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Why Good Arguments Often Fail

James W. Sire (InterVarsity: Mar 2006), 205 pages.

You gave it your best shot. 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? For over fifty years James Sire, noted author and public defender of the Christian faith, has asked himself that question. Sometimes, of course, the arguments themselves just aren’t that good. How can we make them better? Sometimes the problem has to do with us and not the arguments. Our arrogance, aggressiveness or cleverness gets in the way, or we misread our audience. Sometimes the problem lies with the hearers. Their worldview or moral blindness keeps them from hearing and understanding the truth. With wisdom borne of both formal and informal experience, Sire grapples with these issues and offers practical insight into making a more persuasive case for Christ. Includes an annotated bibliography of resources for framing effective arguments. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • I believe – help my unbelief : a credible witness    15
    • 1    "Love is a fallacy"    21
    • 2    You’re all hypocrites!: unqualified and hasty generalizations    33
    • 3    It’s dangerous to believe you’re right: causes and contradictions    40
    • 4    You have insulted us all: sentiment, false analogy and poisoning the well    57
    • 5    People can’t communicate: what? Arrogance, aggression and cleverness    73
    • 6    I don’t get it : misreading the audience    80
    • 7    What a harebrained ideal: worldviews and evolution    92
    • 8    Who am I to judge?: worldviews and relativism    106
    • 9    The heart wants what it wants: moral blindness    117
    • 10    I see you are very religious: Paul in Athens    129
    • 11    So why should I believe anything?: Christian witness in a postmodern world    146
    • 12    Framing effective arguments : a guide to literature    156