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139 of 159 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind Food, April 9, 2002
This review is from: Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Paperback)
This book is good, solid mind food. People perceive, and it is sad to say that they perceive with good reason, that Christianity is mere mind-fluff, and that what is holding back Christianity is the Christians.
This book is a discussion of what is behind Christianity, and provides a philosophical framework in which to defend Christianity. It is written at the college level, since it is intended to be an apologetics resource for college students. I marvel at the way that Dr. Craig brought together so many ideas from so many resources in this book. It found that I used almost every facet of my undergraduate education in understanding the ideas and evidences he used. Most helpful was my survey of philosophy and my hard science classes.
This book is divided along six headings: Faith, Man, God, Creation, Sacred Scripture, and Christ. Each chapter is in turn divided along several sub-headings: the Historical Background of the question, an Assessment of the question as it currently stands, and a Practical Application, where Dr. Craig discusses how "the rubber meets the road" is discussing this issue with those curious about Christianity.
This is not a bash book, nor is it a survey on "how to hate," but rather it is geared to a thoughtful and ponderous evaluation of many evidences of the truthfulness of Christianity. For example, in Chapter 2, Craig discusses the existential absurdity of life without God. He raises the question of where we get absolute values, and how life becomes meaningful if we are merely a cosmic accident or a galactic hiccup. This is the one question that the atheist, or "atheist-arguing-agnosticism" cannot answer: if there are no moral absolutes, then why not torture babies for sheer pleasure. After all, it has been done before.
Then in Chapter 3, Dr. Craig discusses the existence of God as evidenced by the Big Bang. The chapter isn't physic-heavy (It doesn't even have one equation), but it does discuss the implications of having an absolute time for creation. Craig relies heavily on the "Kalam" argument by Al-Ghazali, which, simply put, is: "Everything that began had a cause. The Universe began. Therefore it had a cause." Then the question becomes a discussion of who or what is the causal agent in the universe.
The prose is quite clear, so there is no pedantry or confusion with what you read. I found that this book was quite a pleasure to read, and it made me take several longer looks at my faith. The concluding chapter is a gem. Dr. Craig states that the ultimate apologetic is Christian love. Against such love, there is no argument.
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Showing 1-10 of 246 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 13, 2007 8:11:21 AM PST
Jay C says:
"This is not a bash book, nor is it a survey on how to hate" What on earth does that mean?? Are there books on how to hate?
1001 ways on how to hate??

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2008 6:13:04 AM PDT
I noticed that line as well! What a bizarre comment...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2008 11:34:19 AM PDT
D says:
Have you read anything that Hitchens or Dawson have written regarding the bane that they believe religion to be in the world, even the cause of hatred.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2009 3:31:45 PM PST
I think he may mean that it is not mean-spirited or overly hostile to contrary opinions.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 7:38:57 AM PST
DAG says:
quote: "...This is the one question that the atheist, or 'atheist-arguing-agnosticism' cannot answer: if there are no moral absolutes, then why not torture babies for sheer pleasure..."

There are many questions that cannot be answered, but this is not one of them. For example, read "Sense & Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism" by Richard Carrier.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 7:51:21 AM PST
DAG says:
The Kalam argument is a poor one.

Besides muddling the concept of "existence" and "universe", it requires an explanation as to why the universe requires an un-caused cause but gods do not.

Also, people that still use Kalam's argument are unaware of 21st century science. Classical mechanics is no longer our best understanding of the universe. If theologians were on their game they'd take advantage of that fact ~ because modern physics can indeed help their argument. Oh wait, that would require reading those nasty books with equations and diagrams. Ewe.

Posted on Jan 11, 2010 9:22:16 AM PST
Slim934 says:
It is also worth noting that there ARE methods by which it can be known what values are effectively good and evil.

The libertarian ethics literature of any worth (Mises' "Human Action", Rothbard's "Ethics of Liberty", Hoppe's "Theory of Socialism and Capitalism") actually all start from the simple presupposition of man simply existing. They do not in any way require starting from some theological framework, but simply from taking irrefutable facts given man's own nature and the world around him, and they derive how he must act in order to survive and prosper in the world. Values which enrich human life are good, those which do not or are destructive to man are bad.

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 1:26:44 AM PST
Kendall: "He raises the question of where we get absolute values, and how life becomes meaningful if we are merely a cosmic accident or a galactic hiccup. This is the one question that the atheist, or "atheist-arguing-agnosticism" cannot answer: if there are no moral absolutes, then why not torture babies for sheer pleasure."

Calvin: This makes me want to vomit; how bigoted. I'm ordering this book anyway, but only because I'm guessing the author is more enlightened than you are. But your beliefs make me want to puke, and it makes me question how religious people are able to be moral themselves. If they thought their god commanded them to kill children I'll bet they'd be lining up around the block even though THEY KNEW it was wrong. Read "The Binding of Isaac" for a good biblical example of this. If you think God would not approve of this, think again:

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all - old and young, girls and women and little children." (Ezekiel 9:5)

"Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil -- that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 12:04:08 PM PDT
Mark Paul says:
You should try going to Dr. Craig's website at reasonablefaith.com where he deals with superficial criticisms of the kalam argument. He even demonstrates a robust understanding of modern physics...even adds a few tables here and there! If you're interested....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 12:37:49 PM PDT
To bad his website requires I set up an account to even look at articles, otherwise I might be interested.

I have a lot of Christian friends, and many of them are quite reasonable. Others are reasonable in some areas, but get oddly unreasonable when it comes to talking snakes and the earth being 6,000 years old. None of this has any affect on the truth of falseness of Christianity, though. Christianity fails to pass the test of reason because it makes unsubstantiated grandiose claims.

"In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis-saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact-he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof."

- Marcello Truzzi, On Pseudo-Skepticism, Zetetic Scholar, 12/13, pp3-4, 1987

Believing the founder of your religion rose from the dead is a pretty extraordinary claim that requires pretty extraordinary proof. Making the claim that your founder is actually divine requires even more.
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