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Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics – Available on Kindle or Pre-Order the Book, Feat. William Lane Craig, Paul Copan, JP Moreland, Gary Habermas, Matthew Flannagan et al.

March 22nd, 2012 by Madeleine

The kindle edition of Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics, published by B&H Academic, edited by William Lane Craig and Paul Copan and featuring Craig, Copan, JP Moreland, Gary Habermas, Craig Keener, Mary Jo Sharp, this blog’s Matthew Flannagan, and others, with the foreword written by Rick Warren, is now available at the link above on Amazon.

The book version of Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics can be pre-ordered at this link on Amazon.

Matt’s chapter is “Did God Command Canaanite Genocide?” Here is the editorial review from Amazon:

Come Let Us Reason: New Essays in Christian ApologeticsCome Let Us Reason is the third book in a series on modern Christian apologetics that began with the popular Passionate Conviction and Contending with Christianity’s Critics. The nineteen essays here raise classical philosophical questions in fresh ways, address contemporary challenges for the church, and will deepen the thinking of the next generation of apologists. Packed with dynamic topical discussions and informed by the latest scholarship, the book’s major sections are:

• Apologetics, Culture, and the Kingdom of God
• The God Question
• The Gospels and the Historical Jesus
• Ancient Israel and Other Religions
• Christian Uniqueness and the World’s Religions

Click to View the Table of Contents of Come Let us Reason

Contributors include J. P. Moreland (“Four Degrees of Postmodernism”), William Lane Craig (“Objections So Bad That I Couldn’t Have Made Them Up”), Gary R. Habermas (“How to Respond When God Gives You the Silent Treatment”), Craig Keener (“Gospel Truth: The Historical Reliability of the Gospels”), and Paul Copan (“Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery?”).

Paul Copan is a professor and the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University.

William Lane Craig is research professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The Come let us Reason series is designed to bring scholarly work to the lay person so, depending on whether you prefer Kindle or book form, order or pre-order your copy now and let us know what you think.

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12 responses so far ↓

  • I recently read Plantinga’s Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, which was pretty thick but I loved it. I just bought this for my Kindle, I’ll let you know. I’m putting together a course at my church called “Reasonable Grace”, which is going to be a grace-based approach to apologetics. I’m trying to get non-believers in to teach the message of grace, and I’m including apologetics issues to remove objections to belief. I still want to aim at belief, not disproving wrong belief. This looks to be another invaluable resource, thanks!

  • Hi Jim

    Just about anything authored or edited by Copan is going to be kickass. On amazon, look up one of these books Madeleine has referred to and click Copan’s name. 18 books. His book, The Rationality of Theism, is a good companion for the others.

  • Religion – A hypothesis about the world. Like all hypothesis’s it deserves scrutiny.
    (I find the field of “Apologetics” interesting a.k.a. “making apologies”, And in my opinion, apologies are required.)
    Back to your hypothesis, as it currently stands from my reading, there is still no compelling reason or evidence to support the religion hypothesis of the world. Falsified numerous times, or at worse unfalsifiable.
    Consequently, criticism of religion is justified.
    You have the right to your beliefs, however you do not have the right to your own facts, and Apologetics appears to be the re-writing of facts to support either false claims, or the unfalsifiable.
    So, I think you need to consider the possibility that you life is devoted to a delusion. Now that’s the place to start…

  • Pete your comment raises all sorts of interesting questions.

    First you write “Religion is a hypothesis” about the world, on what basis do you claim a religion is a hypothesis. Not everything we believe functions as a hypothesis so why assume religious claims do? Have you got rebuttals to the work of people like Plantinga, Alston, Van Inwagen and others who contest this.

    Second, the your equivocating on the word “apology” in the original greek it refered to a rational defence. It still has this meaning in English in certain contexts

    Second, you claim there are no compelling reasons to believe the religious hypothesis, this suggests you have examined the best versions of the various arguments offered for this view of the world and found them wanting, can you elaborate on which arguments you have examined and whats wrong with them?
    Third, you state this hypothesis has been falsified many times, can you give specific examples of where the claim that say “God exists” has been falsified.

    Finally you claim that apologetics involves “re writing facts” that’s an assertion can you provide substantiation.

    All we have here is a string of assertions most of which are quite dubious.

  • So, you need some depth then. I’ll check your Plantinga, et al sources and compile a more complete response. This may take a little time as I do have a day job.

    I’ll stick to the “hypothesis” assertion as this goes to the heart of many of your blog posts.

    I’ll be back….

  • Pete, again why assume that religious beliefs are a hypothesis.

    A small subset of what we rationally believed are hypothesises based on arguments to the best explanation, much of what we believe is not believed like this.

    Again why assume that religious beliefs function this way?

  • Patience Matt, as I continue my reading, “Hypothesis” accurately describes the beliefs. Yes, religious beliefs. E.g. Hypothesis: bible is historical document. Then you run some “tests” to confirm or not this hypothesis. I digress…

    Anyway, still reading and compiling notes, be finished soon

  • Pete, you seem to think a hypothesis is simply a belief. Thats quite mistaken, my belief the past exists is not a hypothesis nor could determine non circular tests for it, yet its a rational belief.

