers around the world. His most recent work, Narrative Apologetics is no exception.Narrative Apologetics argues that there are three tasks that must be employed: First, we must engage cultural objections to religious belief. Second, we must show the ways that historic Christianity connects with people in the real world. Third, we must present the Christ Alistair McGrath is no stranger to the field of apologetics. He as penned some noteworthy books that are widely read and utilized by Christ-followers around the world. His most recent work, Narrative Apologetics is no exception.Narrative Apologetics argues that there are three tasks that must be employed: First, we must engage cultural objections to religious belief. Second, we must show the ways that historic Christianity connects with people in the real world. Third, we must present the Christian faith in a clear, compelling, and understandable. way.Dr. McGrath argues that utilizing narrative is a powerful way of carrying out the above objectives. He cites numerous examples in order to build a positive case for his proposal. I believe his proposal is not only sound but is also necessary. In the end, the author does not militate against propositional truth but seeks to bolster it through narrative literature. Such an approach will engage the emotions and stimulate the imagination of hearers.McGrath’s approach in Narrative Apologetics is winsome and informative. The author says, “By telling our stories, we bear witness to the capacity of the gospel to give us direction in life to cope with uncertainty and difficulty and to live well and meaningfully ink art so often seems a confusing world.” I commend Narrative Apologetics to readers with a background in the field and trust that it will be a helpful tool that will be used with great effectiveness in many evangelical “toolboxes.”I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 22, 2020 Jonathan Friess rated it liked it McGrath wrote Essays on the subject (prior to this book) and I found a careful study of the Essays is more helpful than this entire book. Still, the book is good if one doesn't like the style of compact Essays.“Life for Dawkins would seem to divide neatly down the middle between things you can prove beyond all doubt, and blind faith. He fails to see that all the most interesting stuff goes on in neither of these places” -Terry Eagleton (not in this book)Humans receive and need much more than kno McGrath wrote Essays on the subject (prior to this book) and I found a careful study of the Essays is more helpful than this entire book. Still, the book is good if one doesn't like the style of compact Essays.“Life for Dawkins would seem to divide neatly down the middle between things you can prove beyond all doubt, and blind faith. He fails to see that all the most interesting stuff goes on in neither of these places” -Terry Eagleton (not in this book)Humans receive and need much more than knowledge; stories convey many of these aspects. McGrath argues that we miss out when we don't use stories. Some form of truth can only be found in the form of story. That's what his book is mainly all about.But I believe that there is more. Alasdair MacIntyre thought of narrative as one of the main foundations of culture. So I guess there must be a way to challenge the personal and the cultural narratives with other narratives in order to reflect what's going on and in order to let people know about the Christian worldview. But MacGrath doesn't elaborate much on this approach and that's what left me quite a bit disappointed. I hope he follows up on it in future writings. Please do that, Mr MacGrath :) flag 1 like · Like  · see review Nov 19, 2019 Josh rated it liked it Shelves: read-recommend, read-apologetics, read-close-read How does one faithfully practice apologetics? How does one productively do apologetics in today’s climate? Alister McGrath’s 2019 Narrative Apologetics is an attempt at crafting an effective apologetic method in our postmodern (maybe post-postmodern), story-driven culture. Armed with the conceit that a defense must be carefully calibrated against the actual offense, McGrath proposes that the church take advantage of the insight nestled in Tolkien’s “story of a larger kind” and Lewis’s “true myth How does one faithfully practice apologetics? How does one productively do apologetics in today’s climate? Alister McGrath’s 2019 Narrative Apologetics is an attempt at crafting an effective apologetic method in our postmodern (maybe post-postmodern), story-driven culture. Armed with the conceit that a defense must be carefully calibrated against the actual offense, McGrath proposes that the church take advantage of the insight nestled in Tolkien’s “story of a larger kind” and Lewis’s “true myth” conception of the Christian faith. While suspicious of “meta-narrative,” the world still hungers for something to make sense of all that happens. McGrath’s formulation of an apologetic method seeks to present the Christian story as the only viable “meta-narrative,” against which all lesser stories are judged.Apologists, if the internet is an adequate sample size, typically have the favorite methods and arguments, which as far as they are concerned settle the apologetic question once and for all. While McGrath’s approach doesn’t necessarily discount those methods, situating them within a wider framework of narrative (over against, for example, positivistic or empiricist argumentation) seems more natural to how the Scripture does apologetics: not through conceptual abstractions but through the meaty, historical narratives of god’s work.The book is short and accessible, and McGrath writes clearly. For an introduction to a new and potentially fruitful method of apologetics, Narrative is certainly worth picking up.