Monday Morning Quarterbacking: A Review of Richard Pratt's "Every Thought Captive"



"Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth" is a 1979 introduction to presuppositional apologetics by Dr. Richard Pratt, who teaches Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary.  It is a slim volume running only 142 pages and is broken down as follows:

1. A Firm Foundation

2. Where It All Began

3. The Character of Man before Sin

4. The Character of Man in Sin

5. The Character of Man Redeemed by Christ

6. The Non-Christian Point of View

7. The Christian Point of View

8. Attitudes and Actions

9. Popular Tactics

10. Structure of a Biblical Defense

11. Defending the Faith (1) 

12. Defending the Faith (2) 

13. Defending the Faith (3) 

14. An Apologetic Parable

Pratt's introduction to presuppositional apologetics contrasts itself with classical or evidential defenses of the the faith.  Many in the latter camp will cry foul when they read Dr. Pratt's examples for he tends to pick apart arguments in isolation rather than deal with them cumulatively.  The author's main selling point is that apologetics should never be done in a way that places logic over Scripture as its judge.  He does not dismiss logic but he places it is a handmaiden to the Word of God and reminds us that fallen individuals are a slave to unredeemed intellect as well as a hardened heart.  

In the end, Dr. Pratt's work is worth a read, especially for classical apologists who generally have only a slim understanding of the presuppositional approach even if it is a bit repetitive at times.