In my opinion, these are some of the best apologetics works that Christian and seekers need to read.

If you are having trouble with your belief, “apologetics” is the defense of the Christian faith. Each of these books defends the Christian faith in different ways, from different perspectives, from different people, dealing with a variety of issues.

Apologetics alone will never convince anyone of the truth of Christianity because people’s beliefs are not determined by reason and human wisdom, but as reason and human wisdom are used by the Holy Spirit to change a life. These works qualify as those that follow the path of 2 Pet. 3:15 “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you.” God uses apologetics to changed the the hardened heart.

These are numbered one to fifteen in importance. Drum roll please . . .

15. Pensees, Blaise Pascal (can be read through Peter Kreeft, Christianity of Modern Pagans)

Pascal’s book is as timeless and as relevant as many ancient proverbs. In fact, it serves more like a proverbial apologetic work with short pithy statements of life and truth designed to get one to think. Not an apologetic work in the classic sense,  but one for those who are looking for a different approach through the path of wisdom before reason. Pascal was Catholic, but, as one Catholic has put it, too Protestant to be Catholic.

14. Letters from a Skeptic, Gregory Boyd

An incredibly engaging work that is a published account of Greg’s letters back and forth with his father who was an unbeliever at the time. While I disagree with Boyd’s contention that God does not know the future in his defense of evil, it is a great book and will make you think and believe more deeply.

13. How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong, Paul Copan

Paul Copan deals with common objections to Christianity that most Christians find hard to answer. From “Animals have rights just like humans do” to “You can’t prove that scientifically” Paul helps the Christian as well as the skeptic get answers that represent a Christian worldview.

12. Reasonable Faith, William Craig

A master at dealing with the existence of God, Craig provides a good, readable apologetic at an intermediate level.

11. Scaling the Secular City, J. P. Moreland

This is a general apologetic work that comes from a philosophical perspective. J.P. Moreland is one of the most prolific and able defenders of the faith and this work is his most comprehensive achievement in the area of apologetics.

10. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Norman Geisler

This represents a lifetime tour de force of Norman Geisler. Just about every topic in Apologetics is covered in this massive work, from “Presuppositionalism” to “Resurrection Claims in Non-Christian Religions.” This is a significant reference work no matter what tradition you are from. 

9. Case for Christ, Lee Strobel

This is a great book for the Christian or the seeker. It is probably the most popular apologetic work over the last decade, taking the title away from Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

8. Reason for God, Tim Keller

According to many, this apologetic work by Keller is the apologetic for the postmodern generation. Whether this is true or not, it presents a solid, popular-level work that can be given to non-believers.

7. Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell

Although not as popular as it once was, for the last quarter of a century this work has served as the primary “go-to” apologetic for Evangelical Christianity. It is still a must have.

6. The Analytic Theist, Alvin Plantinga

This will be a much more advanced work for those who are dealing with deep philosophical thinking. Plantinga has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest living philosophers. This is a basic reader to get you familiar with his works. 

5. The God Who is There, Francis Schaeffer

Schaeffer’s works could all be put on this list, but this particular work is representative of a timeless defense from a timeless scholar.

4. Faith Has its Reasons, Rob Bowman and Kenneth Boa

The best book for one who’s desire it is to understand not only what apologetics is, but how it is to be done. The authors give a great overview of all the different Christian apologetic methods asking the question “How are we to defend the faith?” They then discuss and defend Presuppositionalism, Fideism, Evidentialism, and Classical approaches to the defense of the faith. For the young, aspiring apologist, this is the first book that should be read. 

3. The Resurrection of the Son of God, N. T. Wright

Simply put, this is the most comprehensive work on the resurrection of Christ ever produced. Whatever you think of N. T. Wright, there is no debate that this is an immensely valuable contribution to the Christian witness.

2. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Habermas and Licona 

Simply a must have for everyone. The resurrection of Christ is the central issue of Christianity. If Christ rose from the grave, Christianity is true; if he did not, it is false. Everyone needs to have a good defense of the resurrection and this work represents the best of the popular options. Get it!

1. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

How can I do justice to what might be the most significant and influential apologetic work in all of Christianity? All I can say is that if you have not read Mere Christianity, shame on you.

Did I miss any? Please make your list (I don’t care how many).

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    65 replies to "Top Fifteen Must Have Books on Apologetics"

    • Rayne

      Just finished reading Fabricating Jesus by Craig A Evans. Not so much apologetics for the faith per se, but does a very good job of demolishing arguments that Jesus never existed, other discovered ‘Gospels’ deserve as much a footing as the four canonical ones, as well as throwing in good evidence against modern attacks on the New Testament (from Dan Brown, Robert Funk, et al). Read through it all in three days, and will wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in the historicity of the canonical Gospels.

    • Quora

      Three friends and I are discussing and reconsidering our belief in God and Christianity. What are some good resources for us to read and consider from both sides of the argument?…

      > In my opinion, these are some of the best apologetics works that Christian and seekers need to read. If you are having trouble with your belief, “apologetics” is the defense of the Christian faith. Each of these books defends the Christian faith in d…

    • beyan

      Suprised “tactics” by Greg Koukl isn’t on this list. Majority of apologists call it a “must read.”….id have to agree.

    • B Godbee

      For proposed contridictions/Bible difficulties, I would recommend Dr. Gleason L. Archer’s book, Encycolpedia of Bible Difficulties.

    • Net D.

      Not surprised that Mere Christianity is first in this list. 🙂 This book is my personal favorite alongside Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God and McDowell’s The Evidence That Demands a Verdict. I also recommend More Than a Carpenter by McDowell as well as Simply Christian by N. T. Wright. I still know heaps of books on Christian apologetics, perhaps anyone who is interested may check out .

    • Jim

      As an entry-level book, I think Cold Case Christianity by Jim Warner Wallace is a great pick. For a more rigorous presentation of the same material, Baukham’s “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” is a good step up.

      I see very little on the list that deals with science. Why the Universe is the Way it is by Hugh Ross is a good one IMO.

    • John

      I just stumbled upon this list. It’s very good. “Generation Why?” by Dan Greenup is a really good apologetics book written for young adults I would have on my list, but this is solid.

    • Shodan

      F.F. Bruce had several contributions that are significant. JESUS: GOD GHOST OR GURU is a well thought out book that is an honest look at what and who Jesus said He was.

      • Shodan

        Or rather who He said He is!

    • alive

      The heart of your writing while sounding reasonable at first, did not work properly with me personally after some time. Someplace throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately only for a short while. I however have a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do well to help fill in all those breaks. In the event that you can accomplish that, I would definitely be amazed.

    • Leia

      Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this list – and for all the comments. I have read a few of the basics suggested (by many) but now have a MUCH longer reading list. 🙂

    • Mark DiNunzio

      What about John Warwick Montgomery ?? Without his work most apologists would never be around!!

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