<><><>Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksb... program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa.... flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 01, 2019 Angie Fehl rated it liked it Alister McGrath is an Irish priest, historian, and professor of theology and science. In this new work, he delves into the relevance, joy, and comfort that can be found within the Christian faith through the exploration and use of stories from classic literature. McGrath's theories not only lean on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis --- the standards when you want to talk biblically inspired analogies --- but also the works female writers such as Dorothy L. Sayers and Marilynne Robinson. Alister McGrath is an Irish priest, historian, and professor of theology and science. In this new work, he delves into the relevance, joy, and comfort that can be found within the Christian faith through the exploration and use of stories from classic literature. McGrath's theories not only lean on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis --- the standards when you want to talk biblically inspired analogies --- but also the works female writers such as Dorothy L. Sayers and Marilynne Robinson. Occasionally there is also a nod to the writings of St. Augustine. Previously an atheist, McGrath now identifies as a natural scientist and Christian apologist. What is an apologist, you ask? Well, in the plainest terms the idea of an apologist dates back to the Greek word "apologia", meaning "in defense of"... so Christian apologists are those who work to address objections against their faith through an academic style of debate / discussion. Within the textual notes at the back of Narrative Apologetics, McGrath uses the example of the story of Paul sharing an apologia, his tale of an encounter he had with Christ, as a means to explain his dedication to the faith. Also, within the main text, McGrath surprisingly --- or perhaps not, depending on who picks up this book --- occasionally references the philosophical works of outspoken atheist or agnostic authors such as Christopher Hitchens and Bertrand Russell, but in that notes:"Writers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens judge others by standards that they refuse to acknowledge as normative for assessing their own beliefs. As Dawkins conceded in an Oxford University debate with Rowan Williams, he could not verify his own atheism on scientific or rational grounds and was therefore an epistemological agnostic.Other New Atheist writers are equally prone to overstatement at this point, presenting their atheism as intellectually monistic, possessed of views that are so self-evidently correct that they are exempt from any requirements of proof placed upon lesser schools of thought. Hitchens, for example, boldly and inaccurately declares that New Atheists such as himself do not hold any "beliefs", in that they only accept what can be proved to be right. "Our belief is not a belief." Yet Hitchens's atheism actually rests on a set of assumed moral values (such as "religion is evil" or "God is not good") that he is simply unable to demonstrate by rational argument. Hitchens appears merely to assume that his moral values are shared by his sympathetic readers, who are unlikely to ask awkward critical questions about their origins, foundations, or reliability. The proponents of the New Atheism seem unable or unwilling to apply the criteria by which they evaluate the beliefs of others to their own ideas."In that excerpt alone, you can certainly see McGrath's apologist side stand up and shout! So what is he getting at with this particular book? Well, it boils down to the idea of sharing the gospel and the choice of delivery for your audience. One of the challenges of sharing your story of faith with someone is that you can have all the facts ready to go, the highlights reel cued up, maybe even a list of compelling positive attributes illustrating the benefit of being a follower of the faith.... but even with all this, one isn't guaranteed a captive audience. Even with the most enthusiatic delivery, it may just not be enough for a current non-follower to see the relevance or beauty of a lifelong commitment to a walk of faith. So what is the answer? That's where this book steps in. Sometimes the overly rational, factual approach to sharing your faith can be a turn off for your audience. Maybe it's then that you realize your style needs a little boost, a little pizzazz in your pitch! McGrath recommends turning to relevant pieces of classic literature to really cultivate a sense of beauty and wonder around your testimony. Going this route may lead to a more successful outcome towards inspiring / breeding receptiveness when sharing your faith. To back up this idea, McGrath points out that C.S. Lewis, during his own writing career, came to realize that the narrative of the Bible frequently followed the basic construct of traditional myths and fables.Just some of the points of debate McGrath covers (and ways apologists can respond):* How to handle the topic of sin* How to address the idea of God being "merely a projection of the human mind" as German philosopher Ludwig Feuerback first posed as a theory* How to "construct a bridge from the narrative to its audience" and how to make the story individualized in a way that makes the listener feel personally "addressed and engaged"McGrath speaks well on the topic of grief. One of the most common questions posed to followers of the Christian faith is "How can God allow so much suffering in the world? Explain that!" To that, McGrath's answer, in part, falls back to the stories. Stories, he writes, help us sort out our emotions regarding tragedy, bereavement, moments that are just challenging in general, etc... but here he also notes the importance of learning the distinction between trying to understand suffering versus