From Publishers Weekly
Swinburne, British philosophy professor and the author of books on religious belief, the philosophy of mind and epistemology, explains the point of this book: to show that God conforms to specifically Christian definitions of God and that Christian doctrines and theology are true. By comparison with the author's earlier Is There a God?
this book focuses particularly on the foundational Christian doctrine that Jesus was (and is) God. Swinburne uses the Nicene Creed as a road map, but the defining paradigm is God's love, particularly how God's love for us characterizes God and necessitates Jesus. Despite the sophistication of his argument, Swinburne depends on a sympathetic audience predisposed to his conclusions. For example, not everyone will agree that we exist in a state of original sinfulness from which we can only be reconciled to God by "offering a perfect human life which might well... end in a death by execution." Although regular use of boldface words and phrases help direct readers through Swinburne's reasoning, many will find the academic language of philosophy daunting. (Nov.)
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Swinburne shreds the popular perception—fostered by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and other prominent atheists—that intelligent reasoning invariably leads to unbelief. For in this formidably argued analysis, readers see a powerful mind defending Christian faith as both rational and coherent. After first establishing the plausibility of God as creator of the world, Swinburne establishes a chain of logic justifying acceptance of Jesus as the divine incarnation of that God. As links in that chain, scriptural accounts of the miracles performed by Jesus fit within a consistent reading of the historical record. Swinburne argues with particular forcefulness for the reality of Jesus’ physical Resurrection, carefully scrutinizing—and rejecting—the major skeptical theories for explaining the empty tomb. Focusing on doctrines generally shared by Christians, Swinburne declines to settle divisive questions of ecclesiastical authority and scriptural interpretation. Tough-minded materialists may find Swinburne unconvincing, and average churchgoers may not wish to parse the fine points of hypostasis and Monophysites. But this book will attract theologically serious Christians and intellectually honest doubters. --Bryce Christensen
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