Here are ten of my favorite quotes from Os Guinness’ excellent book on apologetics Fool’s Talk:
Almost all our witnessing and Christian communication assumes that people are open to what we have to say, or at least are interested, if not in need of what we are saying. Yet most people quite simply are not open, not interested and not needy, and in much of the advanced modern world fewer people are open today than even a generation ago. Indeed, many are more hostile, and their hostility is greater than the Western church has faced for centuries.
As with almost everything worthwhile in life, there is rarely just one day to do it. The same is true of persuasion. There is no single right way it should be done. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will work with everyone. To be sure, there are some ways that are not Christian and some that not effective, but there is no single way that alone is Christian.
Sin must always end in justifying itself by framing God. God is in the dock [the one who stands accused]. To excuse ourselves, we have to accuse him. In short, sin frames God falsely.
In strong contrast to secularism, the Christian view is both this-worldly and other-worldly. It has a healthy appreciation of this world, but sees it always within an equally strong appreciation of another world that throws this present world into a different light, redeeming its worst features and confirming forever its highlights. And in strong contrast to the Eastern views, the Christian view has a solid appreciation of the created reality that we know and we may trust-even though there is another world that is needed to make this world what it should be.
Because of the cross and the resurrection there is always a way out.
Unbelief manufactures not only idols but illusions.
Only humans it seems, have the capacity to live as something other than what they are. [Guinness quoting N.T. Wright]
When it comes to belief and unbelief, we need to remember that, while no thoughts are unthinkable and no argument is unarguable, some thoughts can be thought but not lived…When we are talking of unbelief, there will always be unintended consequences. Unbelieving beliefs will be truly adequate because unbelieving knowledge is never fully adequate and not finally true.
The gospel makes better sense of what simply is because the way God sees reality is the truth of what is.
Indeed, it is now difficult to think of what might actually constitute a crisis of faith for the Christians revisionists [liberal Christians]. Revisionist faith has so lost its authority that it has become compatible with anything and everything, and so means nothing.
Questions and needs do not create faith. No one believes because of questions and needs. Rather, the effect of questions and needs is to make people disbelieve. They no longer believe whatever it was that they believed before, because what they used to believe no longer answered their questions.
Quotes From Other Books
The New Pastor’s Handbook by Jason Helopoulos
On Being a Pastor by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg
How to Exasperate Your Wife by Douglas Wilson
The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney
A Son for Glory by Toby Sumpter
Escape from Reason by Francis Schaeffer
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Making Gay Okay by Robert Reilly
Christ Crucified by Donald Macleod
Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God by John Calvin