    Hypothesis refer to a certain type of belief one postulated to explain certian phenomena and which gains its warrant from wether it explains this phenomena better than any alternative.

  • Matt, ok a response (sorry haven’t gone away…)

    I looked up Alvin Plantinga, Van Inwagen (discussion on Free Will), Alston (epistemic value of mystical experience). The writing from these people and similar do not change my view (ok – no surprise for you there).

    Hypothesis – explanation for a phenomenon – “to suppose”.

    “The Will to Believe” – a lecture by William James (c1896). James developed a doctrine by supposing an explanation for the phenomenon of belief. In other words, he stated a hypothesis and then argued an explanation. Yes there are some criticisms of this work, however, they lean towards supporting my assertion. My take on this: If you believe something, then you have created for yourself an explanation of a phenomenon.

    Studies into consciousness are in their infancy. I expect that, like other branches of science, that our knowledge in this area will grow, and that the pattern of natural explanations replacing supernatural ones will continue.

    In my opinion, Religion(s) are a belief system(s) that are/is a hypothesis about the world, how the world works, and why it is the way it is.

    And its just as valid to criticise it, question it, expect it to support it self with evidence, and make fun of it when it doesn’t make sense, as you would any other hypothesis.

    As to your last response to me. No – it’s not limited to “certain types of belief about certain phenomena”. I see that this is your “brick wall” – time to look around or over it…

    “Religious Apologetics” – Apologetics – “In defence of”. The etymology of this word is linked to “Apology”. Apology having the more common meaning of “expression of regret for a wrong”. I like this link.

    Matt, in researching this, reading Plantinga et al, plus other sources, I think it must scare you how much you have to be “In defence of”.

    I read your blog entries to attempt to understand why. Why you feel comfortable with your hypothesis.

    There’s a lot that I would ask you to explain. But for now I’ll sign off with this quote
    “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived – Isaac Asimov”

  • To be fair, I thought, why not buy this book and look at what you guys are saying.
    Wow, not sure what colour the sky is for you. So, what to do. Do I put a series of “you are kidding, right?” statements in your blog Matt, or do I find a better place to put it. I’m thinking the later, as it only took a page before I was going, nope, that’s an incorrect assertion….
    E.g. “No reputable scholar doubts the existence of Jesus”. A bold statement, that when researched shows that there are plenty of reputable scholars who do doubt the existence.
    I think this is where I will start. It looks like it will be a long time before I get to your chapter (being the last one) so my apologies for that in advance.
    I’ll play fair and send you a link to where my writing resides

  • Pete, the reason Matt asked you for a rebuttal of Platinga’s work is because he’s argued rigorously that belief in God is rationally intuitive, and not of the nature of a hypothesis. You can’t just say you’ve read and you maintain that it is. As far as we’re concerned you’ve still offered an unbacked assertion for you think it’s a hypothesis.

  • [1]’ The scientific diversity thesis: that people from different cultures adopt different scientific beliefs;
    [2]’ The scientific dependency thesis: which scientific beliefs one adopts is overwhelmingly dependent on cultural conditions.
    John doesn’t want to respond to this, but I will. Matt, this response proves the point of the OTF.
    [1]‘ is observably false. Scientists from different cultural backgrounds don’t adopt different scientific beliefs. Physics in India is the same as physics in the US, is the same as physics in New Zealand, is the same as physics in China, and Russia, and Saudi Arabia, and …
    Which makes obviates the need to even address the second premise.

    This misrepresents what [1] affirms, [1] is not the claim that all contemporary scientists adopt the same scientific belief, it’s the claim that people from different cultures adopt scientific beliefs.
    That is demonstrably true, people brought up and educated in 14th century spain will have very different scientific beliefs to someone reared in 21st century NZ, and people reared in the tribes of amazon, will have different scientific beliefs again.

    In fact science rose once in western Europe around the 14-17 centuries, other cultures which have adopted science have done so in almost every instance due to it being imported via western educational system or values, rather than it evolving within the culture by itself.

    Moreover even if physicists today in India is the same as physics in the US, is the same as physics in New Zealand, is the same as physics in China, and Russia, and Saudi Arabia, it does not follow that physicists have the same scientific beliefs, for the reason I stated, some of those physicists will be scientific realists and hence will believe there theories are true, or approximately true. Some will be constructive empiricists and believe their theories are not approximately true but rather merely empirical adequate. Others will be pragmatists and believe there theories are not true but rather solve theoretical problems and so on. Hence, despite all accepting the same theories they will have very different scientific beliefs.

    So if we are to apply [1] and [2] one should be a sceptical about scientific beliefs especially when its claimed they are true. The fact that people raised in a post Darwinian society and go through an education system where this is taught tend to accept evolution, and those who are not raised in this context don’t. Should by [1] and [2] lead us to be sceptical of Darwinism. The fact people raised in a context prior to the 1900’s would not have accepted general relativity or quantum mechanics means we should be sceptical of these theories and so on.