Post Author: Bill Pratt
Apologist and author Bill Foster has just written a new book entitled Meet the Skeptic. I was unfamiliar with Bill before reading this book, which was given to me by one of our church staff.
I have read a truckload of books on apologetics, so I was a little bit dubious that there was anything new here, but I was pleasantly surprised. Bill certainly covers some familiar ground, but the difference between his book and others is that he attempts to model skepticism by placing modern skeptics of Christianity into four categories, based on their worldview. He then describes the “root idea” of each of these worldviews and gives readers some suggested approaches to conversing with each of these kinds of skeptics.
The first kind of skeptic is the spiritual skeptic. The root idea is: “Good works get you to heaven.”
The second kind of skeptic is the moral skeptic. The root idea is: “People should decide for themselves what is right and wrong.”
The third kind of skeptic is the scientific skeptic. The root idea is: “The natural world is all there is.”
The fourth kind of skeptic is the biblical skeptic. The root idea is: “The Bible is man-made.”
As I have conversed with skeptics over the years, I have certainly encountered all of these. In fact, in some cases I have interacted with a skeptic who could be placed in multiple categories. It is always helpful to have a mental framework of where a person is coming from when speaking to them about Christianity, and this book will nicely serve that purpose.
One caution, however. Every skeptic is an individual, and they will not always fit neatly into a category. Most people can’t stand being labeled, so anyone using this book needs to be careful that they don’t come across like a Christian label-maker. I’m sure Bill Foster would agree that these categories serve as guidelines, but we always need to truly engage with a person and learn about them as a unique individual.
A couple questions for our blog readers. Do these categories seem right to you? If you are a skeptic, what is your reaction to these four categories?
Something just occurred to me. Maybe the skeptics have written a book called Meet the Apologist …..