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Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion [Kindle Edition]

Paul Copan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Presenting a distinctively and deliberately Christian philosophy of religion, Loving Wisdom addresses a wide range of topics and questions. Copan acknowledges the difficulties, mystery, and disagreement of religion, and instead of using the language of "proofs," he attempts to show how the Christian faith does a much more adequate job of answering a wide range of questions.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Copan is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has written and edited a number of books related to the philosophy of religion.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2289 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0827221398
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (November 30, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001N2MD04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, highly readable and accessible February 19, 2008
By Stephen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loving Wisdom is a book that's difficult to summarize, and I gather that was intentional. In groundbeaking fashion, Christian apologist and philosopher Paul Copan has written an extraordinarily wide-ranging book that's exhaustive enough to serve as a textbook on many subjects within apologetics and philosophy of religion, but concise enough to serve as "a kind of launching pad" to further exploration. This is one of the densest books I've ever read -- dense in ideas not words! The author can cover a remarkable amount of ground in a relatively few pages. Coming to it as a layman, I found it readable and accessible -- even when comprehension of difficult concepts proved elusive. Although a serious and scholarly treatment of serious topics, Loving Wisdom is never ponderous, mainly because Copan's writing is suffused with good humor and wit. What also comes through is his charitable and fair treatment of opposing viewpoints.

So why should the average Christian believer be concerned with difficult questions and arguments raised by those who don't share our beliefs? Isn't it enough to fall back on bumper-sticker slogans? i.e. God said it, I believe it, that settles it! Why should Christians "do philosophy"? Copan writes:

"Unfortunately, some Christians speak disparagingly about philosophy, as though it's always done in an anti-Christian manner. They may cite Paul's caution, "Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies" (1 Cor. 8:1), or his warning against "philosophy and empty deception" (Col. 2:8). They may claim to promote a Spirit-given knowledge that seems foolish to the "natural" person (1 Cor. 1-2).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, biblical, broad-minded July 24, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite his youth, Paul Copan writes with a maturity and breadth of wisdom that one would think had taken a lifetime to accumulate. At a time when the debate about the meaning of life appears to be monopolized by the hard-edged argument between Intelligent Design and neo-Darwinism, Copan comes along with a rational but entirely Christ-centered and civil reminder of what our Creator actually told us.

Copan seizes the intellectual high ground in the contemporary challenge to faith in God at page 26: "There's just no way science (empiricism) can show that all beliefs should be scientifically provable ... Because the standard is a presumed philosophical outlook, not the result of scientific research. Behind the allegedly "scientific" standard are philosophical presuppositions that aren't themselves scientifically verifiable."

Acknowledging all of the usual arguments against God, Copan gently but firmly presents the contrary view with a splendid sense of balance between cognitive humility and the responsibility we received in 1 Peter 3:15 to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you."What Copan lacks in the sound-bite populist style of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, he more than makes up for in reason and balance. Anyone whose anchor to God is in danger of being set adrift by the fatalism of Dawkins et al would do well to read this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing We Desire Can Compare With Wisdom, Proverbs 8 November 5, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loving Wisdom provides solid and interesting theology, apologetics and philosophy.

The whole book is good, but I found three of the four chapters in Part III to be particularly interesting: The Problem(s) of Evil; The Hiddenness of God; and Hell.

In chapter 12, The Problem(s) of Evil, Copan has a section dealing with "Principalities and Powers". I don't recall seeing much reference to the effects of "principalities and powers" in other apologetic treatments of the problem of evil. It was a helpful perspective.

Chapter 13, dealt with "The Hiddenness of God" providing some probing thoughts on the matter. For example, to those who complain that God does reveal himself clearly enough, Copan suggests that perhaps, "the more evidence one has of God, the more resentful one might become toward him." Copan quotes atheist Thomas Nagel who confesses that "he doesn't want there to be a God." I've read similar expressions from other atheists. For a person who feels this way, to have more revealing evidence from God of His existence probably would not be helpful or desired.

Chapter 15, "Hell", was also interesting. One of the more fascinating ideas that Copan suggests is that in hell resistance to God is likely to increase rather than decrease. Says Copan, "despite hell's miseries, the condemned wouldn't prefer God's presence; resistance continues in hell. The more they would be exposed to God, the more they would come to hate him." In other words, it's not likely that those in hell will be saying, "Hey, I've changed my mind, God, I love you! I'm ready for heaven now! Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound . . . !
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book! December 12, 2007
I just finished Dr. Copan's book "Loving Wisdom" and found it to be an absolutely brilliant book. Dr. Copan has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His remarkable breadth of knowledge regarding philosophy and theology and his ability to effectively communicate that knowledge to others makes for tremendous reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone desiring to grow deeper in their knowledge of Christian philosophy. It is outstanding material.
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More About the Author

Paul Copan (Ph.D., philosophy, Marquette University) is Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is author of "True for You, But Not for Me" (Bethany House), "That's Just Your Interpretation,""How Do You Know You're Not Wrong?", When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (all with Baker), and Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion (Chalice Press). These are all books that seek to make available accessible answers to the toughest questions asked of Christians.

He has co-authored (with William Lane Craig) Creation Out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (Baker Academic). He is co-editor of three books on the historical Jesus and of three other books in the philosophy of religion, The Rationality of Theism (Routledge), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Routledge), and Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues (Blackwell).

He has co-edited (with William Craig) Passionate Conviction and Contending with Christianity's Critics. He has contributed articles and book reviews to various professional journals as well: Philosophia Christi, Faith and Philosophy, Trinity Journal, Southern Journal of Theology, the Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society, and The Review of Metaphysics.

He is presently writing a book on Old Testament ethics and co-authoring a book on the moral argument.

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