Show & Tell - Primer Issue 7

Show & Tell - Primer Issue 7

The meaning and the role of apologetics

God is the great persuader. He wants the world to know and trust his Son, and he sends his church into the world to show and tell the good news. That is the heartbeat of this issue of Primer. We are asking: how can churches put God’s love on display? How can we preach in ways that connect and persuade? How does the Bible’s account of humanity shape the way we evangelise? What resources are out there to help us?

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Apologetics can be theological marmite. Some people love the thought of engaging with culture and thinking how best to ‘tear down strongholds’ or ‘subversively fulfil’ the latest trends. Others find apologetics intimidating, or suspect that it distracts from actually getting on with evangelism and betrays a lack of confidence in God’s sufficient word.
In light of these questions, Primer 07 starts with Scripture, as Dan Strange asks what the Bible says about fallen human beings and how that should set the agenda for our evangelistic questions and methods.

Next, Matt Peckham is your guide to several recent books on apologetics, that help us explore everyday evangelism and ask good questions.

For our regular historical extract we have an excerpt from Blaise Pascal’s Pensées – a published scrapbook of his thoughts on reason, miracles, happiness, and the centrality of Jesus to anything we have to say. Bill Edgar comes alongside to introduce them and reflect with us on their significance.

All three of these articles reject the idea that apologetics is some lofty and intellectualised pursuit, and the rest of Primer 07 is designed to reinforce that:

- Jonathan Leeman’s article is a vital piece of the puzzle because it draws the church into the conversation. Jesus spoke about the way our love for one another makes the gospel visible – and yet this is regularly overlooked in discussions around apologetics.

- Gavin McGrath discusses apologetics and preaching, arguing that Scripture itself seeks to persuade us and subvert our assumptions about the world.

- Finally, to really bring the theme home, we have interviewed a number of churches about how they are engaging apologetically with their communities – what are the questions they face, how have they learnt to answer them, and how are they living out the gospel in compelling ways?

Product details


  • Introduction - Unapologetic - David Shaw
  • Our editor introduces the issue and articles
  • An Unholy Mess - Dan Strange
  • How our view of human nature shapes apologetics
  • In Defence of Madmen - Matthew Peckham
  • Apologetics through the lens of four recent books
  • Something Old - An Infinity of Infinitely Happy Life - William Edgar
  • An excerpt from Blaise Pascal’s Pensees with commentary
  • We Come in Peace - Jonathan Leeman
  • Churches, time-machines and a gospel apologetic
  • Getting Behind the Wall - Gavin McGrath
  • Apologetics and preaching
  • Answers on the Ground - Stephen Kneale, Grace Forsythe & Matt Waldock
  • We asked three people how their churches tackle apologetic issues


Author David Shaw
ISBN 9781784984311
Format Paperback
First published 2018
Dimensions 195mm x 255mm x 6.6mm
Language English
Pages 80
Publisher FIEC
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Show & Tell - Primer Issue 7 | David Shaw | £6.99 £5.99