Considering Origin, Morality, Religion, Faith, Etc
A list of the books I'm currently exploring regarding these topics.
My first clear memories of attending church are from around age 8 or 9. I can recall sitting with my mother in the sanctuary of a non-denominational Christian church, hearing music and watching a pastor teach. I continued going to this church and getting more and more involved there through age 17. The only reason I stopped going to this church is that I began working at a different church helping with the music.
I’ve been in church nearly all my life. As such, I’ve spent much of my time around other church people. People who share the same foundational beliefs on theism, generally. I’m immensely grateful for the relationships I’ve developed through my church community over the years. I’ve seen many wonderful, beautiful, positive things come about through this body of Christians.
But if I honestly look at my “faith journey” thus far, I haven’t challenged it too much. I’ve continued on, trusting the judgment of leaders I assumed are smarter, wiser, and more educated and informed than I. It’s not that I haven’t been encouraged to challenge it. I think I’ve just been too lazy to do so, really.
I’ve had a list of growing questions regarding the Christian belief system, but I haven’t pursued answers. I haven’t been too worried about it, honestly. I genuinely believe I’ve felt God’s presence and been relating to him as his creation and child these years. So I’m not, in essence, doubting the beliefs as a whole. But I do feel it’s time I gather, more or less for myself, a clear path of reason for my beliefs.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.1 Peter 3:15 (partial)
And if along the way I find reasonable arguments to persuade my beliefs — well, I look forward to genuinely and earnestly considering them!
What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.Christopher Hitchens
Topical Reading List for 2020
Some of these books I expect and hope to challenge or defend Christianity, while others I’m just selecting so I can spend time with ideas I wouldn’t otherwise encounter right now. If you have any books, articles, essays, debates, etc that you’d suggest I add to my list, let me know!
- Believers: Faith in Human Nature, Melvin Konner
- Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Daniel Dennett
- Can Science Explain Everything?, John Lennox
- Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, J. Warner Wallace
- Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion, Rebecca McLaughlin
- Free Will, Sam Harris (this is more of an essay than a book)
- God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?, John Lennox
- How Reason Can Lead to God: A Philosopher’s Bridge to Faith, Joshua Rasmussen
- Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God, Paul Copan
- Knowledge and Christian Belief, Alvin Plantinga
- Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris (similar to Free Will, this is more of an essay)
- The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Sam Harris
- Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide, Richard Dawkins
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Timothy Keller
- Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology, J.P. Moreland
- Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case, Frank Turek
Photo credit: Alex Block via Unsplash
Published on January 19, 2020