simply focusing on learning to cope and grow from the experience. We don't always find the answers to the big questions. Sometimes we find we don't actually need them. But through just the right story at just the right time, we can be assured that, in time, we're going to be okay. In the closing chapter, this book is described as "a manifesto for joyful, creative, and faithful use of stories to communicate and command the central truths of the gospel". Though there are references to books and authors aplenty, the overall tone of Narrative Apologetics didn't quite give me the feel of a text seeped in literary joyfulness. In the end, for something written with the intent to inspire a more artistic, creative approach to sharing one's faith with others, McGrath came at this with a rather strong academic hand. Understandable, given that he himself is a college professor, but in that, at least to this reader, it felt like he missed his goal a bit. While he makes some strong and interesting points, the delivery doesn't make for the most easily readable thing to settle in with.... it had too much the feel of a PhD thesis transferred into book form.FTC DISCLAIMER: Baker Books kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. flag Like  · see review Dec 07, 2019 Shirley Alarie added it 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 Narni 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. flag Like  · see review Oct 31, 2019 Elizabeth rated it really liked it Shelves: christian, nonfiction Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own. I haven’t read a really academic book in a long time, so the plunge into Alister McGrath’s Narrative Apologetics was a rough one. However, the topic is one that I am deeply interested (and invested) in, as that was the basis of my graduate school studies and something I currently teach. McGrath puts forth his arguments for presenting the Gospel as and through narrative, rather than purely reason.McGrath introduces th Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own. I haven’t read a really academic book in a long time, so the plunge into Alister McGrath’s Narrative Apologetics was a rough one. However, the topic is one that I am deeply interested (and invested) in, as that was the basis of my graduate school studies and something I currently teach. McGrath puts forth his arguments for presenting the Gospel as and through narrative, rather than purely reason.McGrath introduces the topic of narrative apologetics (basically, showing people God and the Gospel through story), offers practical application, and then uses various narratives, both Biblical and otherwise, to illustrate why and how narrative is so powerful. Using several powerful narratives from the Bible, as well as mentioning narratives from C. S. Lewis, Marilynne Robison, and Dorothy Sayers, McGrath lays forth his reasoning for leaning more on story to share “the relevance, joy, and wonder” of Christianity (to borrow the subtitle), as it reaches more people.I will admit, the language of the book really did prevent me from delving into this perhaps as deeply as I should have. It is not written for the layperson at all, but rather for the expert in the field. McGrath expects you to know a lot of things already. This is not a criticism, as this is obviously the audience of the book—I’m just trying to explain why I struggled a bit with it (I’m technically an expert, but I’m too used to more casual books). The book is rich in research and footnotes, and McGrath methodically and expertly explains everything. What I liked most about the book was the last chapter where McGrath offers suggestions for how to use Biblical, personal, and cultural narratives in teaching and showing others the Gospel. As a teacher, my mind immediately started thinking of ways to incorporate those into my classroom.The analytical language and the academic nature of the book did throw me for a loop, but Narrative Apologetics is a book that’s worth returning to in order to take it in more deeply. I feel like I only skimmed the surface and that lots more meaning and application will come out on another read. flag Like  · see review Dec 07, 2019 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing Review:In his new book Narrative Apologetics Alister McGrath contrasts “the more clinically rational approaches to apologetics (an explanation of the truths of Christianity) which lack imaginative depth and emotional intelligence” (Narrative Apologetics, Alister McGrath, Baker Books, 2019, p. 8) with a narrative approach that embraces “a series of stories that illuminate, inform and engage the different aspects of our experience” (p.13) and “set out the powerful Biblical vision of truth, beauty Review:In his new book Narrative Apologetics Alister McGrath contrasts “the more clinically rational approaches to apologetics (an explanation of the truths of Christianity) which lack imaginative depth and emotional intelligence” (Narrative Apologetics, Alister McGrath, Baker Books, 2019, p. 8) with a narrative approach that embraces “a series of stories that illuminate, inform and engage the different aspects of our experience” (p.13) and “set out the powerful Biblical vision of truth, beauty and goodness…[He says, ] Stories enable us to make meaningful connections between the gospel and our own lived experience. We are able to show that the gospel is not merely true but has the capacity to transform lives truthfully and meaningfully” (p.16). And that’s the key. He continues, “The Christian Grand Story gives us a big picture of reality, enabling us to make sense of our subjective experiences and our observation of the world…It is all about human transformation” (pp.25-26). And, narrative apologetics does that through stories. In terms of the scripture in John 1:14 that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”, McGrath