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Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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“This life-giving, faith-filled and hard-nosed collection reveals why, as St. Anselm wrote, true faith always seeks to understand.” (Rev. James Martin, SJ, author of My Life With the Saints)
“Because I teach in the area of faith and reason I have a shelf full of anthologies, and I have to say that this is the most varied and interesting of them all.” (Nancy Murphy, co-author of Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? and Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary)
“As I read through the chapters, I felt I was at a banquet table with old friends. What a feast Francis Collins has served!” (Philip Yancy, author of What's So Amazing About Grace)
A wonderful expose on the different arguments for religious and spiritual beliefs. These readings are critical for our understanding of religion and will be essential for fostering greater dialogue about the nature of religion in the future. An important read for anyone interested in the study of religion and spirituality. (Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of Why God Won't Go Away)
“Francis S. Collins—a foremost geneticist and author of the bestselling The Language of God—has compiled a rich array of readings in his new book.” (America Magazine)
“Any seeking clarity on the debate between reason and faith will find this an engrossing collection.” (The Bookwatch)
From the Back Cover
"Is there a God?" is the most central and profound question that humans ask. With the New Atheists gaining a loud voice in today's world, it is time to revisit the long-standing intellectual tradition on the side of faith. Francis Collins, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of God and renowned physician and geneticist, defends the reason for faith in this provocative collection. Collins is our guide as he takes us through the writings of many of the world's greatest thinkers -- philosophers, preachers, poets, scientists -- both past and present, including such luminaries as C. S. Lewis and Augustine, and unexpected voices such as John Locke and Dorothy Sayers. Despite the doubts of a cynical world, this essential companion proves once and for all the rationality of faith.
"In the twenty-first century, many seem to have concluded that the spiritual experience and the life of the mind ought to occupy separate domains, and that disruptions, conflicts, and disenchantments will result if the firewall comes down. Surely humanity's ongoing search for truth is not enriched by such limitations. In the words of Socrates, the key to a fully mature and richly rewarding life, both for us as individuals and as a society, is to ‘follow the argument wherever it leads,' unafraid of the consequences. If this collection of essays provides even a small encouragement in this direction for the seeker, the believer, or the skeptic, that will be gratifying indeed." -- from the Introduction
Top Customer Reviews
Belief is a collection of writings from thoughtful men and women throughout the ages (beginning with Plato) who, using their reason, explain the basis for their faith-based belief system. While specifics change, there is a fundamental acknowledgement that all belief (whether in a God or not, and whether in a personally-involved God or not) is a matter of faith; indeed, we must all base our beliefs, in God or not, on faith since we cannot "test outside the box" of the universe, being contained completely within it.
Belief does a credible job dealing with the great question of the First Cause and with mankind's need for a moral fulcrum. The former is a mystery of mysteries, and the latter is surprisingly similar in all belief systems. Indeed, without the latter, we will end up with either one end of extremism (totalitarian Fascism) or the other (totalitarian Communism) - both of which are remarkable similar in effect and both of which are unacceptable.
Ultimately, this collection of writings demonstrates that one can be both a believer in God and also intellectually intact - these two options are not mutually exclusive, despite the false dicotomy often presented by others with a variety of agendas.Read more ›
Essays; Non-fiction; Inspirational
Summary: An anthology exploring faith and visiting the works of many brillaint thinkers including those expected as CS Lewis and St. Augustine as well as the unexpected like Dorothy Sayers.
Thoughts: The book is divided in to different sections with essays relating to a particular theme are grouped together. Originally I was just going to share my favorites but since I loved almost all of them, I decided to go through each and highlight particular thoughts. The first is a selection from NT Wright introducing thoughts on justice and spirituality. I enjoyed it a lot.
The second section is classic essays about faith from such philosophers as Plato, Augustine, and Pascal. I had a lot of trouble reading these because the style is so different from what I'm used to. The nice thing about this book though is that you can skip around and just read however much you want. I struggled through these difficult sections though and I think I learned a lot.
The third section is called "The Meaning of Truth" and this was a very good section, probably my second favorite. OS Guinness has a beautiful selection from his book Time for Truth which has jumped on to my to-read list. Madeleine L'Engle takes a personal approach to truth, sharing many examples from her own life. And Dorothy L Sayers (probably best known for her Lord Peter mysteries) wrote an entertaining essay including a "review" of the book of John and ending with a poem on truth.Read more ›
This book Belief offers a broad spectrum of essential writings for all to ponder and draw their own conclusions based on "a long history of intellectual arguments supporting a rational basis for faith," rather than the current secular media and political agenda. The book Belief should be required reading in order to receive a high school diploma in the US to help prevent cultural and college brainwashing! Historically, curious intellectual thinking people of faith have prospered and advanced, whereas the secular entertainment oriented perspective has always led to the end of that society and is a detriment to civilization. This book is must reading for all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Our class picks a chapter for our discussion each week.Published 3 months ago by Patricia L. Zavadil
It was a gift for a Pastor. He didn't agree with or appreciate all contributor in book.Published 15 months ago by Barbara A. Hefta
I am a fan of francis collins books and worldview perspective. He collected together pieces of work from many intelligent intellectual people with great rational reasons for belief... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Callie
I'm really enjoying the different perspectives from a wide array of authors spanning centuries. Very much worth the read.Published 22 months ago by Big Horn Dave
Dr. Collins has compiled the thoughts of some of the greatest minds of all times to make a case, through intellectual reason, what I believe by faith, that God does and has always... Read morePublished on August 26, 2014 by Russ Smith
While a must admit that I have not studied in depth all the authors who have contributed to the book, I know that it is an excellent source of information to help me to defend my... Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 by frankp
A tremendous amount of meaty material here to ponder. A nice sampling of a broad swath of literature regarding the existence of God.Published on February 3, 2014 by KS Doc
Collins' selections examine not only the rationale for and defense of belief in God, they disassemble the simplistic fallacies that are the very foundation of atheism and... Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by jerrybrn