How Well Are you Equipped to Defend Your Faith Against Real-World Attacks? A Review of Confound the Critics: Answers for Attacks on Biblical Truths by Bodie Hodge

Counfound the CriticsHow would you like to be the guy at a major Evangelical apologetics ministry who gets to answer all the critical emails and letters that come in? Add in that your particular ministry holds to a Biblically- defensible but increasingly unpopular position on young-earth creationism, and you find yourself shot at not just by secular humanists, but also by many professing Christians. This is the position Bodie Hodge has found himself in at Answers in Genesis, the apologetics ministry known for their defense of the authority of scripture “from the very first verse.”
In Confound the Critics (Master Books, 2014), Hodge puts together a list of 46 specific letters or emails on specific apologetics issues that he has received. The book is divided into three main categories: Ethics, philosophy, and morality is the first. This category deals with issues like slavery, presuppositions, crazy questions about God, gender roles, defending the building of the Ark Encounter, lying, and the picture of a “harsh” God in the Old Testament. The second category deals specifically with issues of sciences and evolution. Things like the age of the earth, evidence of evolution, the flood, the ark, man and dinosaurs, geology, and others are dealt with. The final section deals with biblical authority, theology, and compromised positions. Here questions of talking snakes, the gap theory, pain and suffering, biblical interpretation, the ages of the patriarchs, miracles, and others are presented.
The book has some strong and weak points. Hodge lists the emails/letters in the way they came in, so there are a lot of punctuation and grammatical errors in those (a demonstration of the unfortunate level of communication skills displayed by many in today’s society). Once you get past this, you see real questions that real people are raising. Hodge does a nice job with many of the questions, answering them from a consistent and biblical worldview. The book can get a little repetitive after a while (many questions coming from a secular worldview are going to find their biblical responses coming from the same general area). Also, because of the nature of the book, there is not a lot of in-depth scientific information on the evolution and science questions. The reader would be wise to have access to the Answers in Genesis website to get good answers on some of those questions.
In all, this is a strong book, if used properly. I would not recommend this as your beginning apologetics book, or even as a read-alone book for those seeking answers for specific apologetics questions. Instead, it is a book best read one chapter at a time, with other resources at hand for more in depth answers. For example, the Answers in Genesis website gives great in-depth answers on much of the scientific stuff, and other good apologetics books deal well with issues like slavery, lying and others. To add to those other resources, this book does a great job of showing the specific questions that people ask.