notes that the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD set out to “explain the doctrine of Christ’s two natures… But understanding His dual nature can seem theoretical and abstract, appealing primarily to the mind rather than the imagination” (pp.87, 88). So, McGrath emphasizes God’s love in the Biblical metanarrative. He says that tis narrative demonstrates God’s love in the horrific implication of Christ laying down his life in crucifixion so that those whom he loves might live (Jn.15:13). McGrath’s thesis is that engaging in Biblical truths with our imagination and feelings, as narrative apologetics makes possible, enables people to enter into these theological truths and feel their power to transform our lives. His emphasis broadens the pursuit of apologetics and enables God’s intent through the Bible to be more fully realized. 5 stars M.L. Codman-Wilson, Ph.D. 12 5 19 flag Like  · see review Jan 03, 2021 Chris Clark rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books Although this book is short in length, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quick and easy read. This is more a scholarly approach to unpacking the power and importance of story to communicate the Christian world view. McGrath self labels this book as his “manifesto” for narrative apologetics, which is helpful to know when taking on this book. It is not a deep theological dive on why narrative apologetics should be considered, rather it is more of a collection of ideas surrounding past and curre Although this book is short in length, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quick and easy read. This is more a scholarly approach to unpacking the power and importance of story to communicate the Christian world view. McGrath self labels this book as his “manifesto” for narrative apologetics, which is helpful to know when taking on this book. It is not a deep theological dive on why narrative apologetics should be considered, rather it is more of a collection of ideas surrounding past and current world views and the most effective way to communicate the Gospel. He draws from C.S. Lewis in almost every chapter which is enjoyable, and almost feels like a book about C.S. Lewis at times. Can’t complain there :) My guess is that their conversion stories are very similar. I do think this is a important and timely work. In a time where evangelical Christians are loosing credibility because of institutionalized faith that is shouting dogma more than transformation in Christ, it is helpful to consider the time tested and proven method of story telling to share our faith with others. McGrath challenges the reader to view the world, the meaning of life, and Christianity by understanding that everything fits inside the meta narrative of the Bible, which is in itself the most powerful narrative, influencing generations of story tellers and all of humanity whether Bible believing or not.I am most excited about the challenge he leaves the reader with at the end of the book. I won’t spoil that, but let’s just say he gives some practical ways to walk out narrative apologetics that I am enthusiastic about trying.My 3 stars is less about the concepts presented in this book and more about how hard it is to stay engaged with the scholarly approach. For A book about story telling it would have been cool to hear McGrath peel back the curtain a bit and share some of his story. Again that is more of a subjective opinion based on my personality than a critic of his work. Overall, a great read and defiantly recommended! flag Like  · see review Dec 03, 2019 Travis Heystek rated it really liked it Shelves: baker-books-bloggers Narrative Apologetics was a different type of book than I usually read. I don’t usually dive too much into the topic of apologetics, unless I know of a faith conversation coming up where I’ll need to freshen up. But, as a pastor, it’s one of those topics I feel I should know more about so I thought I would start with this book. Alister does a good job showing why narrative apologetics are so useful to the Christian story. Jesus’ teachings in particular use narrative, and the creation account its Narrative Apologetics was a different type of book than I usually read. I don’t usually dive too much into the topic of apologetics, unless I know of a faith conversation coming up where I’ll need to freshen up. But, as a pastor, it’s one of those topics I feel I should know more about so I thought I would start with this book. Alister does a good job showing why narrative apologetics are so useful to the Christian story. Jesus’ teachings in particular use narrative, and the creation account itself reads as a narrative. Understanding how the stories in the Bible connect to a greater narrative help us to see how our individual stories connect to a larger story. I love that he shows how some different modern writers have used narrative to show the Christian story set in fantasy in order to illuminate the teaching of the Bible in a way that connects well with people. Because so many of us understand our lives as story, narrative apologetics is a very effective way to connect people with the reality of the Christian faith. My biggest complaint with this book is the same complaint I have of most other theology and apologetics books. It is very academic feeling so it’s not easily accessible to the average reader. He does have some moments where he relates things back C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, which helps to connect the points. But, it does still have some spots that are hard to push through. For someone new to theology and apologetics it will be helpful to keep and dictionary close by. My one other small complaint is that it seems to lean a little too heavily on C.S. Lewis, and even though he is one of my favorite authors, it would