In this book I seriously consider the arguments for God that were made in a collection of essays edited by Michael Licona and William Dembski, entitled Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science.
Evidence for God is divided into 4 sections:
- The question of philosophy
- The question of science
- The question of Jesus
- The question of the Bible
with each section containing a number of essays. I have mirrored that structure in this book. In each chapter I summarize the argument made in Evidence for God, quoting frequently to try to ensure that I am not responding to a straw man of the argument. I have included sufficient detail so that it is not necessary to have read Evidence for God. I have also not shied away from being boring. Many of the arguments presented in Evidence for God do not even attempt to provide actual evidence, either defending a contradiction or presenting a theological discussion. In most of these cases, I will note that no evidence is presented but still engage with the discussion as given. Even if a particular chapter’s argument does not interest you, you may find my response contains a different view that is interesting. If it does not feel free to skim or skip, as each chapter is self-contained, and I reference other chapters where necessary.
Even with 50 arguments, several major reasons for belief remain uncovered. For example a personal experience of God, or the existence of the church. I discuss these and an overview of the argument from nature in the fifth section. A personal experience, in particular, is the reason most Christians I have spoken with choose to believe, even in the face of other evidence, which is why I wanted to be sure that this topic was covered.
I actually expect that most Christians will agree with most of what I have said, that some Christians will agree with all of it, and that pretty much all Christians will agree with some of it. Since becoming an atheist, I have discovered that many people had also quietly done so without telling too many people about it. They essentially say that the journey is very personal and if faith gives people comfort, then who are they to dissuade others from their opinion. I know people who call themselves atheist Christians, or Christian atheists: they feel like they are part of the community but do not believe. On the opposite extreme, a good friend of mine, who is a devout Christian, commented early on in my journey: “If you come to the conclusion that Christianity is wrong, I would expect you to fight it with everything you have, as it would constitute the greatest evil ever perpetrated on mankind.”
The book will be available on Amazon soon, and in the meantime you can read some early drafts of the chapters here.
The Resurrection Considered
One of the chapters in Evidence for God was on the subject of the resurrection. That chapter referred to a book by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona called The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. This was the central notion on which my Christianity hung. It took me a long time to seriously consider the question: "What do atheists make of the evidence for the resurrection?" But when I did seriously engage with that question, I abandoned my faith within a few months.
The topic remains fascinating to me, and the truth is not so fragile that it cannot be examined more closely, so in this book I engage with The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus in a great deal of detail. Previews of this book can be read here.
The Cross-Referenced Bible
This is a Bible designed for Kindle that takes advantage of the ability of ebooks to use hyperlinks. It allows the reader to link to other relevant and related passages in an unobtrusive way. Available here.
Unlike many study Bibles, it does not provide commentary and theology. It does not tell you how to think about a particular passage or what the author's "orthodox" view of it might be or what a verse really means. It provides historical information in footnotes and cross-references to other parts of the Bible.
For example, the gospel parallels can easily be reached for a reader wanting to see what the other gospels wrote about a particular story. The references work in both directions in general, which has several advantages. See my blog post on the advantages of this.