Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics


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Bayes' Theorem shows that rationally believing in a highly improbable event doesn't require an enormous amount of evidence; it only requires that evidence be more probable given that event did occur than given that it didn't. If God created universe, it wouldn't be difficult for Him to perform miracles. Once you understand who God is, "problem" of miracles ceases to be problem.

Historical congruence fits known historical facts concerning context 2. Independent, early attestation event appears in multiple independent sources near time that event allegedly occurred 3. Embarrassment event is awkward or counter-productive for sources of info of event 4. Semitisms narrative contains traces of Aramaic or Hebraic linguistic forms 6. Coherence event is consistent with established facts about Jesus Jesus thought of Himself as Messiah, exclusive Son of God Matt ; Mark ; , 27; ; Luke ; ; John Jesus' calling Himself "Son of Man" is reference to Dan Jesus used oblique name "Son of Man" to prevent prematurely transparent revelation of His superhuman, messianic dignity.

Jesus' saying, "God has said to those of old, but I say to you," and "Truly, I say to you," or "Amen, I say to you," shows that He viewed His authority as above prophets', and equal to God's. Jesus' claims to forgive sins shows that He considered Himself God. Gospels could not have been corrupted without a great outcry from orthodox Christians.

No one could have corrupted all manuscripts. There's no time when falsification could have occurred, because church fathers began citing them from time they were written. There are no ancient manuscripts that tell of Jesus' life without miracles. A conspiracy to fake resurrection would have been of epic proportions, and would have been exposed by enemies of disciples. Gospels were written so close to events they record that they would have been easily falsified. Evidence that God raised Jesus from dead 1.

Tomb was found empty by group of Jesus' women followers on 1st day of week after crucifixion. If story was a legend, it would most likely say men were first to tomb. Various groups, in various places, on various occasions, under various circumstances, experienced physical, bodily appearances of Jesus alive. Paul's list of eyewitnesses to Jesus' appearances 1 Cor 15 guarantees they occurred. Most of those witnesses were still available for questioning. Jews believed their resurrections would occur after end of history, not in history see John Mark's resurrection story is simple, not legendary; it's not embellished by theological or apologetic motifs.

Those beliefs weren't invented later. Pagan myths of dying and rising gods were different than story of Jesus' death and resurrection. Pagan gods were linked to seasonal changes; Jesus' resurrection was a one-time event.

Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig

Conclusion: The Ultimate Apologetic "More often than not, it is who you are, rather than what you say, that will bring an unbeliever to Christ. This, then, is the ultimate apologetic. For the ultimate apologetic is your life. If you can only afford one apologetics book get this one. Craig is a brilliant man and has a great passion for the Lord. This is not an academic text but is a bit advanced for those that have never read apologetics or philosophy.

All the major arguments are presented briefly but fully. Highly recommended! Aug 30, Brock Pattison rated it really liked it Shelves: read-non-fiction-spiritual. This book kicked my butt. It is a complicated read, but I was still able to pick up some great nuggets. I recommend to anyone wanting to be challenged by Christian apologetics.

Just be warned that most of this stuff is way over the typical layman's head Dec 12, Brian rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy-apologetics , christianity. Craig is a top-notch philosopher and I like his concise and coherent style. I've read the second ed. Apr 22, Jeremy rated it really liked it. There is nothing unreasonable about faith. Not that there isn't the usual black-and-white dogmatism here. But Craig isn't a laymen or a lazy or dishonest scholar building up straw men. He delves full-bore into modern theoretical physics and cosmology, grapples with tough philosophical ob There is nothing unreasonable about faith.

His aim is to show that contrary to the claims of atheists, science, philosophy and biblical scholarship strengthen the case for Christianity. Of all the arguments, the cosmological one probably packs the biggest punch to atheism. The Big Bang model of the universe, a theory ironically derided by creationists as an offshoot of atheism, serves as Craig's starting point. Essentially, Craig argues that from nothing, nothing comes. The cosmological argument relies heavily on the widely accepted Standard Big Bang Model, which shows the universe is not eternal in the past and that matter, energy, space and time apparently came into being.


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There are theories about how the universe could be a part of a multiverse. Physicists can argue that the universe may not have started with the Big Bang, but when they advance multi-verse solution, they still face the ontological problem of applying infinity to the universe. Though I find it telling that Craig has no problem describing matter at the singularity as infinite. Craig surveys other theories that fail to escape the beginning. The problem for those without a background in cosmology arises especially when they encounter relatively brief discussions of long, exhaustive theorems.

Craig defines God as timeless without creation and in time subsequent to creation. Craig advances other arguments for God: the teleological argument, mainly in the form of cosmic fine tuning, and the moral argument, which contends that objective morality proves God's existence. The second is easy to dismiss. Craig takes it for granted that there is no good evidence that morality exists as something beyond the human realm. The cosmic fine-tuning argument is not so easily dismissed. Craig also ruminates about the absurdity of life without God.