have been helpful to have some other example to read into later. Overall I’m giving this book a 4 star rating because I think for the pastor picking it up it will be a great read. For someone not a pastor or well versed in theology I would probably have to rate it a 3 star. flag Like  · see review Nov 03, 2019 Karl Dumas rated it liked it I love stories. Everyone has one, and I enjoy hearing them. A person’s story gives me insight into who that person is, and what drives or motivates them. And from the perspective of sharing the gospel, your story tells me where you are on your faith walk, and gives me a place from which to start. Alister McGrath, in his book Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith (Baker Books, 2019) writes about the use of stories to explain your faith. He draws heav I love stories. Everyone has one, and I enjoy hearing them. A person’s story gives me insight into who that person is, and what drives or motivates them. And from the perspective of sharing the gospel, your story tells me where you are on your faith walk, and gives me a place from which to start. Alister McGrath, in his book Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith (Baker Books, 2019) writes about the use of stories to explain your faith. He draws heavily from the works of C.S. Lewis as well as J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” for examples of how extra-biblical stories can play a part in sharing the Gospel. And he also draws from the biblical accounts of the Exodus, (the hope of deliverance); the Exile, (Where do we really belong?); the Christ, (Rendering the love of God); and the Kingdom, (what do we really desire?). I read through the book fairly quickly, because I didn’t take the time to head to the back of the books to refer to the several hundred footnotes. I would have liked to have seen more examples of practical applications, so this is probably not the book for a casual reader. Having said that, it would probably be useful as a textbook, or even as the basis for a Sunday School class, or a small group that wants to learn how to be more effective when it comes to personal evangelism efforts.There is some useful information to be found throughout, and in chapter 6, dealing with the meaning of life, the reader is invited to ask questions such as “who am I”, “do I matter”, “why am I here” and “can I make a difference?”. And when we are able to answer those questions, we are well on the way to developing a world view, worthy of any Christian. I received a copy of this book as a member of the publisher’s Blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review.3.5/5 flag Like  · see review Oct 27, 2019 Joan rated it it was ok I had hoped this book would be for laypeople, helping them be able to share their faith through their story. It is not. It is an academic look at the theology of using (fictional) story as a means of telling people about God. It might be suitable as a text book or resource for a creative writing class in a Christian college as literary strategies are included.I found the initial comments by McGrath to be the most enlightening. The culture today is not very much interested in rational arguments f I had hoped this book would be for laypeople, helping them be able to share their faith through their story. It is not. It is an academic look at the theology of using (fictional) story as a means of telling people about God. It might be suitable as a text book or resource for a creative writing class in a Christian college as literary strategies are included.I found the initial comments by McGrath to be the most enlightening. The culture today is not very much interested in rational arguments for the Christian faith. Proving something true through logic or rational thought does not have the impact it did a generation ago. More people may be open to story than they are a mental proof. Story engages more aspects of a person than just the mind. There has been encouragement recently to share one's faith in the context of their personal story, hence my hope this book would help the layperson do just that.Potential Christian novelists who would like to have their writing be a means for readers to better understand or experience Christian belief will find much to think about in this book. Exploration of the works of Lewis, Sayers, and Tolkien, for example, will provide models to follow. McGrath identifies how these authors developed narratives to communicate aspects of the Christian faith. One example is the concept of sin in Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader. If you are interested in the theology of using story for apologetics, this book is for you. If you want to know how to use your own story as a means of sharing your faith, this book will not help.I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. flag Like  · see review Dec 26, 2019 Connie Saunders rated it liked it I was eager to read this book because I have long known of Christian apologetics but I wanted to learn more. The word apologetics refers to defending one's Christian belief in Jesus Christ and His incarnation, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. In this book, Narrative Apologetics, we are shown that the use of stories can be an effective tool in convincing others of these facts and our own beliefs.The Holy Bible, God's Word, tells the greatest story ever told. Jesus Christ used stories, also I was eager to read this book because I have long known of Christian apologetics but I wanted to learn more. The word apologetics refers to defending one's Christian belief in Jesus Christ and His incarnation, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. In this book, Narrative Apologetics, we are shown that the use of stories can be an effective tool in convincing others of these facts and our own beliefs.The Holy