Since we had no podcast over the weekend, I'm going to wait on moving forward with our usual look at the Bible and take the chance to highlight two books that have had a significant impact on my personal "quest for truth". Although I've enjoyed many more thought provoking books since reading these two, they are both memorable parts of my journey so far.
The first is a modern classic by Dr. Ravi Zacharias called, "Can Man Live Without God". This book deals not just with the natural consequences of not believeing in God, but also the consequences of not living in relationship to God. It has something to say in response to both Atheism and indifferent American pop-spirituality.
The book is broken into three major parts including: Antitheism Is Alive- And Deadly, What Gives Life Meaning? and Who Is Jesus (And Why Does It Matter?).
Ravi Zacharias has such an interesting perspective because he was raised in India to believe in Hinduism, yet found no concrete meaning or purpose in it and so eventually turned to the Bible.
Although his writing is not for the casual reader and will likely force an advancement in your vocabulary, this book has a wealth of insight to the popular philosophies of our culture.
You can find it cheap at: http://www.amazon.com/Can-Man-Live-Without-God/dp/0849945283/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226935870&sr=1-1
The second book I want to highlight won't require as extensive a vocabulary, but it also won't let you check your brain at the door.
"True For You, But Not For Me" by Paul Copan, looks at 24 common phrases or questions that spring out of popular culture and leave Christians speechless. A few examples inlcude: That's true for you, but not for me. Who are you to judge others? Christians are intolerant of other viewpoints. Mahatma Gandhi was a saint if ever there was one. Jesus' followers fabricated the stories and sayings of Jesus. If Jesus is really the only way, what about... and the list goes on.
This is not a book geared toward helping anyone win a debate. It's not written in a mean-spirited or competitive way. It's designed to help the reader discern truth from untruth. Each of these phrases is presented a calm and rational counter-argument, demonstrating the false assumptions that most of them are based on.
You can find it cheap at: http://www.amazon.com/True-You-But-Not-Overcoming/dp/0764220918/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226936720&sr=1-1
I see two polarizations in philosophy today. Extreme naturalism begins with the biased assumption that nothing supernatural is possible. Extreme relativism believes in all kinds of supernatural ideas, but has no regard for concrete truth. So many Christians seem to be stuck in between, afraid to use their brains too much or too little. My response is, USE your brain! It CAN'T be used too much! Be open to every possibility, but demand measurable evidence for your conclusions.
These two books are a great way for anyone to begin incorporating their God given ability to reason into their spiritual lives.