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Thoughtful Theism: Redeeming Reason in an Irrational Age Paperback – May 26, 2017
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"Fr. Younan's foray into whether God does or does not exist is both entertaining and clear. He obviously has spent a good deal of time engaging his students and their questions. Not only can he articulate their objections (if they raise them) better than they can, but he provides sound reason in response. And reason and rationality are at the heart of his presentation. Thanks for bringing Thomas Aquinas' own clarity back to the fore."
—Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing
"Thoughtful Theism is one of the best responses to the New Atheism I have ever read. Fr. Younan writes in a lively manner that will have special appeal to young adults. He examines the arguments of the New Atheists with philosophical skill and linguistic precision. He exposes many straw men, false dichotomies, and unsubstantiated assertions in authors like Dawkins and Krauss, and he makes a very strong case that the atheists, not the theists, are the ones who are really irrational. Drawing heavily upon St. Thomas Aquinas, Fr. Younan challenges theists to use sound reason in support of faith. He shows that the existence of God is not at all threatened by the Big Bang, evolution, or the existence of evil. Thoughtful Theism is a great resource for those wishing to respond to aggressive atheism in an informed and rational manner."
—Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary
"In this book, Fr. Younan carries out philosophy's Socratic vocation of helping young minds to overcome sophistry and to transform mere opinion into knowledge. In this case, the aim is the all-important goal of knowing the existence of God by the light of natural reason. Fr. Younan sets out the classic arguments for the existence of God and with scrupulous fairness examines and rebuts the objections offered by the New Atheists and their contemporary allies. He does this with wit and a conversational style that makes this challenging material readily accessible to those who are coming new to the effort. Thoughtful Theism is a solid resource for the work of dispelling from our contemporary pseudo-sophisticated culture the fog of unbelief."
—Most. Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit
"In this engaging book, Fr. Andrew Younan offers hope and encouragement to believers who may be upset, disheartened, angry or simply confused by the barrage of books and arguments coming from the New Atheists. With something like the fervor of a personal trainer, Fr. Younan presents his basic message that belief in God is reasonable. He encourages his readers to think for themselves and not be intimidated by atheists. He admits that 'thinking is hard work' and gives us a lot to think about through his pointed rebuttal of the atheists, his careful explanations of arguments for the existence of God (including those of St. Thomas Aquinas), and his lucid account of the harmony of faith and contemporary science (including Big Bang cosmology and evolutionary biology). His book is a tonic for all who would like to think more deeply about their faith in God."
—Michael J. Dodds, O.P., Professor of Philosophy & Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology
About the Author
Fr. Andrew Younan is a priest of the Chaldean Catholic Church who has translated much of the Chaldean liturgy from Aramaic into English. He teaches various courses in Philosophy, the Liberal Arts (Logic, Rhetoric, etc.), as well as Biblical Hebrew at John Paul the Great Catholic University in Escondido, California.
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I used to think philosophy-theology conversations weren't something I could be well-versed in, but this book makes it approachable and entertaining in its humor and logic which gives me lots of hope in being able to delve more into arguments of faith and reason.
With much more clarity and substance, Fr. Andrew Younan directly challenges and faces the New Atheism movement in a way that has never been done before. He addresses all the major New Atheism leaders and authors directly, honestly, and fairly. While other authors do this on some level, there is not one other title that addresses New Atheism as extensive as this book. This is evidenced by the sheer number of them he quotes and references (~20). He illustrates his expertise on the question of God and philosophy by his clear thinking on the subject, but also shows an immense amount of knowledge on the opposing posisitons and how these atheists get to their conclusions.
Additionally, this is the only book today that specifically addresses atheist authors Krauss and Dennett. No one else has dealt with them before, at least as in-depth. Both Krauss and Dennett are growing in popularity pretty fast so this book couldn't come any sooner.
Fr. Andrew's approach is fair to the question of God by not automatically concluding for the reader, but rather letting the reader see evidence/reasoning on both sides in order to reach a conclusion organically.
It's very refreshing to see someone finally address the very weak (and sometimes embarrassing) theist arguments. In a charitable yet humerous way, he reveals his frustration with the false dichatomy between "Science or God" and how a good majority of theists in America are not helping their case.
All the while, his writing style is extremely enjoyable and humerous while maintaining a sense of respect on both sides. I highly recommend this book.
This is easily the best response to the New Atheism movement I have seen. It is thorough, clear, fair, and, unlike so much of what we see in society's "dialogue," sane. It calls out bad thought both in the New Atheist movement, but also in much of the "religious" response to that movement. It removes emotion and rhetoric, and addresses the question at hand (does God exist) as purely as possible. It demonstrates how despite being knowledgeable in matters of science, so many of the New Atheists are simply not good at philosophy, some going as far as discounting philosophy as being entirely unimportant (despite trading in it, perhaps unwittingly).
The arguments presented in the book are excellent, however they may not be the best part of the book. I would argue the best feature of the book is presenting good techniques for thinking, and attempting to arrive at truth which should be the purpose of any and all thought.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in answering the question of God's existence, regardless or religion (or irreligion for that matter).
No matter where you are in your belief of God (yes, no, or undecided), this is a must read. It has changed some opinions I had. Even if it does not do that for you, your brain will come out stronger with the exercise.
Edit: I want to correct myself about Bible quotes. There is a quote of Genesis in the chapter dedicated to Evolution. Fr Younan is, of course, a catholic priest at will defend evolution and clarify how Genesis should be interpreted. Once again Thomas Aquinas is brought in with a prescient quote that God created Matter with the power to develop life (I am overly simplifying here). Aquinas intuition was bowing down to Darwin across the gulf of hundreds of years. I had goosebumps reading Aquinas' quote, for which you need Fr. Younan interpreting the very old way of writing. My respect for Aquinas has grown greatly. The man had a great mind. And thanks to Fr. Younan for bringing these topics with great clarity.
Get the book it is a delicious mind treat.