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The Defense Never Rests - Second Edition

by Craig A. Parton

Item #: 124470 / 2015 / Paperback / 179 Pages


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This powerful critique of American Christianity chronicles the spiritual pilgrimage of one man and provides a defense of the pure Gospel.
In the first half of the book, Parton explains his spiritual autobiography. Follow his journey from unbelief to American Evangelicalism and Campus Crusade staff work, to his discovery of the Lutheran church. In the chapters after his arrival at an understanding of Lutheranism, he presents a hard-hitting critique of shallow, pop-style worship and theology. Readers will also appreciate Parton's honest, systematic approach to apologetics that tackles the tough questions of how to explain the Christian faith in a way that always points back to Christ's work.
This new edition features sections dealing with the challenges of New Atheism, Bart Ehrman, and the new wave of biblical criticism.

“When Peter calls us to ‘be prepared to give a defense,’ he has in mind the sort of case that a lawyer makes in court.  As a distinguished lawyer and apologist, Craig Parton brings Peter’s instruction to life. This is a gold-mine for our witness to Christ. But more than that, it fills our own sails with confidence that the gospel is more than wishful thinking. Resources like this don’t come along very often. Grab the chance to be better prepared!”
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California; co-host of the White Horse Inn

“Mr. Parton’s positive presentation of the treasures of classical Christian theology and his fact-based defense for the truth of the Gospel are stunning.”
— Professor Rod Rosenbladt, Concordia University, Irvine, California

“Using his skills as a trial lawyer, Craig Parton presents the evidence that corroborates the New Testament’s central focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ. But the book offers even more. Parton was well-known in American Evangelical circles that often, as he insightfully points out, fixate on sanctification at the expense of justification. Thus, his book not only skillfully defends what C. S. Lewis called 'mere Christianity,' but it also shows how Lutheran theology differs from today’s 'Evangelicalism' in a number of significant ways.”
—Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois

About the Author
Craig A. Parton is a trial lawyer in California. A popular conference speaker in the field of apologetics, Parton teaches in France each year at the International Academy of Apologetics.

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The Defense Never Rests - Second Edition

by Craig A. Parton

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2 Verdicts: (1) The Gosples are reliable; (2) You are forgiven!

Christian apologist/attorney, Craig Parton, has written a very fine introduction concerning an evidence-based approach to analyzing the Gospel account of Christ. The first few chapters describe Mr. Parton's own personal theological journey from Evangelicalism to Confessional Lutheranism. Mr. Parton admires certain facets of Evangelicalism, including the love for Scripture and the interest in engaging with those from different theological backgrounds. But he also notes that there is often in Evangelicalism a strong emphasis on the works of the believer that, ironically, put the cross and works of Jesus not always completely away but, so to speak, on a shelf to the side. It is almost as if the message is: "You believers know about salvation and God's grace shown to you which is an early fundamental of faith, but the focus now throughout your life is primarily on how you will demonstrate your daily dedicated works in spiritual matters like reading, attending conferences, doing programs, learning advanced techniques, studying how to be better parents, etc." Mr. Parton is not suggesting (and neither am I) that good works and learning more about the Word are not crucial features of a believer's life. But believers, of course, sin daily and their works must not be the ultimate source of their identity and comfort. The identities of believers is found in the works and profound love of the incomparable Jesus Christ. This emphasis puts Biblical concepts like humility, confession, forgiveness and peace at the center of the Christian's life. This sustained priority on Jesus' life and on the cross is what makes Lutheranism Lutheranism! Mr. Parton shows how this Christocentric focus in Lutheran theology is helpful in the field of apologetics because Jesus' life, death and resurrection are historical events that have been recorded in Scripture. Using recognized methods employed by scholars in investigating ancient documents which chronicle historical events, Mr.Parton demonstrates that the Gospels provides reliable evidence/information concerning Christ. Furthermore, there are more early extant copies of Scripture than any other literary works of antiquity, by far. The point here is not missed, there are scholars of literature and history at major universities who believe "as a fact" regarding the prior existence of persons and events with far less documentary support than the Gospels concerning the historic person...Jesus! I so appreciate Mr. Parton's book and I pray you will as well. May God grant His Church grace to keep Christ at the center, and may God use the approach in this book to help those who are "dead in their trespasses and sin" to see the incredible uniqueness of the Bible, and then lead them to the reading/hearing of the Word which, by the power of the Spirit, brings new life!


I have this book, on my shelf, right next to my copy of History, Law and Christianity, by John Warwick Montgomery. The two books are perfect companions in Christian Apologetics. Craig A. Parton does a wonderful job in presenting the reader with reasons to believe the Gospel. He first tells of the unsatisfactory walk, of he and his family, through Evangelicalism, and the joy of discovering the pure Gospel in the Lutheran church. The reader is then treated to common arguments against belief, and the provable response to those arguments. As a lawyer, Mr. Parton is expert in presenting the case for The Gospel. There is an excellent chapter entitled "Lutherans Imitating Evangelicals", which is as intriguing as it sounds, and an explanation of the Divine Service, in an appendix written by John T Pless. The book is full of reference notes throughout, as well as a bibliography for further study at the end of the book. There is so much packed into this book, yet it is less than 180 pages, including appendices. The Defense Never Rests has quickly become a favorite in my home library. It is one of those books that I dread loaning out, for fear it will not be returned to me.

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