I would have picked something by william lane craig,richard swinburne or alvin plantinga. I mean mere christanity if i remember right is the book where he brings up the triliema argument for the jesus being god.

[anonymous]9y10

Lewis doesn't argue that the trilemma proves Jesus was God - he uses it to dismiss the wishy-washy agnostic position of "Well, Jesus was a great moral teacher, and worthy of respect, so whether he was God or not doesn't matter."

Lewis' position is "No, hang on a minute, this is someone who's spouting moral platitudes that everyone already agrees with, not anything new as far as the morals go. But he's also claiming to be God - he's saying, over and over again, that he is God. That leaves only three options, really - either he's actually God, or he's a liar, or he's deluded. Whatever he was, he wasn't an exceptionally decent human being, so get off the fence."

2[anonymous]9yPerhaps it's my own philosophical upbringing coming to rear its ugly head, but Plantinga is practically worthless as a true defense of Christianity. "Basic beliefs" in particular are such an obviously nasty hack, and the resulting epistemological relativism is frightening to behold.

Book trades with open-minded theists - recommendations?

by Morendil 1 min read29th Aug 201170 comments

8


In an Open Thread comment beriukay mentioned that he's reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. I've been reading it too, for interesting reasons.

In my case it so happened that I started discussing faith with a long-time online friend whose spiritual views I didn't yet know, and he turned out to be a Christian with a high regard for the Bible, who also has an interest in science. As our discussion turned to our readings on spirituality, I acknowledged (I think it was me) that I probably spent more time on books that reinforce my point of view than on books that challenge it, perhaps a case of confirmation bias. (I've been exposed to many poor arguments for Christianity, and dismissed them; but possibly that was largely a function of having started out with that bottom line already written and picking arguments I wouldn't have much trouble refuting.)

In the spirit of experiment we agreed to a "trade" - he would read (thoughtfully and with an open mind) a book of my choosing on reasons to doubt faith, and I'd do the same with a book he chose on Christianity.

So the idea here is to pick a book that's the "best argument from the other side" (as in quote 3 here).

I recommended The God Delusion - I'm not sure if that's the best choice given the above intent, but it's what came to mind on the spot.

Would you make a different choice? If so, what?