Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Recommending books on apologetics

A contact (let's call him 'TP') on Googletalk just asked me to recommend some books on apologetics. The following is how the conversation went (with edition):
TP: Will you recommend me few books.

Me: Books on which topic?

TP: On proving that God exists. Reason is that I believe in God and I have many friends who are atheists. We usually don't talk about God. When we do, I don't have any proof that God exists.

Me: Oh I see. Okay... but strictly speaking, we cannot prove God exists like how we prove there are oranges.

TP: Okay...

Me: There are books that attempt to show that the belief in God's existence is rational and reasonable. But that does not amount to proving definitely that God exists. Showing our belief that God exists as rational and proving God's existence with 100% certainty are two different things altogether.

TP: That simply shows that theists are believing in a non-existing thing, and that is irrational.

Me: No. That depends on what do you mean when you say something, or someone like God, exists.

TP: Okay...

Me: For example, can you prove that those people around you really exist and not merely products of your imagination?

TP: I cannot.

Me: When we dream, we certainly think that those people in our dream really exist, but in reality they only exist in our head.

TP: That's true...

Me: Yes, therefore apologetics is not to prove with 100% certainty that God exists. The purpose of apologetics is to show that the belief in God's existence is rational and reasonable EVEN THOUGH we don't have 100% certainty. In a sense, in the same way, though we don't have 100% certainty that other people exist beyond our imagination, yet we can demonstrate that our perception of their existence is rational.
Then I emailed a list of books to him. These are the best available books on apologetics to my discernment. I'm sharing the list here so that those who are interested may know too:

General apologetics:
1) God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible, edited by Chad Meister and William Lane Craig.
2) A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life's Hardest Questions, edited by Dallas Willard.
3) The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller.
4) Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, by William Lane Craig.
5) Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses on Christian Apologetics, edited by Paul Copan and William Lane Craig.

Lee Strobel's four books:
1) Case for Christ.
2) Case for Faith.
3) Case for Creator.
4) Case for the Real Jesus.

Advanced philosophical works on God's existence:
1) God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God, by Alvin Plantinga.
2) Faith And Rationality: Reason and Belief in God, edited by Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff.
3) God, Reason and Theistic Proofs, by Stephen T. Davis.
4) The Evidence for God: Religious Knowledge Reexamined, by Paul K. Moser.

5 comments:

pearlie said...

A great list! I have a small collection of apologetics related books - I have only about 4 titles out of the list. I was very much into reading this genre of books some years back but not lately.

Anyway, one off-the-cuff question, I love that "Christian Apologetics" font -- you got it as a jpeg or do you have the font? If so, which font is it?

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Pearlie,

We have much in common :)

The font is called 'Bleeding Cowboys'. Yes, serious! I got it from picnik.com.

pearlie said...

Thanks! I am very happy - simple things like this do make my day sometimes :)

picnik.com? It's a photo site? Anyway, I found Bleeding Cowboys in dafont.com - where I go search for free fonts. My friends used to call me a font queen =)

pearlie said...

Check out the person who created the font: http://www.dafont.com/gyom-seguin.d1198

There's more and they all look great.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi pearlie,

Many thanks to your reference site.

Picnik is where one can edit pics or photos for free.