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Product Details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (November 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830827846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830827848
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a superb introduction to philosophical thinking about God. But it is much more than that--it's a refreshingly clear, compelling and funny introduction to thinking itself, to the world of philosophy. I can't think of a better way into these subjects than with Ganssle as a guide." (David A. Horner, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ethics, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and Research Scholar and Minister, Centers for Christian Study, International)

"Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy is an outstanding book for those who want to learn to think philosophically about God's existence and nature. Ganssle's book uses these topics to help the reader learn to work through arguments to reasoned conclusions. Although religious beliefs are often dealt with emotionally, Ganssle shows the reader how to think carefully about them. While other philosophical texts tend to deal with technicalities which make them largely inaccessible to the inexperienced reader, Ganssle's book is aimed at helping these readers understand the underlying arguments and issues. Hence, this book provides a much-needed resource, a bridge between technical philosophical arguments and the untrained thinker that will be valuable in many churches and the lives of many Christians today. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to learn to think about the God they worship." (Dr. David Woodruff, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Huntington College, Indiana)

"Ganssle does a masterful job of guiding readers through the fundamental philosophical questions about God. He writes with a clarity rarely found in philosophers, simplifying complex issues without descending in simplistic explanations, and does it all with a touch of humor. A great introduction to philosophy of religion." (Steve Wilkens, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Azusa Pacific University)

More About the Author


Gregory E. Ganssle

Greg graduated from the University of Maryland in 1978. He earned a Masters of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island (1990) and a PhD. in Philosophy (1995) from Syracuse University where his dissertation on God's relation to time won a Syracuse University Dissertation Award.

He has taught philosophy at Syracuse and is currently a part time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale University. Greg is also a senior fellow at the Rivendell Institute. The Rivendell Institute combines ministry to Graduate Students and Faculty with Academic Research.

Greg has spoken on over fifty campuses throughout the USA. Greg's main interests are in philosophy of religion. He also thinks about the integration of faith and the academic enterprise.

Greg has been married to Jeanie since 1985. They have three children: David, Nick, and Elizabeth.

Customer Reviews

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I can highly recommend this to anyone wanting to think about God!
Patrick S
Finally, Ganssle suggests that the method by which God would reveal himself to us, if he were to do so, would most likely be language.
pbrane
Lucidly written, easily understood, and one of the best entry level books regarding the Philosophy of Theism.
Melissa D. Wesley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Parableman on October 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Greg Ganssle has produced the most fun and readable introduction to philosophy of religion I have ever encountered. His target audience runs from high school seniors to introductory college students, and I can say that I have enjoyed teaching an introductory philosophy course using this book. He presents the issues in a clear-headed way while drawing readers in with fun examples and humor.

After arguing for the value of thinking through philosophical questions in a reasonable way, Ganssle argues for open-mindedness in the sense of not being so sure of your views that you are not open to reason, but he also dismisses the idea that we must be neutral or that we must not make exclusive truth claims. Open-mindedness does not require having no views in those ways. I especially like seeing this in a book designed for younger students unfamiliar enough with philosophy to need some kind of way of heading off the simplistic kind of relativism that many students of philosophy find themselves stumbling over.

The main body of the work considers philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God. His presentation of the cosmological argument is the clearest I have ever seen, avoiding technical terminology when it is not needed but making the concepts as clear as can be done without such terms. His treatment of the design argument focuses on the fine-tuning argument after showing why very few are today convinced of biological design arguments, a choice perhaps reflecting a desire to stay out of intelligent design controversies in the political realm but nonetheless reflecting the philosophical consensus among believing philosophers today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By pbrane on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregory Ganssle's Thinking About God: First steps in Philosophy is an excellent introduction to the philosophy of religion and, more specifically, to the question of God's existence. It's written in a simple, lucid style, and it is intelligent and substantial. The book reads as if a kind, wise uncle took his young nephew or niece along for a gentle walk in the park and tried to explain to him or her how philosophy works, which he then applies to the existence of God. It'd be suitable and beneficial for anyone who would like an introduction to philosophy.

Thinking About God is divided into four main sections:

1. Introduction. Here Ganssle introduces readers to what philosophy is and how it works. This section props up the rest of the book inasmuch as it applies its lesson in logic, critical thinking, etc. to the question of God's existence.

He makes other valuable points such as the following (p. 26):

"I agree that I cannot provide an argument for God's existence that will convince all thinking people. But what does this tell me? Does this tell me anything about God? No. Does this tell me whether or not it is reasonable to believe in God? No. This tells me a lot about the nature of proof but very little about whether God exists. I cannot provide an argument that will convince everyone, without a possibility of reasonable doubt, that God exists. That is no problem. You see, I cannot provide an argument for any interesting philosophical conclusion that will be accepted by everyone without the possibility of reasonable doubt. For exaxmple, I cannot prove beyond the possibility of doubt - in a way that will convince all philosophers - that the Rocky Mountains are really there. . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick S on August 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great introduction into what the title says: thinking about God.
If you're interested not just in philosophy but also apologetics and sharing your faith with reason, this book will be beneficial. I can also see myself giving this book to a skeptic to have a good read and think about the existence of God. This book covers the basics of "evidences" for the existence of God: the beginning of the universe, the design of the universe, the existence of morality. It also takes a look at the problem of evil and what God must be like.
What suprised me the most about this book is how Gregory Ganssle looks at these things from a balanced and "middle" point of view.

I can highly recommend this to anyone wanting to think about God!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Christoffers on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was impressed with Ganssle's plain language approach to this topic. I feel confident in saying that a "new comer" to this material will walk away more knowledgeable than before they picked up this book, and perhaps even find themselves eager to encounter more complex material. Ganssle is careful in his analysis, often reflecting on the idea that readers and/or other philosophers may disagree with him on various topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Kanz on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first heard of Greg Ganssle's Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy (2004) on Stand to Reason several months ago. When I signed up as an STR Ambassador, they sent me this book. I read it on the trip to Haiti last week.

When I was there, a young Haitian man named Ricardo asked me about the book and if I was a Christian. I told him that I was, and explained that it was a wonderful introduction to asking questions about God, origins, and the philosophy of religion. When I finished reading it, I gave the book to him. Before I left, he had read the first chapter and he said to me, "this book will encourage me to think about God and think about the world." "Yes!" I said.

That is a reasonably good summary of the book. Ganssle sets out to introduce the reader to how to ask good questions about God, origins, and other issues relevant to the philosophy or religion. He admits within the first chapter or two that he is a Christian, but works hard to look at the issues in an objective way. It is a very readable introduction and relevant to anyone interested in apologetics. He uses concrete examples to flesh out abstract concepts.

I will definitely have to buy another copy.
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