Why Good Arguments Often Fail: Making a More Persuasive Case for Christ, by James W. Sire. Published by IVP Press.

“You made the best case you knew how, and your friend still wasn’t persuaded to follow Christ. Why is it that solid, rational arguments for the Christian faith often fail?” – James Sire

Rather than focusing on the various arguments which constitute the broad topic of “Christian Evidences,” James Sire devotes most of his book to the topics of logic and why people are (or are not) persuaded to accept a different point of view.

The book is divided into four parts…
First is the section on defective argumentation. Next is the section on the profound influence that one’s worldview has on argumentation. The third part of the book draws together the author’s best proposals for presenting the Christian faith in a factual, persuasive, and effective way. The end of the book contains an extensive bibliography with author’s comments and suggestions of classic and new books in the area of evidences.

I’ve never read another book that addresses this particular subject in detail. James Sire’s more than 50 years in Christian publishing and working on university campuses shows. I actually felt stretched and challenged by his insights and proposals. The first section on defective arguments and attitudes is worth the price of the book. That is true again for the second section on worldviews and our need to understand how others think and believe.

This is not an easy read because of the topics covered. At the same time, Sire’s writing style is clear, enjoyable and persuasive, encouraging the reader to keep going. This is a highly recommended read! It already is causing me to examine more carefully both what I teach and how.