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Faith & reason: Searching for a rational faith Hardcover – 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
I debated whether to give the book 4 stars or 5. I opted for 5, but I think a certain kind of reader might not rank it that high. I found that there were parts of the book, particularly the early parts dealing with noetic structures and worldview formulation, that tend to drag a bit. But, for someone who is new to the field of apologetics and the intellectual side of the Christian faith, these chapters might well be very engaging. Since it appears that Nash's target audience was at a more beginner-type level, I have no problem with his extensive early treatment of noetic structures since it lays a good foundation for the rest of the book. That's why I did not demote my 5 star rating even though I found a fair amount of this specific material to be a bit dragging. Someone else who has been around the block a few times with these issues might not give it a 5 star rating due to the amount of time Nash devotes to this area, but I think Nash's treatment is very good and would be quite helpful for the beginner.
I found the real highlight of the book to be Nash's treatment of miracles. His critique of Hume's landmark work on the subject is outstanding, as is his examination of non-Hume objections to miracles. Also, Nash's examination of the problem of evil is also quite good, but given his Reformed theological background, I was a bit confused by his often repeated emphasis on the preservation of human free will as a central issue in the problem of evil. I happen to think this line of thinking has merit, but I'm unclear as to how it fits into a Reformed worldview.Read more ›
In his introduction, Nash says that Faith and Reason was written to introduce readers to important questions related to philosophy and religion, while at the same time attempt to answer them. Among these questions are: Is Christian faith rational? Can we answer challenges directed towards Christian faith? How do we help others to see that Christian faith is a rational faith?
Nash emphasizes the importance of approaching apologetics from the perspective of worldviews. He says that Christianity should be seen as a system, as a total world and lifeview. Of course there are reasons behind his words. "Once people understand that both Christianity and its competitors are world-views, they will be in a better position to judge the relative merits of all the systems" (p.25). He continues, "The reason why many people reject Christianity is not due to their problems with one or two isolated issues; it results rather for the simple reason that their anti-Christian conceptual scheme leads them to reject information and arguments that for believers provide support for the Christian world-view" (p. 26). That is why the first part of the book is written to discuss world-view: what is world-view, what is Christian world-view, and how to choose a world-view. It is highly recommended that reader reads the first part carefully, and if possible, several times, to avoid unnecessary confusion later.
Nash differentiates positive and negative apologetics. Closely related with this, Nash also underlines the importance of understanding the burden of proof in apologetics.Read more ›
By answering many of the questions philosophy asks, Nash shows that Christianity can not only assert itself as a reasonable worldview, but also surpass the reasonability of other belief systems. For those interested in learning how Christianity answers the great philosophical questions, this book is an excellent starting place.
Here he tackles some of the bigger questions: Existence of God, problem of evil, miracles, etc. He starts with worldview and then expandis this them.A good choice, since most have a worldview,this is conducive to many understanding where he is coming from and where he wants to take the reader in this journey of coupling the faith with philosophy.
Helpful intro with references for further study.
Another strength of the book is its superb critique of evidentialism. Nash does a great job of explaining Alvin Plantinga's reformed epistemology. The gist is that Christians have accepted the burden of proof for the existence of God when they do not need to. Think about the child who keeps asking 'why?' until you are stumped; the only way to avoid an infinite regress is to accept some beliefs as part of the foundation of your belief structure. These 'basic beliefs' necessarily do not require evidence of other beliefs. Atheists and Christians alike both have many basic beliefs. Modern philosophy was launched by Rene Descartes' project: how can you prove that the world is not the illusion of an Evil Demon (sci-fi buffs will recognize that this question was part of the plot of the movie The Matrix). The lesson of hundreds of years of philosophy is that there is no way to do it. Science is no help because the evidence we get from science is itself part of the Evil Demon's illusion. We just have to take it on faith that the world really is the way it appears. Even atheists do this, not matter how strenuously they may object when they put on their philosopher's hat.
The problem is that most Christians have already internalized evidentialism and accepted the burden of proof. They have what Nash describes as the Christian's inferiority complex. I suspect that until these Christians have successfully engaged atheists on their own turf, they will feel that rejecting evidentialism is a copout. After all, you can't win capture the flag unless you go into the other team's territory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The print in the book is so bad that i have to rest my eyes every two pages. It is worst than photocopy quality. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steven
I've been blessed with a collection of about 2000 volumes on Christian philosophy and apologetics. This work is hands down one of my top five favorite books on those subjects. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mac Howell
Love the book! Nash is so comprehensive and succinct. I will certainly purchase more of his writings.
Carmen J. Calvanese Ph.D.
The late Ronald Nash wrote on a variety of issues during his long and productive life. "Faith and Reason" is one of his writings in which he wrote on his area of... Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Doug Erlandson
College level text which is a great introduction to philosophy, logical argument and reasoning. Not the book for an average person looking for answers and reassurance of their... Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by John F Sarris
Nash is a presuppositional apologetic philosopher in the line of Gordon Clark. He loves Alvin Plantinga which is maybe our greatest Christian philosopher living today. Read morePublished on May 5, 2013 by James A Hale
Got this book for my 26 year old son who is into theology and he is thrilled with it; arrived in very good conditionPublished on December 4, 2010 by Glenn E. Sauder
Skeptics often start with the intellectual snobbery of claiming "faith and reason are seperate realms. Read morePublished on June 20, 2010 by OtherWorlds&Wisdom