Recommended Reading for Doing Apologetics in Your Home

My lecture on “Apologetics in Your Home” has been popular at conferences. During this presentation, I recommend the following books to parents:

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is best known as a great hymn writer. But his two books contain much timeless advice for the education of children in piety and critical thinking.

J. Budziszewski is a Christian author and professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas. He converted from Marxism to Christianity and has written these two books to guide Christian university students through the thickets of their “higher” educational experience.

American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) was a leading figure in the pragmatist movement in philosophy, and is well-known for his work on the philosophy of education. If used with caution, parents will find much wisdom in his book on How We Think.

Three books are listed here for the exceptional value they offer in areas related to logic and critical thinking. I recommend beginning with D. J. McInerny for an overview of issues related to the nature of truth, evidence, logic, and good judgment. The book by Bowell and Kemp is an excellent textbook—the best of breed, in my opinion. Parents should learn this material early, and lead their children through a close study of its principles before graduation from high school. The book by C. Allen and M. Hand is a useful reference work.

The book by Norman Geisler and David Geisler explains the challenges of relativism and postmodernism and offers practical advice for combining critical thinking with conversational skill in dialogue with nonbelievers.

Here are two additional books to consider: How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler, and Study Is Hard Work, by William Howard Armstrong.

Finally, for general wisdom on the cultivation of the mind, I highly recommend the classic by A. G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life.

About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

4 Responses to Recommended Reading for Doing Apologetics in Your Home

  1. Dante says:

    Great recommendations! Thanks!


  2. Pingback: Dr. Doug Geivett’s Recommended Reading for Critical Thinking and Apologetics « Cloud of Witnesses

  3. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Matt,

    I haven’t met Tracey Bowell or Gary Kemp. I like there book so much, I imagine their course was pretty organized and thoughtful.

    Mike Murray’s edited book Reason for the Hope Within (Eerdmans 1999). Mike’s doing great work. Check out his recent book with Oxford University Press, Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering.



  4. Matt says:

    Interesting, I studied under both Tracey Bowell and Gary Kemp when they were writing the book. From memory one of the grad students I was studying with assisted with the book. ( His name was Lee Churchman I think, he gets an acknowledgment in the beginning)

    In terms of apologetics myself recommend “Reason for the Hope Within”, edited by Michael Murrary. I like the way it combines both substance and accessibility. Too often one is sacrificed for the other.


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