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God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback)) Paperback – February 12, 2004

ISBN-13: 000-0195166000 ISBN-10: 0195166000

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Product Details

  • Series: Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195166000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195166002
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Bryan and Darrow redux! A lively and engaging debate on a topic both timely and ageless. Craig and Sinnott-Armstrong provide an eminently accessible introduction to arguments for and against the existence of God. While their method is philosophical, the authors' passion for their subject is always in evidence. God? may not settle the main question; it does demonstrate that the same questions ignite the curiosity of theists and atheists alike: where did we come from? why be moral? what does it all mean?"--Louise M. Antony, Professor of Philosophy, Ohio State University

"This is a wonderful exchange about the existence of God--fast, fair, informative, intelligent, sincere, and above all terrific fun. It covers such topics as the original cause of the universe, the possibility of genuine morality, the nature of miracles, and the problem of evil. As an introduction to these really basic issues, it is simply the best that I have ever read. I will be recommending it to my relatives, to my friends, to my colleagues, and to all of my students."--Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University

"In this book, the deepest controversies and issues related to the existence of God are debated, in an accessible but sophisticated way, by two first-rate philosophers. The exchanges are lively, incisive, and informed. The book is must reading for all who are interested in the simple question: Does God Exist?"--Stephen T. Davis, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

"Two megawatt minds reduce humanity's oldest issue to understandable essentials."--Associated Press

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

William Lane Craig is at Talbot School of Theology. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is at Dartmouth College.

Customer Reviews

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This book presents Craig's cogent and compelling arguments for theism.
It is for this reason that it is impossible to provide a proof of the existence of God that will simply be read by everybody and automatically accepted by everybody.
New Age of Barbarism
His great effort in this book, while expected, is very much appreciated.
Kyle Demming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Demming on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In this new book, cleverly titled simply "God?", William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong debate the most important question with surprising clarity and wit.
William Lane Craig is an experienced debator with excellent credentials. Over the years he has debated many famous atheists, and is well known for beating almost every opponent hands down. Craig's style is quick and confident, and, in my opinion, his arguments are generally very forceful and convincing. His great effort in this book, while expected, is very much appreciated. He is not afraid to get right down to the issue and into the trenches- which helps the debate to move along at lightning pace.
The real surprise here, in my mind, is the showing by Sinnott-Armstrong. Despite a lack of debating experience, he seems to me to be the best opponent Craig has faced (in any debate I have read). He is quick, witty, and intelligent- advancing objections to almost all of Craig's arguments (in other debates, atheists often just pick a few points of contention, but Sinnott-Armstrong challenges the whole case.)
Both participants in the debate give strong efforts, and it leads to a fantastic and engaging book on the existence of God. If you are looking for a debate on the existence of God, then look no further. This book is highly recommended.
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J Bach on May 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Like others reviewers have said, the main purpose of this book isn't to definitively "settle" the issue either way (as if that's possible), but merely to highlight some of the more pertinent issues surrounding the claims of Christianity as well as its various criticisms. The end result, as one reviewer already pointed out, reveals that, far from being solely the realm of crackpots and the "weak-minded", Christianity is as a viable intellectual option (which is not to say, of course, without reproach.)
As for the substance of the debate itself, both writers were highly competent and I found each writer at his best in presenting the case for his respective viewpoint (Chapter 1, 4)
Craig makes a strong case for a finite universe, using widely accepted scientific evidence. He also explains many of the flaws inherent in the various infinite views (oscillating universe, many-worlds hypothesis, etc.), which he, I think rightly, dismisses as ad hoc avoidances of the serious implications which a finite universe seems to imply.
By way of example, Craig shows how the oscillating theory of the universe (i.e. a never-ending series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches) is really dead on arrival because scientists can't get over the theoretic hump of how exactly the universe would "restart" after collapsing in on itself, which seems to be an irreversible process. (I should also probably point out that even the very concept of "collapse" itself is controversial; everyone knows the universe is expanding, but nobody knows whether or not it will continue to do so in the future.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
God? Is based on two public debates that occurred in 1999 and 2000 between William Craig and William Sinnott-Armstrong regarding the existence of God. In my opinion this is an excellent resource for thoughtful atheists and theists alike. Of the debates I have read on this subject God? is the best.
In the first part of the book Craig opens in defense of God (Christian God), Sinnott-Armstrong rebuts then Craig closes. The second part is structured the other way round with Sinnott-Armstrong opening in defense of atheism; Craig rebuts then Sinnott-Armstrong closes. Throughout the discussion the debaters cover all the pertinent arguments (cosmological, design, existence of evil, revelation etc) and are rigorous and respectful in defending their views.

Those familiar to the area of religious philosophy and apologetics undoubtedly know the work of Bill Craig a brilliant and prolific philosopher. In addition to his formidable intellectual abilities Craig is also an outstanding and experienced debater. As a result, in live debates he often overwhelms even the most capable opponent. This format which allowed the participants more time to formulate their arguments was beneficial. Sinnott-Armstrong is not an experienced debater and this approach helped him to clearly articulate his arguments. As a result, Sinnott-Armstrong puts forward one of the strongest argument for atheism that I have heard.
After reading this debate, I would hope that several things would be apparent to a thoughtful and opened-minded person. First, and most importantly, this is an important question that warrants our consideration. Second, a rational proof of God's existence beyond a reasonable doubt is probably not possible (if it was where would free will be?).
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By The Spinozanator VINE VOICE on June 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Craig and Sinnott-Armstrong, both college professors and authors, present an engaging high-level debate that should delight readers. Most of the book is a slightly edited version of 2 actual live debates, held several months apart, in 1999 and 2000. In the 1st half of the book, Craig speaks first, S-A rebuts, then Craig is allowed a summary (for the book) clarifying his position. In the 2nd half of the book, roles are reversed - S-A speaks first, Craig rebuts, then S-A is allowed a summary (for the book) solidifying HIS views.

Be ready for courtroom-like drama as sparks fly in an electrified environment of sharply divided opinions. There are accusations of straw men, as hoc arguments, bloated conclusions, drawing false dichotomies, excessive footnotes (questionable appeals to authorities), equivocation, begging the question, misrepresentation, failure to understand, failure the answer the question, etc. There is a certain amount of hair-splitting, similar to when Bill Clinton tried to redefine the word "is." Once the name-calling subsides, however, and the dust settles, several standard arguments remain, passionately appealed by both gentlemen.

Craig presents 5 good reasons to believe that God exists:
1. God makes sense of the origin of the universe.
2. God makes sense of the fine-tuning of the universe.
3. God makes sense of objective moral values in the world.
4. God makes sense of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
5. God can be immediately known and experienced.

S-A present 3 arguments that God does not exist:
1. The problem of evil - An all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good God should not and would not allow to occur the horrible tragedies that have always plagued humanity.
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More About the Author

I am the Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. With my wife Jan, we have two grown children.

At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, I first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded my life to Christ. I pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 I taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time we started our family. In 1987 we moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming my position at Talbot in 1994.

I have authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including Philosophia Christi, The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.

My CV can be read here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=curriculum_vitae

Publication list: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=publications_main

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God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist (Point/Counterpoint (Oxford Paperback))
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