Unpublished 230. Review of Varieties of Christian Apologetics (typed)

[1962. Review of Varieties of Christian Apologetics, by Bernard Ramm. Christianity Today 20 Jul.]


Varieties of Christian Apologetics, by Bernard Ramm (Baker, 1961, 199 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Gordon H. Clark, Professor of Philosophy, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

This revised edition differs from the earlier Types of Apologetic Systems chiefly by the omission of chapters on Carnell and Van Til and the addition of chapters on Calvin and Kuyper.

The three varieties of apologetics studied are: systems of subjective immediacy, systems of natural theology, and systems stressing revelation. As a textbook the material has been put on a student level; yet the chapter on Butler is excellent, and the one on Tennant runs a close second.

Sometimes brevity and simplification raise questions. Do Kant’s three Critiques really represent a defense of Christianity (p. 13)? Do Romish apologists believe that the claims of Christianity—beyond the existence of God—are demonstrable (p. 23)? And with Berkeley in mind, does empiricism stand in radical contrast to idealism (p. 111)?

On the whole, however, the author skims the cream off the three varieties of apologetics to give the student a rich diet.