Religion And The Critical Mind

Author: Anton K. Jacobs
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739147765
Size: 62.75 MB
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Religion and the Critical Mind provides an overview of the Western heritage of the criticism of religion. Anton Jacobs surveys criticisms from within and without religion from the time of the Hebrew prophets and classical Greek thinkers until the Enlightenment and shows how developments during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the scientific revolution laid foundations for later, modern critiques. While sympathetic to religion, Jacobs listens carefully to its best critics and dedicates a chapter to each of the modern critics of religion: Voltaire, Marx, Nietzsche, Durkheim, Freud, and Russell. He supplies context for their criticism and gauges their impact on religion. While effectively arguing that there are only three real stances a modern person can take on religion and offering an apologia for all religions, Jacobs makes a persuasive case in favor of religious participation.

The Christian Skeptic

Author: Jody Seymour
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1625649851
Size: 42.31 MB
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The Christian Skeptic was written for those who are not sure if they can still call themselves Christian because they are no longer able to "drink the Kool-Aid" of orthodoxy. It is also for seekers who find the person of Jesus intriguing or compelling but who struggle with all the doctrines that surround his story. Inspired by Leslie Weatherhead's now out-of-print book The Christian Agnostic, Jody Seymour takes a fresh look at some of the basic tenets of the Christian Faith. He offers new insight into concepts such as the nature of God, the person and work of Jesus, how to read the Bible, the role of the church, and the question of whether or not Jesus really said "my way or the highway." This book will give you an opportunity to explore the faith with the windows open to some fresh air, and you may discover that being caught between belief and doubt is a good place to be.

Faith Beyond Belief

Author: Margaret Placentra Johnston
Publisher: Quest Books
ISBN: 0835630455
Size: 47.61 MB
Format: PDF
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Faith Beyond Belief gives a much-needed voice to the “good” people who have left their church but whose spirituality continues to mature. Johnston uses first-person stories as well as known spiritual authorities in describing various stages of religious growth. Some of these real-life accounts are by nonbelievers; others are by those among the growing numbers of the “spiritual but not religious.” All are thoughtful people with too much integrity to live what they consider a lie. The stories of the nonbelievers-including an ex-Catholic, a former Mormon, and a clandestine Muslim apostate who left his community after the attacks of 9/11-show how complete confidence in human reason can lead away from literal religious interpretation. But, while that step is a necessary one on the spiritual path, it is only intermediate. Her second set of stories are of people at the “mystic” level who can tolerate paradox and see truth and reality as multidimensional. Johnston’s book will help doubters to see things in a new light as well as those who are struggling to clarify their own spiritual vision. It also points beyond the atheist/believer controversy wrecking such divisive havoc in our culture today.

My Country My Faith Me

Author: Anton K. Jacobs
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 9781478788539
Size: 65.86 MB
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In a world of constant change, how does one balance life as an individual, as a person of faith, as a citizen? Anton K. Jacobs, author, clergyman, and professor, addressed this challenge for eight years in his bi-weekly newspaper column, My Country, My Faith, & Me. These essays treat politics, religion, the arts, culture, and ethics that counter the views of the fundamentalist religious right and our national glorification of warriorhood. Serving as a pastor while teaching philosophy, Anton Jacobs began sharing his view of life in The Record, a long-established newspaper in Kansas City, Kansas. Building on his professional career as well as his early work as a carhop and a truck driver, no topic was outside the range of his reflections. Anton's deep understanding of the world's great religions allows him to apply his own critical thinking and courageous questioning to the daily world around him. His essays follow the teachings of Jesus, whose parables, Jacobs maintains, "were spoken not to define a belief system, but to make us think." The results are funny, poignant and profound. They are in line with liberal Christian thinking in a conflicted world. His timeless interpretations continue to help readers find meaning and justice in a confusing world. This book will bring smiles, questions, and perhaps even resolution to those who want to walk a path of integrity and commitment.