Putting it this way is problematic since Craig loathes arguments or terms that beg the question. To do this, you must approximate subjective experience, en exercise in futility. If the evidence for atheism and theism is equal, the rational decision would be to choose theism. But if an atheist does not feel the way Craig does, then this question is unpersuasive.

This is all well and good until Craig attempts to make the case specifically for Christian theism, because as he moves his case toward Jesus, his structure begins to look a little topsy-turvy. And Craig relies heavily on the Bible as an accurate historical document and the Holy Spirit to bridge the distance between deism and Christian theism. Some thinkers, like Aquinas, worried that an obsession with reason would undermine faith — a mentality that has a strong tradition in Christianity that continues to the present.

But without reason, a person of one faith has no better reason to think his spiritual experience is truer than other experiences. Craig is at turns scholarly and preachy. Lewis possessed. But where he lacks there he makes up for in disciplined argument. There are times when Craig is snooty at his detractors for their seeming irrationality but then he tries to straddle the evidentialist and non-evidentialist divide by appealing to subjective experience and assuming free will — a topic that will probably never be resolved in the fields of philosophy and science.

If in fact the brain can be stimulated to simulate a religious experience, then there is good reason to think religious experience is a byproduct of the brain. It seems to me that there does come to a point where one does have to take that Kierkegaardian leap of faith from belief in a God s to the claims of the Gospels. Jul 14, George Brahm rated it really liked it. Heavy material took me over a month to read , but an excellent resource. The conclusion was the best I've read in any apologetics book. This book is a textbook treatment on the subject of Christian apologetics.

It is used as a textbook on the subject. And it shows. Craig notes in his introduction that this has become his signature book, so that's another reason to pick this up if you're looking for a touchstone or standard in the field. Craig approaches his subject with an extraordinarily far-ranging and far-reaching grasp of his materials. These are primarily Christian apologetics, theology, and philosophy, of This book is a textbook treatment on the subject of Christian apologetics. These are primarily Christian apologetics, theology, and philosophy, of course, but he also draws from his knowledge of history, cosmology, theology, ethics, logic, argumentation, and science.

The result is a monumental work that is not for the casual reader but for the serious student of Christian apologetics. Craig hits his topics head-on, without stopping to explain much, so you have to hang on for the ride sometimes. I do, so that helped some. Still, I learned about a wide range of new authors and topics and terms, including kerygmatic, noetic structure, veridical, concertina-like, otiose, revivification--I'll stop there.

Be warned: Dr. Craig's approach to his topics is nearly overwhelming in its detail and breadth and depth.

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

He literally seems to leave no stone unturned. The index is very thorough and the recommended readings list he provides at the end of every chapter are among the most exhaustive I have ever seen. This cuts both ways: it's enjoyable to a point and then a bit exhausting beyond that if you stay in the book too long.

I found my best experience with this book was when I read a bit--say, a few pages or even a good chunk of a chapter--then set the book down for some days or even weeks to rest from it, then come back to it. Overall, I had just two real nitpicks with the book. First, the chapter on knowing Christianity is true rests too much for me on the individual's subjective experience.

In future editions, I'd trim that text to its minimum and re-think its presentation. Second, the lengthy section near the end on the resurrection of Jesus and laboriously going through McCullagh's seven criteria for justifying historical hypotheses. This was a real slog, and during reading it felt a bit like I was lost down the rabbit hole of argument and debate.

Set those aside, though, because I can't give this book less than 5 stars. Rarely do I use the word "monumental," but it applies here; what Dr. Craig has compiled in Reasonable Faith will likely serve theologians and philosophers and interested laymen and students for decades to come. This book is that good.

Moreland calls Dr. Craig "the finest Christian apologist of the last half century" and also states that Craig is "among the top one percent of practicing philosophers in the Western world. Nov 07, L. Getty rated it it was amazing. I'm going start by saying I've been following the author's website and listened to him debate and read a lot of his material for probably close to ten years as of this review - so this is very much a book that preaches to the choir.

The principle issue I would imagine with a text like this is that it does reach out to a certain type of individual, and the author is honest about it in the introduction that one does not need to reach the truth of Christianity by means logical and rational - that c I'm going start by saying I've been following the author's website and listened to him debate and read a lot of his material for probably close to ten years as of this review - so this is very much a book that preaches to the choir.

The principle issue I would imagine with a text like this is that it does reach out to a certain type of individual, and the author is honest about it in the introduction that one does not need to reach the truth of Christianity by means logical and rational - that certain people find the questions interesting and, that this book acts as a response to people who say that there are no good reasons to believe in the Christian faith, that all religions are the same, etc. It doesn't really talk in depth about the human condition and our revulsion to the idea that we are somehow inherently flawed - if I were to offer a criticism, it's that Craig has to assert that we are fundamentally flawed and our sinful nature would inherently reject the gospel.

