Reviewed by: Alan D. Strange
Date posted: 07/15/2006
Lifting the Veil: The Face of Truth, by William Edgar. Published by P&R, 2001. Paperback, 143 pages, list price $10.99. Reviewed by OP minister and teacher Alan Strange.
William Edgar, professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), has written an apologetic gem. In this slender volume, Edgar attempts to "lift the veil" and disclose "the face of truth," particularly to our postmodern culture. Recently, sadly, some Christian apologists have sought to address the postmodern descent into the abyss of irrationalism by arguing for the recovery of Enlightenment rationalism. Edgar, thankfully, is not afflicted with this need to lead persons to modernism before leading them to Christ. Here is an apologetic that is presuppositional; as Edgar puts it, he seeks "to provide answers by getting first at the root of things" (p. 4).
Edgar does not get at the root of things by using terms like "ontological Trinity" and "self-attesting Christ of Scripture." He rather gets to the root of the problem of evil (and responses, both believing and unbelieving), the possibility of truth and its knowability, the question of origins, the challenge of science, and other larger questions by addressing people where they are, in the humanities, arts, sciences, and popular culture. He moves deftly from a discussion of Max Planck to a recent film to the paintings of Paul Cezanne.
Some of us love it when apologists use shoptalk like "epistemologically self-conscious." There is a place for it. There is also a place for what Edgar does in this book: use the assassination of President Kennedy, the lyrics of Bob Dylan, and the writings of Camus and Sartre to discuss theodicy, the justification of God (except that he does not call it theodicy). This is an intelligent - yet never technical - book that ranges from Plato to Warhol, in which Edgar repeatedly points to Christ from every vantage point. He points us time and again to the Scriptures - God' s revelation - and invites us to believe.
Edgar's style is truly delightful. Some of his insights approach poetry in the felicity of their expression. This is a book to give to unbelievers, so that they may be challenged to repent and believe. This is a book for believers to read, so that they may know better how to deal with unbelievers and to rejoice in all that they possess as those who abide in the Truth.