Grand Central Question

Author: Abdu H. Murray
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 083089621X
Size: 49.73 MB
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All religions and worldviews seek to answer the fundamental questions of human existence: Why am I here? What does it mean to be human? Why is there evil in the world and how do we deal with it? But not every worldview places equal emphasis on each issue. The main worldviews each tend to stress a different central question. Secular humanism focuses on: What is the inherent value of human beings? Pantheism emphasizes: How do we escape suffering? Islam s main concern is: How is God great? Abdu Murray digs deeply into these three representatives of major worldviews of our day: secular humanism, pantheism and theism (specifically in the form of Islam). This lawyer and former Muslim brings compassion, understanding and clarity to his analysis, comparing the answers of each view to the central message of Christianity.

The Case For Faith

Author: Lee Strobel
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0310565707
Size: 60.70 MB
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In his #1 best-seller The Case for Christ, legally trained investigative reporter Lee Strobel examined the claims of Christ, reaching the hard-won verdict that Jesus is God's unique son. But despite the compelling historical evidence that Strobel presented, many people grapple with serious concerns about faith in God. As in a court of law, they want to shout, "Objection!" They say, "If God is love, then what about all the suffering in our world?" Or, "If Jesus is the door to heaven, then what about the millions who have never heard of him?" Or, "If God cares for everyone, then why does he eternally torture some in hell?"In The Case for Faith, Strobel turns his tenacious investigative skills to the most persistent emotional objections to belief--the eight "heart" barriers to faith. The Case for Faith is for those who may be feeling attracted to Jesus but who are faced with formidable intellectual barriers standing squarely in their path. For Christians, it will deepen their convictions and give them fresh confidence in discussing Christianity with even their most skeptical friends.

The Atheist Muslim

Author: Ali A. Rizvi
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250094453
Size: 64.77 MB
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In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, morality, and identity are built. The inextricable embedment of religion in Muslim culture has forced a new generation of non-believing Muslims to face the heavy costs of abandoning their parents’ religion: disowned by their families, marginalized from their communities, imprisoned, or even sentenced to death by their governments. Struggling to reconcile the Muslim society he was living in as a scientist and physician and the religion he was being raised in, Ali A. Rizvi eventually loses his faith. Discovering that he is not alone, he moves to North America and promises to use his new freedom of speech to represent the voices that are usually quashed before reaching the mainstream media—the Atheist Muslim. In The Atheist Muslim, we follow Rizvi as he finds himself caught between two narrative voices he cannot relate to: extreme Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry in a post-9/11 world. The Atheist Muslim recounts the journey that allows Rizvi to criticize Islam—as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas—without demonizing his entire people. Emotionally and intellectually compelling, his personal story outlines the challenges of modern Islam and the factors that could help lead it toward a substantive, progressive reformation.

The Reason For God

Author: Timothy Keller
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101217658
Size: 29.70 MB
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A New York Times bestseller people can believe in—by "a pioneer of the new urban Christians" (Christianity Today) and the "C.S. Lewis for the 21st century" (Newsweek). Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics, and even ardent believers, have about religion. Using literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and potent reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand their ground against the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.

How We Believe

Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 071674161X
Size: 15.49 MB
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Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. The result offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions.

Confession Of A Buddhist Atheist

Author: Stephen Batchelor
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 1588369846
Size: 51.36 MB
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Does Buddhism require faith? Can an atheist or agnostic follow the Buddha’s teachings without believing in reincarnation or organized religion? This is one man’s confession. In his classic Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor offered a profound, secular approach to the teachings of the Buddha that struck an emotional chord with Western readers. Now, with the same brilliance and boldness of thought, he paints a groundbreaking portrait of the historical Buddha—told from the author’s unique perspective as a former Buddhist monk and modern seeker. Drawing from the original Pali Canon, the seminal collection of Buddhist discourses compiled after the Buddha’s death by his followers, Batchelor shows us the Buddha as a flesh-and-blood man who looked at life in a radically new way. Batchelor also reveals the everyday challenges and doubts of his own devotional journey—from meeting the Dalai Lama in India, to training as a Zen monk in Korea, to finding his path as a lay teacher of Buddhism living in France. Both controversial and deeply personal, Stephen Batchelor’s refreshingly doctrine-free, life-informed account is essential reading for anyone interested in Buddhism.