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You're Not As Crazy As I Think: Dialogue in a World of Loud Voices and Hardened Opinions Paperback – January 14, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Randal Rauser is associate professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, Canada where he teaches in the areas of theology, apologetics, worldview, and church history. Randal is the author of several books including Finding God in the Shack (Paternoster, 2009), and Theology in Search of Foundations (Oxford University Press, 2009). Randal blogs regularly at "The Christian Post" as "The Tentative Apologist". He lectures widely on theology, worldview, and apologetics. He is married to Jasper and has one daughter and two yappy dogs. You can visit him online at www.randalrauser.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Biblica Publishing (January 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606570935
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606570937
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,601,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Andrewvan on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was reluctant to purchase this book, however, my pastor, who is quite conservative, said, "this book has changed me. Now it is your turn to leave an enslaved ideology". WOW. I am glad I read this book. My faith can only grow stronger.
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Format: Paperback
I stumbled across this book because it was written by an engaging and very bright theology professor at Taylor Seminary in Edmonton. The title says it all as Rauser pleads his case (albeit from a Christian evangelical perspective) for the pursuit of truth over dogma and entrenched opinions. In a pleasantly accessible manner, he explains how everyone needs to overcome the confirmation bias (i.e. deferring to presently held beliefs and unfairly discriminating against evidence that may rebut those beliefs). His overriding theme is that those we disagree with rarely arrive at their diametrically opposed positions because they are either cognitively or morally deficient. He then embarks on the heretical (at least from the perspective of his constituent audience) exercise of examining the beliefs of liberal Christians, evolutionists, animal-rights activists and (Thor forbid) atheists in order to press his case that any of these worldviews can be reasonably defended.

Make no mistake, Rauser is a Christian apologist and wedded to a system of beliefs that some may consider delusional. But that's the rub - he's not delusional. He's smart, impassioned and, most importantly, he's a breath of fresh air in a world of loud voices and hardened opinions.
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Dr. Randal Rauser's new book, You're Not as Crazy As I Think, comes to us as the latest of a round of recent books on how Christians should conduct themselves in the pluralistic world that lies outside the four walls of their local church (e.g., see D.A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited; Os Guinness, The Case for Civility; Darryl Hart, A Secular Faith; James Davidson Hunter, To Change the World; David VanDrunen, Living in God's Two Kingdoms; and) In this book, Rauser's task is to deal with how Christians ought to think about and pursue debate with those outside their theological tradition, whether religious or secular outsiders. The light needed for guidance is, simply, a love and concern for truth. Rauser is concerned that many Christians, who should be concerned with truth, are more concerned with image protection and belief preservation over against truth. While Rauser does briefly address the New Atheists (as something of a mirror image of dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalists), the target audience is unquestionably those Rauser considers to be (broadly) within his religious tradition, evangelical Christians. Rauser's book contains many points with which to agree, and many with which to disagree. In this review, I'll simply summarize the book's contents without offering commentary.


Chapter one is titled, "Who Needs truth When You've Got Jesus?" Rauser notes that those outside evangelicalism are at least suspicious that evangelicals have not simply "abandoned the virtuous pursuit of truth for the sake of defending their own beliefs, true or not." Rather, it suspected by those at the table that evangelicals "are really more concerned with perpetuating their own sectarian ideology" (3).
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There's an unrest haunting contemporary philosophy: Christian Philosophers (swayed by Plantinga). Can big-thinking be rescued by theists? Is philosophy on the way down as Stephen Hawking claims, and, if so, what should be done about it (if anything)?

The Christian theists, and Randal Rauser in particular, have a reasonably vigorous perspective to argue. Philosophy is stimulating and beneficial, they explain, because theism is the ultimate explanation concerning countless concepts as well as applications within human experience: reason, ethics, beauty, and purpose. And in "You're Not as Crazy As I Think" professor Randal Rauser provides an interesting volume that aims to stir-up a passion for truth as the reader learns how to engage rivals in honest dialogue concerning many of life's ultimate questions.

The current task, therefore, is, as Rauser contends, to make vital concepts and models not only consequential in people's lives--to instill comprehension and passion-but to revive civility within interpersonal communication in touching the most significant topics people should discuss. In this the good professor winsomely succeeds.

Additionally the author boldly, yet judiciously, refutes the inconsistent scholarship and erratic notions of several of the New Atheists.

Men and women in our culture, and Christians specifically, must aim to behave graciously in pluralistic modernity as we learn to listen more carefully and effectively to our interlocutors. Due to the reputation of Evangelicals and the rise of the contentious New Atheists the rational atmosphere has grown more vitriolic. Randal Rauser exemplifies the Christian thinker as pleasant, but tough-minded; analytic, yet charitable.
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This book by Dr. Randal Rauser is refreshing in several ways as a reminder that we need more dialogue between opposing sides, rather than more vitriol.

In this important book Rauser comes down hard on evangelicals and atheists alike, and I agree with him quite a bit on both scores. He is mainly writing to evangelicals though. There is way too much vitriol between atheists and evangelicals, he argues. We're not as crazy as each side tends to think of the opposition. Let me highlight some of what he says.

Chapter One: Who Needs Truth When You've Got Jesus?

To evangelicals Rauser claims they are "willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of their beliefs" (p. 4). "Time and again we (evangelicals) have revealed ourselves to be more interested in defending and perpetrating our beliefs on a given issue than in discerning where the truth really lies. Often we have preferred to secure our present beliefs against challenge rather than to embrace the open risk of real dialogue." (p. 4). His goal in the book is "to challenge evangelicals, other Christians, and everybody else to develop characters of truth that are in harmony with their proclamation of truth" (p. 4). In the first part (chapters 2-6) he identifies "core assumptions and practices that tend to inhibit our pursuit of truth, as well as aid us in realizing the pursuit of truth" (p. 8). "The real person of truth," he argues, "is one who expresses a genuine willingness to listen to the other as as equal conversation partner" (p. 8). He endorses a resolution "...to engage with the other--the liberal, the Dawinist, the animal rights activist, and the atheist--as an equal partner in dialogue and so to treat each one as a person we can learn from and need to listen to" (p. 11).
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