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The Battle Belongs to the Lord, by K. Scott Oliphint – A Short Review

September 18, 2009

978515I think my expectations for this book, based on my other experiences with Oliphint, were too high. After reading through the book, its a little confusing as what Oliphint was trying to accomplish. After reading the title and the introduction of the book, one thinks that Oliphint is presenting a method of apologetics that uses arguments from Scripture to explain and defend the faith. That’s not exactly what Oliphint does. He spends the first four of six chapters premising much of what he will say in the last two. The first four chapters are spent arguing for the importance of apologetics and what the mindset of the apologist should be. The content is good, but could have been cut down to one or two chapters.

It wasn’t until chapters 5-6 that he really begins to be really helpful. He works through Romans 1, giving a presuppositional argument for the knowledge of God in unbelievers as image bearers. Its very helpful for an apologist to keep in mind that the unbeliever has a knowledge of God – though suppressed. Chapter 6 develops a kind of method by looking at Paul’s talk in Acts 17. Oliphint brings out some very important points, but leaves himself very little space to develop it. For the a good majority of the book, I wanted badly for Oliphint to get to his point. And when he finally got there, I wanted badly for him to stay there. At the end of the day, Oliphint doesn’t end up saying much, which is very disappointing since I’ve gained so much from his other writings.

I know Oliphint wanted to make this book more approachable and he has some very important things to say, but he could have said less in some areas and more in others.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Scott Oliphint permalink
    September 23, 2009 6:54 pm

    This review was called to my attention. Thanks for writing it.

    I did want to comment that my aim in TBBL was not to so much *do* apologetics, but rather to show that a Covenantal apologetic has its roots in the biblical text of Scripture. In the world I live in, that is a radical claim, since so much of apologetics is rooted in philosophy, or in abstract theology, so that making the case for a biblically-based apologetic is, at least in my estimation, a necessary and, perhaps, fairly tedious process.

    I think your review was fair – there will be different responses to the book. I did want to try to make clear, however, the importance of understanding the biblical principles behind a Covenantal apologetic method, before I could get into the actual *doing* of apologetics.

    I’m glad you read it and grateful for your review.

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