Reasonable Faith: Christian truth and Apologetics (William Lane Craig)

There is relatively little discussion on this subject and it's only really touched upon in the introduction. I don't agree with Craig on everything but he's excellent at boiling away all the fluff and getting to the essence of a given argument. Too often when I'm trying to have an intellectual conversation with people, they hide behind emotional arguments or act inconsistent in their logic, and Craig's other books break down the common arguments for and against the Christian Religion.

Studying apologetics I don't think has helped me win over anyone - but it has helped me understand the nature of my own beliefs better, and also helped me be a better listener as I try to discern what other people are saying - and I'd point you to other resources if the nature of the problem is more personal or emotion rather than an intellectual problem. That is to say, through studying a lot of the free online material, I'm able to cut through the filler and better understand what people mean as opposed to what they say, as Craig offers common objections and historical references to scholars who struggled with the same questions we still face today.

This book is a resource for someone who wants to learn and be honest about their convictions on an intellectual level - for a lot of people, they don't want to know the history behind something or defend a properly basic belief. I think if you're curious, to check out his website, or if all you want is to learn the apologetics, that En Guarde is your better title. But if you want to think about the how and the why and you want to read a chapter and spend most of the rest of the day trying to digest what you read, this is a good resource for someone above a layperson in terms of philosophy.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Craig makes a solid case for the existence of the Christian God. Craig seems to be very knowledgeable about all the topics he discusses. I found this book to be intellectually satisfying. That said, it is not necessarily easy reading. Apologetics remains an important study for our day. Craig acknowledges that many people do not need apologetic arguments to come to Christ. However, it is important to answer questions when they come up. Craig believes that the wi I really enjoyed reading this book.

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Craig believes that the witness of the Holy Spirit is more important than any argument to the believer Rom. In a modernist society, we need to have a defense for our faith rooted in reason and fact. We should learn apologetics to show that blind faith is not required for accepting Christianity. Craig thoroughly explains many arguments for the existence of a personal God: cosmological from both a scientific and philosophical position , teleological, moral, and ontological. The discussion of the cosmological argument is the longest. This argument has the premises that whatever begins to exist has a cause and that the universe began to exist.

Craig is right in accepting the premise that the universe began to exist; before the Big Bang there was nothing, not even space or time. Furthermore, the cause of the universe must be an abstract entity, which is timeless and immaterial. The only abstract entity that can cause things is a personal mind something that is personal has thoughts and volitions.

The Gnostic, later Gospel of Peter embellishes the resurrection story, where Jesus is a giant and is followed by talking cross. An edited account would not keep embarrassing details, such as the discovery of the empty tomb by women. You should read it. This book is split into four sections. The first addresses the question of whether there is evidence for the existence of God.

This section was very well researched, which was good and bad. It was interesting to hear about some of the ways that physics has tried to get around the idea of a beginning or uncaused cause.

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Books on Kalam Cosmological Argument)

I hope Mr. Craig will forgive me, but my conclusion aft This book is split into four sections. Craig will forgive me, but my conclusion after reading this was that it takes roughly an equal amount of "faith" to believe in a Creator God as it does to believe that there must be some other explanation even if we don't know what it is yet.

I finally picked it up again for the shortest section on the Problem of Historical Knowledge. Basically, can we really even claim to know what happened in the past? The section has a very philosophical flavor. I find most of the postmodern views on this topic to be weak so I was easy to convince here. The third section was on the problem of miracles. I had generally assumed that those who believed in God would have little trouble believing in miracles, so I really enjoyed the history in this section as it related to the evolution of thought among Biblical Scholars. He mentioned the use of Bayes' Theorem to deal with the problem of miracles.

I guess I understood why thee theory might be helpful in thinking about the problem conceptually, but the inability to assign probabilities made the whole exercise seem silly. The last section was the strongest; on Christ. He makes a compelling case for a belief that Jesus thought of himself as the Messiah and something more than just another prophet, that by the standards of historical analysis we can be quite confident that he was killed, buried, and that his tomb was found empty.

Third, he shares some thoughts and personal experiences on applying this material in evangelism. Finally, he provides bibliographical information on the literature cited or recommended for future reading. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article does not cite any sources.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Craig is at his best in his presentation of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which argues the existence of God from the beginning of the Universe. Craig explores how space, time, and the cosmos point to the existence of God. Craig is equally powerful in his presentation of the historical evidence for the Resurrection.

After presenting a thorough and compelling case for the Resurrection, Craig leaves the skeptic to only a few alternative options — and these, of course, are admittedly absurd options. First, he does the scholarly work. Second, he majors on the major issues. He argues and elaborates on the centralities, never getting sidetracked on nonessential issues.

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

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