All the chewy goodness of the best book on Christian apologetic engagement; now in new fun-sized bites!

Chapter 1: Diplomacy or D-Day?

Author Greg Koukl reminds us that, while many books exist on defending the faith, “Still, many Christians have an inferiority complex. Why?”[1] Perhaps they don’t know enough about the robust, theological system that undergirds their faith. “But I think there is another reason,”[2] Koukl writes. It’s not just about having theological knowledge; it’s also about knowing how to use that knowledge in a productive fashion that instills confidence. “This is where tactics come in.”[3]

Koukl fleshes out the particular way that we should engage others when we speak about ideas. He writes, “our engagements should look more like diplomacy than D-Day.”[4] He suggests an Ambassador Model, one that looks like “friendly curiosity”[5] rather than confrontation. The way forward for Christians who wish to use this model trades on three basic skills:

  1. We must know the central message of Christianity.
  2. We must be wise enough to be artful in our method.
  3. We must be attractive in our demeanor and character.[6]

Foreshadowing the chapters to come, Koukl lists the unique names he has assigned each particular tactic: Columbo; Suicide; Taking the Roof Off; Just the Facts, Ma’am; and Steamroller. He ends with an admonishment: Never use the tactics offered in the book to embarrass, belittle, or humiliate those who disagree with you. The whole point of Tactics is to remain humble and winsome so that “you will be able to comfortably engage in thoughtful conversations with others about your Christian convictions.”[7]

*Greg Koukl is Founder and President of Stand to Reason. Please do yourself a favor and buy his great book here!

Check back next week for Chapter 2: Reservations


[1] Greg Koukl, Tactics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 25.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 19.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid, 25.

[7] Ibid, 29.

Speaker, Educator, President of A Clear Lens, Inc. and host of A Clear Lens Podcast. B.Sc., M.Ed. Lives in Las Vegas with his wife, two sons, and dogs.


  1. Really liked this book. It has helped me out even in thinking about why I believe in this or that. Can you Columbo yourself???