Bible, God's Word, tells the greatest story ever told. Jesus Christ used stories, also known as parables, to help people understand the principles he was trying to teach them. Author Alister E. McGrath hopes this book will introduce narrative apologetics and how they explain the Christian faith by telling stories. He shares the biblical narratives of the Exodus, the Exile, and Jesus Christ, along with the Christian narrative. How many of us have questioned our identity, our value, our purpose, and how we can make a difference?I must admit that I found Narrative Apologetics difficult to understand at times but I do think that it is a good resource and I appreciate McGrath's encouragement for each of us to share our own personal narratives. Through our own experiences we can show others the ability of the gospel to change lives and "By telling our stories, we bear witness to the capacity of the gospel to give us direction in life to cope with uncertainty and difficulty." (p. 143) I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Books. A positive review was not required and I am voluntarily sharing my opinions. flag Like  · see review Oct 30, 2019 Evelyn Fonseca rated it it was ok Shelves: dnf Narrative Apologetics by Alister McGrath broaches a very interesting point in the apologetics field and one I had never pondered before. He makes a valid point about embracing and utilizing narratives as a way to defend the Christian faith. He uses the example of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkein's LDR and Biblical stories. This is the first book I read (not completely) by McGrath, although I've heard about him and know that he has written extensively on Apologetics. When I saw that this Narrative Apologetics by Alister McGrath broaches a very interesting point in the apologetics field and one I had never pondered before. He makes a valid point about embracing and utilizing narratives as a way to defend the Christian faith. He uses the example of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkein's LDR and Biblical stories. This is the first book I read (not completely) by McGrath, although I've heard about him and know that he has written extensively on Apologetics. When I saw that this was offered for review I was excited for the opportunity to read a book by him. I was a bit disappointed, however. As other reviewers have said, this book is not for laypeople. I was expecting a book for beginners in apologetics or at least an easier to read book for those of us who do not study apologetics as a subject. It's very academic in nature and thus a bit monotone and dry in my opinion. This book is a better fit for college students studying theology or apologetics. It's a unique topic but definitely not for ordinary people like myself. I had a hard time reading through it, not because of the format but because I was looking forward to a book that could teach me HOW to apply narratives to apologetics. If you're looking for a how-to, then I cannot recommend this to you. I received a copy of this book from Baker in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. flag Like  · see review Jan 05, 2020 Joel Jackson rated it it was amazing Shelves: theology Our lives tell a story, a story of who we were, are, and who we will become. That story is only part of a larger story though - the story of all of humanity and all of creation. We can view this story through many lenses. The best lens is through the larger meta-narrative of the Judeo-Christian worldview as presented throughout Scripture. Within Scripture, this narrative is presented through the stories of people who encounter God, the creator and redeemer of all of creation. Helping us to see t Our lives tell a story, a story of who we were, are, and who we will become. That story is only part of a larger story though - the story of all of humanity and all of creation. We can view this story through many lenses. The best lens is through the larger meta-narrative of the Judeo-Christian worldview as presented throughout Scripture. Within Scripture, this narrative is presented through the stories of people who encounter God, the creator and redeemer of all of creation. Helping us to see this is Alistair McGrath's primary goal in "Narrative Apologetics." McGrath offers an amazing argument as to why we should use stories: the stories of our lives, the stories of Scripture, and the stories penned by a myriad of novelists in order to point to the truth of the Christian narrative. When we tell stories or use stories, people are invited into the grand meta-narrative. They begin to see their place in God's plan and design. All those who profess Christ as Lord should consider how they might use familiar cultural stories to point to the truth of the Gospel. As a preacher, this book changes that way in which I approach the Christian story and present it to those whom God places within the narrative of my life.I received this book from Baker Publishers as part of their blogging program. flag Like  · see review Oct 30, 2019 Jennie rated it liked it I enjoy reading and studying apologetics, but this was more scholarly read, not what I was expecting, but he does make some great points! So don’t pass it up, I do think it is worth reading. I really enjoyed the references to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, much can be learned from these great writers and many others. If you are a writer or planning on being a writer, this would be a great book to read and ponder on. I relate to the importance of truth, beauty, and goodness in where are focus should be I enjoy reading and studying apologetics, but this was more scholarly read, not what I was expecting, but he does make some great points! So don’t pass it up, I do think it is worth reading. I really enjoyed the references to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, much