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Faith & reason: Searching for a rational faith Hardcover – 1988

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Ronald H. Nash is professor of philosophy and theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is the author or editor of many books, including Faith and Reason and Is Jesus the Only Savior --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Christians should not have an inferiority complex regarding the academic or intellectual integrity of their faith and should understand that Christian faith is also a rational faith. Faith and Reason has two major purposes. First, it is designed to introduce readers to the more important questions that link philosophy and religion. It explores philosophical questions. It is also written for pastors, Christian workers, and educated laypeople who want to know how to defend the Christian faith. The book includes discussion questions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Academie Books; First Edition edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310294002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310294009
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F Foster on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ron Nash wrote this wide ranging book back in the '80s, but much of its material is applicable and helpful for the reader today.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Rationality does not necessarily need proof. Weird it may sound. But this is one of important things discussed in the book Faith and Reason. Our belief in God is rational, even if we do not have any arguments to prove it.

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.
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Format: Paperback
In this book, Ronald Nash presents his Christian apologetic and worldview. Starting with his definition of a worldview and how a person should go about choosing one, Nash discusses everything from evidentialism to the miraculous, from the various theistic arguments to the problem of evil. The book is well-written and enjoyable to read from beginning to end.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Nash is a prominent Christian thinker and apologist. He is very lucid in his presentation and arguments and does a good job documenting the various views taken on the rationality of various religious beliefs.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many strengths to this book. The first and most important is that it is short and sophisticated while sticking to jargon-free, plain English.

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.
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