Humble Confidence
Humble Confidence
  • Length: 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: December 20, 2022
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-5294-9
  • Item Code: 5294
  • Case Quantity: 32

Today's cosmopolitan, multicultural, and multifaith environments call for new approaches to apologetics. The world still needs the good news of Jesus Christ, but to relate the transcultural gospel to diverse and ever-changing contexts, we must free Christian apologetics from dominant Western habits of mind ill-suited to interreligious dialogue. We must listen and speak with both humility and confidence.

Benno van den Toren and Kang-San Tan provide a global, intercultural introduction to Christian apologetics. They present a model of apologetics as crosscultural dialogue and accountable witness, then explore how it plays out in relation to specific contexts and the major world religions—including primal religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, secularism, and late-modern spiritualities. Building on recent developments in apologetics and missiology, as well as their experience teaching internationally in Europe, Asia, and Africa, Van den Toren and Tan offer an approach that is conversational, patient, holistic, and embodied.

Filled with examples from Scripture and real-world experiences, Humble Confidence gives readers a travel guide to help find the most effective avenues for true dialogue in their own settings.

"Can we stand firm as trustworthy witnesses for the hope of the gospel while honoring the vast diversity of cultures and religions that shape people? Benno van den Toren and Kang-San Tan emphatically respond with a yes, if we first explore how culture has shaped our core theological beliefs and assumptions about what it means to engage in Christian apologetics. Drawing on their rich epistemological, intercultural, and interreligious knowledge and experience, Van den Toren and Tan guide us to greater awareness of God, self, and others that, true to the title, equips us with humble confidence to participate persuasively in an apologetic dialogue with people from any and every background."

Mark R. Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

"In this refreshingly original approach to an issue of burning relevance to our world today, the authors present a convincing alternative to existing models of engagement that takes seriously the religious experiences and traditions of people of other faiths even while holding firmly to the essential truth claims of the Christian faith. Ambitious and courageous in its breadth of treatment, Humble Confidence is a worthwhile read for any serious Christ-follower—not just the specialist!"

Ivan Satyavrata, pastor emeritus of The Assembly of God Church, Kolkata, India

"This is a fine and sensitive study of the dynamics of engaging in faithful Christian witness to different religious traditions—and the complex tasks and demands in each new situation. It is written with deep learning and wide experience. It is an eloquent and much-needed apology for the importance of humble apologetics."

Gavin D'Costa, emeritus professor of Catholic theology, University of Bristol, and visiting professor in interreligious dialogue at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, Rome


Introduction: Contextual Apologetics as Holistic Dialogue and Accountable Witness

Part I: Reimagining Interfaith Apologetics
1. Apologetic Dialogue in a Multicultural World
2. Embodied Apologetics
3. The Cultural Embeddedness of Belief
4. God's Presence and Truth in the World of Religions
5. Apologetics as Accountable Witness to Christ
6. Possibilities for Critical Interreligious Dialogue
7. Reaching the Reasons of the Heart

Part II: Contextual Apologetic Witness to Particular Audiences
8. Inculturation in Dialogue with Primal Religions
9. Subversive Fulfillment of the Hindu Quest
10. Buddhism Confronts Reality
11. Islam and the Integrity of the Christian Faith
12. Unmasking Secular Idols
13. Inner Tensions in Late-Modern Spiritualities

Looking Back and Forward
Study Questions and Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index

Benno Vanden Toren

Benno van den Toren (PhD, Theological University in Kampen) is professor of intercultural theology at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen, the Netherlands. He has taught in French-speaking Africa and at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University, and his books include Christian Apologetics as Cross-Cultural Dialogue and Reasons for My Hope: Responding to Non-Christian Friends.

Kang-San Tan

Kang-San Tan (PhD, Aberdeen University) is general director of BMS World Mission. He is also chair of the Commission on Mission and provides leadership for the Global Baptist Mission Network of the Baptist World Alliance, and he has previously served as head of mission studies at Redcliffe College and executive director of AsiaCMS.