I have a challenge for Christians. It’s a challenge few will take up… even though many expert Christian apologists have done it without a loss of faith. Other Christian thinkers… end up rejecting [their] former faith.
Do this. I’ll call this the Debunking Christianity challenge… Read up on all of the top Christian apologetics books and then [decide] in fairness to read all of the top skeptical books…
What are you afraid of? If your faith can withstand our arguments then you will be a better informed Christian with a much stronger faith. If your faith cannot withstand our arguments then your faith wasn’t worth having in the first place. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE!
But my original challenge is pretty difficult. Many of the books can’t be understood without the equivalent of a Ph.D. in philosophy! So, we need a version of the challenge that is much easier to swallow.
And here it is, my Ultimate Truth-Seeker Challenge (Easy Version):
- Bart Ehrman – Jesus, Interrupted (304 pages). A leading Biblical scholar explains the basic facts of Biblical scholarship, and why they undermine conservative Christian views.
- C. Stephan Layman – Letters to Doubting Thomas (240 pages). Presented as a series of letters between a Christian and an atheist, this book presents a case for God not based on the usual arguments but on why God is the ‘best explanation’ for the way things are. A careful and respectable case for God’s existence.
- Guy P. Harrison – 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God (354 pages). Each brief chapter explains one of the 50 most common reasons people give for believing in a god, and summarizes why skeptics are not persuaded by that reason.
- Paul Copan & others – Contending with Christianity’s Critics (304 pages). Eighteen major apologists respond to the New Atheists and other contemporary critics of Christianity.
- John Loftus & others – The Christian Delusion (385 pages). Michael Martin writes: “Using sociological, biblical, scientific, historical, philosophical, theological and ethical criticisms, this book completely destroys Christianity.”
- William Lane Craig – Reasonable Faith (416 pages). A leading Christian philosopher’s defense of theism and Christian doctrine, with all the standard philosophical and historical arguments.
- Richard Swinburne – Is There a God? (144 pages). Many philosophers think Richard Swinburne has given the best evidential case for God ever conceived. This slim and attractive book is Swinburne’s own attempt to make his arguments accessible to the layman.
- Richard Carrier – Sense and Goodness Without God (444 pages). A comprehensive case not just for atheism but for a full, enriching, purposeful, and moral naturalistic worldview.
That gives us 1,487 pages of skeptical literature and 1,104 pages of apologetic literature.
If you want to embark on either version of the Ultimate Truth-Seeker Challenge, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list! It would also be nice if you comment every so often with a status update.
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