The idea came to me after witnessing another troll attack on Facebook. The troll left some stupidly ignorant comments under an acquaintance’s post concerning a point of theology. Regrettably, no one following in the comments offered any serious rebuttal. I don’t believe the person who posted the original item under discussion even tried offering a response. That started me pondering: Is that because the people don’t want to or that they just lack the ability?
Now I recognize that Christians engaging in any meaningful discussion in the comment threads on social media with a strident, chest-beating “know-it-all” skeptic can be a rather ridiculous waste of time. Honestly, the better course of action is to just silently move on without any engagement. I get that, and so many times I ignore the troll because I have not desire to discuss anything with him or her.
But Christians shouldn’t just be helpless invalids who roll over because they can’t offer any informed push back.
Moreover, such trolls don’t exist solely on social media. They can show up at your Bible studies, Sunday school classes, at your family reunions, and holiday get-togethers. Whatever the situation, it may be helpful to have some resources that can help you offer at least a little bit of a response of your own in order to squash the troll and chase it away.
I scanned my personal library and compiled a list of a few books I believe cover the essential areas of biblical theology or historicity where trolls tend to attack. I identified books in my offering that are around 250 pages or less.
Now regrettably, my cut-off at 250 pages will eliminate a number of books I personally like. In fact, I’m sure folks will be annoyed I left such-and-such awesome book off my list. But I wanted to keep my selection simple and not overwhelming to the uninitiated. Most serious minded believers are not afraid to tackle at least a 200 page book. Maybe I can do a follow up post for the advanced troll hunter.
The categories I have in mind pertain to basics about the Godhead, the person and work of Christ, the doctrines of salvation, the authority of Scripture, historical matters, and basic apologetic methodology and theological worldview. From my observation, trolls tend to latch onto those areas of discussion.
With that brief background, here is my basic introductory list.
Knowing God – J.I. Packer
The Forgotten Trinity – James White
The Five Points of Calvinism – David Steele & Curtis Thomas
Redemption Accomplished and Applied – John Murray
For Us And For Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church – Stephen Nichols
Hell on Trial – Robert Peterson
The Heresy of Orthodoxy – Andreas Kostenberger & Michael Kruger
The Bible Among the Myths – John N. Oswalt
Scripture Alone – James White
From God to Us: How We Got Our Bible – Norman Geisler & William Nix
From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man – James Williams & Randolph Shaylor
The Question of Canon – Michael Kruger
Biblical Authority: Infallibility & Inerrancy in the Christian Tradition – John Woodbridge
One Bible Only? – Roy E. Beacham & Kevin T. Bauder
The Battle Belongs to the Lord – Scott Oliphint
Every Thought Captive – Richard Pratt
Apologetics to the Glory of God – John Frame
Reasons We Believe – Nathan Busenitz
Inventing The Flat Earth: Columbus & Modern Historians – Jeffrey Russell
God’s Battalions: A Case for the Crusades – Rodney Stark
Creation and Change – Douglas Kelly
The Battle for the Beginning – John MacArthur
By Design – Jonathan Sarfati
Same-Sex Controversy – James White & Jeffrey Niell
Decision, Decisions: How & How Not to Make Them – Dave Swavely
Exegetical Fallacies – D.A. Carson