Can we really think about God? Can we prove God?s existence? What about faith? Are there good reasons to believe in the Christian God? What about evil? Can we really know with our finite minds anything for sure about a transcendent God? Can we avoid thinking about God?
The real problem, says philosopher Gregory E. Ganssle, is not whether we can think about God, but whether we will think well or poorly about God. Admittedly there is a lot of bad thinking going around. But Ganssle, who teaches students, wants to help us think better, especially about God. He thinks philosophy can actually help.
In the first part of this book Ganssle lays the groundwork for clear and careful thinking, providing us an introductory guide to doing philosophy. In the second part Ganssle then takes us through the process of thinking well about God in particular. He asks us to consider whether there are good reasons to believe that God exists. He thinks there are! In a third part Ganssle addresses the thorny issue of the existence both of God and of evil. He thinks there?s a valid way through this problem. In the final part Ganssle helps us thread our way through questions like: What is God like? What can God do? What can God know? How does God communicate? He thinks that there are some clear answers to these questions, at least if you?re talking about the God of Christianity.
If you're looking for your first book for thinking clearly and carefully about God, then you'll appreciate the good thinking found in this book.
"This is a superb introduction to philosophical thinking about God. But it is much more than that--it's a refreshingly clear, compelling and funny introduction to thinking itself, to the world of philosophy. I can't think of a better way into these subjects than with Ganssle as a guide."
"Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy is an outstanding book for those who want to learn to think philosophically about God's existence and nature. Ganssle's book uses these topics to help the reader learn to work through arguments to reasoned conclusions. Although religious beliefs are often dealt with emotionally, Ganssle shows the reader how to think carefully about them. While other philosophical texts tend to deal with technicalities which make them largely inaccessible to the inexperienced reader, Ganssle's book is aimed at helping these readers understand the underlying arguments and issues. Hence, this book provides a much-needed resource, a bridge between technical philosophical arguments and the untrained thinker that will be valuable in many churches and the lives of many Christians today. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to learn to think about the God they worship."
"Ganssle does a masterful job of guiding readers through the fundamental philosophical questions about God. He writes with a clarity rarely found in philosophers, simplifying complex issues without descending in simplistic explanations, and does it all with a touch of humor. A great introduction to philosophy of religion."
Ganssle provides a helpful, introductory guide for many of the most basic philosophical hurdles surrounding matters of faith.
Part One: Introduction
1. Why Bother Thinking About God?
2. What Is Philosophy?
3. You Cannot Prove God's Existence
4. What About Faith?
5. Can We Be Neutral?
6. Where Do We Begin?
Part Two: Reasons to Believe in God
7. Starting at the Beginning: Why Is There Anything at All?
8. Starting at the Beginning: Must the Universe Have a Cause?
9. Starting at the Beginning: Must the First Cause Be God?
10. Looking at the Details: Design and Designers
11. Looking at the Details: Darwin and Design
12. Looking at the Details: Fine-Tuning and Design
13. Looking at the Details: Many Worlds and Small Changes
14. Looking in the Mirror: Moral Reality
15. Looking in the Mirror: Moral Facts Point to God
16. Reasons to Believe: The Cumulative Case
Part Three: God and Evil
17. The Square Circle Objection
18. God and Evil Reconciled
19. Reasons God Could Have to Allow Evil
20. Freedom and Determinism: A Chapter You Might Want to Skip
21. The Unicorn Objection
22. Is There an Elephant in the Room?
Part Four: What Is God Like?
23. Beginning to Think About What God Is Like
24. What Can God Do?
25. What Can God Know?
26. Can God Know the Future?
27. Does God Communicate?
Suggestions for Further Reading