can be learned from these great writers and many others. If you are a writer or planning on being a writer, this would be a great book to read and ponder on. I relate to the importance of truth, beauty, and goodness in where are focus should be and using it. It is one reason why I homeschool my children and what I try to keep our focus in learning. One point in the book: “There is a danger that apologetics becomes fixated on questions about the historical reliability of the Bible and in doing so fails to set out its powerful vision of truth, beauty, and goodness.” This is the reason for this book and I do like that he demonstrates that much throughout and expands on it. “We are able to show that the gospel is not merely true but has the capacity to transform lives, truthfully and meaningfully.” There is much to be learned from this book, that I didn’t know, because McGrath is a theologian, priest, intellectual historian, scientist, and Christian apologist. I also learned about New Atheism and the dangers of it. flag Like  · see review Mar 29, 2020 Taylor Rollo rated it really liked it Shelves: kindle, apologetics, narrative This is an excellent book for apologetic strategy. It brings out what I think is the most persuasive way to do apologetics in general: use the Christian story to show how it is a metanarrative that can explain reality, our lives, our desires, our intuitions better than any other competing story. It does not stop there, though, but also helps the reader think about engaging in apologetics with the use of personal, cultural, and of course, biblical stories on smaller topics within the bigger metan This is an excellent book for apologetic strategy. It brings out what I think is the most persuasive way to do apologetics in general: use the Christian story to show how it is a metanarrative that can explain reality, our lives, our desires, our intuitions better than any other competing story. It does not stop there, though, but also helps the reader think about engaging in apologetics with the use of personal, cultural, and of course, biblical stories on smaller topics within the bigger metanarrative. I think this is crucial for making persuasive evangelism, for it keeps us from stacking up piles of evidence-based arguments that are disconnected from the Christian story and worship of God (the ultimate purpose of evangelism, missions, and apologetics). It also helps the reader to see how all people live within a larger metanarrative (whether they acknowledge it or not), and no one will leave their current metanarrative until they are shown a better one. It makes good use of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, and many more authors who used stories in this way.I highly recommend this book. It would be really good for discussion groups, so that people can bounce ideas off each other about how to put this into practice. flag Like  · see review Dec 17, 2019 Veronica rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction, new-author-to-you-2019 This was an interesting book but I didn't realize it was more of an academic work than a how-to on using stories to discuss your faith. McGrath explained some of the history of narrative apologetics, its importance and the different ways we can use it. He also pointed out that something is lost when certain aspects of faith are explained factually instead. Jesus used parables and there was a very good reason He did! There's a reason we were given an imagination and there's an important place for This was an interesting book but I didn't realize it was more of an academic work than a how-to on using stories to discuss your faith. McGrath explained some of the history of narrative apologetics, its importance and the different ways we can use it. He also pointed out that something is lost when certain aspects of faith are explained factually instead. Jesus used parables and there was a very good reason He did! There's a reason we were given an imagination and there's an important place for it. I loved all of the quotes from C. S. Lewis and also Dorothy L. Sayers and J. R. R. Tolkien. He also pointed out how some of the core questions we have as human beings can be best answered through the Christian narrative and how that might come about. Finally, he talked about the different narratives we can use, Biblical, personal and cultural. I think Bible teachers, pastors or anyone who wonders at the validity of using narratives when discussing their faith would find this book interesting. I received this book from Baker Books. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own. flag Like  · see review Mar 03, 2021 Kiel rated it really liked it Ever since McGrath wrote his biography on C. S. Lewis, he has generated several derivative books related to Lewis’s thought. This book tackles the power of story as both evidence for and a tool for demonstrating the Christian faith. McGrath highlights to relationship between affective and cognitive domains of knowing, but also the tension when it comes to deciding how to communicate or teach something. He spends a fair amount of time making a cognitive case for affective communication, or said d Ever since McGrath wrote his biography on C. S. Lewis, he has generated several derivative books related to Lewis’s thought. This book tackles the power of story as both evidence for and a tool for demonstrating the Christian faith. McGrath highlights to relationship between affective and cognitive domains of knowing, but also the tension when it comes to deciding how to communicate or teach something. He spends a fair amount of time making a cognitive case for affective communication, or said differently he share the theological foundations of narrative apologetics, leaning heavily on Niebuhr as he does. By the time it concludes he offers a helpful distinction between religions and worldviews and shows how story frames meaning and purpose, ultimately pointing out how the Christian story offers the greatest cohesion as a metanarrative. 