This is a fan-freakin-tastic question.
Apologetics is a great field of study and really helpful for those new to Christianity or looking to learn more about it. I am a firm believer that those who read, succeed, so I recommend books.
Podcasts are great and so are YouTube videos, but I think the best learning method is reading and note-taking.
Reading forces you to spend time in dedicated material for hours where you have the opportunity to absorb so much knowledge. There are six books that I recommend to someone who inquires about apologetics. If you read these six books, you will have a good foundation in apologetics and be able to carry yourself in a conversation, undoubtedly.
Here we go…
(1) William Lane Craig – On Guard
On Guard is a great introductory book to apologetics. Dr. Craig writes about his most popular arguments and talks about some objections that atheists make often (most notably, the problem of evil). On Guard is great read that will equip any Christian to defend the faith well. For bonus reading, look at his seminary-level book Reasonable Faith. It is my opinion that Dr. William Lane Craig is the greatest living apologist in the world.
(2) Lee Strobel – The Case for Christ
This was the first apologetics book I had ever read. My father-in-law gave it to me to read and after finishing it I was off an running. Lee’s stories from his days in journalism coupled with his interviews with leading apologists is sure to dazzle anyone who gives his work a read. For a bonus, he just revised and updated the book and he also has a series of “Case for…” books that are great.
(3) C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity
C.S. Lewis is a hero of mine and I think this is one of his best works. Top three for sure. Lewis is a beautiful writer with talent that I think is unmatched. He has such an easy way of explaining things and then building on that foundation. He uses a cumulative case for God’s existence, weaving together an argument that I don’t think can ever be unraveled. Lewis’ work is a masterpiece. Two more of his books I would recommend is The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters.
This is cheating, I know. Two books. But I can’t really decide which one to put in here and since I am the chief decision maker, I put both. Read them in order and soak in all of J. Warner Wallace’s knowledge and wisdom. Jim is a homicide detective that decided to investigate the Gospels like a cold-case. His results were groundbreaking as he found that the claims in the Gospels are truthful and accurate. One more thing, he wasn’t a Christian when he started on this endeavor (similar to Lee Strobel’s story). I’ve written about Jim in my monthly “Spotlight” article, so give that a look. And please, look at both of these books. You won’t regret it.
(5) Greg Koukl – Tactics
What list would be complete without Tactics? I had the opportunity to interview Greg on the A105 Podcast last year and it was such a great conversation. Greg’s book helps Christians (and others) learn how to converse with an opponent, avoid mind-numbing conversations by steering them in the right direction, and get to the truth of what the other person’s view actually is. Tactics is one my all-time favorites. I wish every church would stock this book so Christians know how to dialogue with other people.
(6) Natasha Crain – Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side
This was a tough one to decide on because of all the great books that are out there. But for the beginners, I would recommend Natasha’s book due to the fact that she covers so much, provides great references for the reader to expand on any topic, and is also a very talented writer. It’s worth mentioning as well, that I recommend all of these books to everyone, no matter your apologetics level. If you’ve been doing apologetics for 10 years and haven’t look at any of these books, get on it! I have written a full review of Natasha’s book here if you would like to know more about it.
I know, I know. I left off a lot of books. But here’s your chance to share what you would recommend. Let me know what you like and would pass on to someone who asked you where to start in apologetics.
Grace and Peace