Aug 5, 2009
Review of “True for You but Not for Me” Overcoming Objections to the Christian Faith
Paul Copan, “True for You but Not for Me” Overcoming Objections to the Christian Faith, rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2009).
Relativism and pluralism are two major philosophical challenges faced by Christians today. Furthermore, the concept of religious pluralism is a direct challenge to orthodox Christianity’s exclusivist claims. To this end, Paul Copan has done a great service for the church by addressing these challenges head on logically. philosophically, and biblically.
The book consists of a preface and introduction, five major sections containing thirty-three chapters, and endnotes (see the table of contents below). All the chapters are titled after common statements and questions (e.g., “That’s Just Your Opinion”). The chapters contain a brief discussion of the issue expressed by the statement or question, a bulleted summary, and a further reading list. Both the discussion and format are helpful. One minor criticism though, is that some of the discussion gets a bit redundant. It might have been better to have grouped similar statements/questions together for one discussion.
This book would be useful for Christians who have honest questions about their faith and Christians who are involved in evangelism and might need a bit of help in answering common questions. A free PDF study guide tied to the book is available at the author’s website: www.paulcopan.com.
Table of Contents:
PART I: Absolutely Relative
1. “That’s True for You, But Not for Me.”
2. “So Many People Disagree—Relativism Must Be True.”
3. “You’re Just Using Western Logic.”
4. “Who Are You to Judge Others?”
5. “Christians Are Intolerant of Other Viewpoints!”
6. “What Right Do You Have to Convert Others to Your Views?”
7. “It’s All Just a Matter of Perspective.”
8. “Perception Is Reality.”
9. “That’s Just Your Opinion!”
10. “You Can Choose Whichever Religion You Want.”
PART II: The Absolutism of Moral Relativism
11. “Why Believe in Any Moral Values When They’re So Wildly Different?
12. “Your Values Are Right for You, But Not for Me.”
13. “Who Are You To Impose Your Morality on Others?”
14. “You Can’t Legislate Morality.”
15. “It’s Arrogant To Say Your Values Are Better than Others’.”
16. “Biological Evolution Explains Morality.”
17. “We Can Be Good Without God”: Part I
18. “We Can Be Good Without God”: Part II
Part III: The Exclusivism of Religious Pluralism
19. “All Religions Are Basically the Same.”
20. “All Roads Lead to the Top of the Mountain.”
21. “Christianity Is Arrogant and Imperialistic.”
22. “If You Grew Up in Thailand, You’d Be a Buddhist.”
23. “Mahatma Gandhi Was a Saint If Ever There Was One.”
PART IV: The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ: Myth or Reality?
24. “You Can’t Trust the Gospels. They’re Unreliable.”
25. “Jesus’ Followers Fabricated the Stories and Sayings of Jesus.”
26. “Jesus Is Just Like Any Other Great Religious Leader.”
27. “But Jesus Never Said, ‘I Am God.’”
28. “People Claim JFK and Elvis Are Alive, Too!”
PART V: “No Other Name”: The Question of the Unevangelized
29. “It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe—as Long as You’re Sincere.”
30. “If Jesus Is the Only Way to God, What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Him?” Response #1: The Agnostic View
31. “If Jesus Is the Only Way …” Response #2: The Inclusivist or Wider-Hope View
32. “If Jesus Is the Only Way …” A Response to the Inclusivist/Wider-Hope View
33. “If Jesus Is the Only Way …“ Response #3: The Accessibilist or Middle-Knowledge Perspective