5 hours or 176 pages of truth by telling stories. flag Like  · see review Nov 16, 2019 victoria rated it it was amazing This book was wonderful writing, inspiring encouraging and compelling to read with that also giving to all the Christian to feel more confidence and understand the way to tell stories of Jesus Christ and more attention with the culture in our world that had been changing. This book will help us to deep connected with God and his stories are need to be told and more to learning. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “I received complimentary a copy of this book from BakerBooks Bl This book was wonderful writing, inspiring encouraging and compelling to read with that also giving to all the Christian to feel more confidence and understand the way to tell stories of Jesus Christ and more attention with the culture in our world that had been changing. This book will help us to deep connected with God and his stories are need to be told and more to learning. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “I received complimentary a copy of this book from BakerBooks Bloggers for this review”. flag Like  · see review Apr 14, 2021 Joseph Bradley rated it really liked it McGrath gives a broad-brush argument for the use of narrative in apologetics and evangelism, where the beauty and story of Christian truth is made approachable in a unique light. He argues that because we are story-telling creatures made in God’s image, it is helpful to locate our story within God’s story! It is vastly entertaining, and a great primer on an emerging field. flag Like  · see review Apr 20, 2020 Josh Jackson rated it really liked it Everything this book says is excellent. Particularly chapter 1 on why stories matter.My only qualms - the message is slightly betrayed by the method. Whilst wanting to debunk an overly rational approach to apologetics, and commend the use of stories instead - the book itself is at times a little dry and clinical. Perhaps that’s inevitable. Well worth the read. flag Like  · see review Dec 09, 2019 J.K. Turner added it Shelves: 2019-challenge My Rating – Probably not worth your timeLevel – Short book, but difficult read with academic style and assumed advanced knowledge of apologeticsSummaryNarrative apologetics as a concept is essentially using stories as an apologetic and even evangelistic tool. Not the ‘major conversion’ testimony style, but more of fiction stories that show longing and comparing that to God’s story or something like the exile to explain how we live in the world today.The book is broken into seven chapters – Intro My Rating – Probably not worth your timeLevel – Short book, but difficult read with academic style and assumed advanced knowledge of apologeticsSummaryNarrative apologetics as a concept is essentially using stories as an apologetic and even evangelistic tool. Not the ‘major conversion’ testimony style, but more of fiction stories that show longing and comparing that to God’s story or something like the exile to explain how we live in the world today.The book is broken into seven chapters – Introducing Narrative Apologetics, The Theological Foundations of Narrative Apologetics, The Practical Application of Narrative Apologetics, Biblical Narratives: Opening Windows of Perception, Strategies and Criteria for Narrative Apologetcs, The Christian Story and the Meaning of Life, Handing Over: Developing Narrative Approaches to Apologetics. Additionally, there are roughly 20 pages of notes to end the book.My ThoughtsI’ll start by saying the content of the book isn’t as bad as my rating may suggest. Where it fails is being related to a popular audience. I could be wrong, that might not be the target audience for this book, however, when you write a book that is under 150 pages, I have to think your goal was to reach a wide array. I’ll start with the good, though. The content is solid, and the strength of the book is the Biblical Narrative and The Christian Story chapters. I think these are the best in explaining what narrative apologetics is and what to do with it.However, the book just feels off. It doesn’t feel like a stand alone book. I seems more like an intro chapter in a large tome of apologetics. If you have ever read one of those 900-1,300 page academic systematcs, you’ll know that ‘theology proper’ intro is usually around 100 pages (which this book would probably shift two with large page size).As you can tell by the chapter titles, the book is also written in a very academic style. There are numerous citations on every page, a good bit of the in this chapter we will..and we have seen… to begin and end the chapters, and of course the typical academic repetitiveness. The chapters don’t necessarily stand on their own, but still make references to other chapters yet still summarize. So, even as short as it was, it could have been edited even shorter.Again, the content is pretty good, and could be worth reading if you know what you are getting into. If you buy the book to get an academic intro to a larger concept, I think it could be alright, but as an attempt to reach a popular audience, I really think it missed. If you are interested, I’d just search around and see if there is a shorter academic paper or a popular talk/interview he has done on the topic and maybe go from there. As it is, though, the book just probably isn’t worth your time.*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewMore reviews at MondayMorningTheologian.com flag Like  · see review Logan Judy rated it really liked it Jan 02, 2020 Claudio rated it really liked it Mar 29, 2020 « previous 1 2 3 next »

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