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Topic: trying to stay balanced, recommendations?

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Subject: trying to stay balanced, recommendations?
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I'm someone more scientific-minded and less inclined to unreasoning faith in anything, but I haven't ruled out the possibility of a higher power.   I've read a few books by atheistic authors and their arguments tend to follow my own reasoning.  But I think in order to make a legitimate judgment on anything one needs to gather as much information as possible on both sides.  So I've been looking for some books that defend and advocate the existence of god.  My problem is the ones I've tried so far are so dreadful I can hardly finish them.  Please can anyone recommend some that won't insult my intelligence and have something to offer besides a circular argument?  For example, I have great respect for the non-fiction writings of C. S. Lewis.  And yes, I have read the Bible (King James version).  I'll read about any type of religion/spirituality.  Please help!

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 6,638
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You might enjoy reading George Santayana who tried to reconcile the beauty he found in Catholic ritualism with rationalism and human exhuberance. 

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 243
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It might be a bit "dry", but have you read the relevant parts of Thomas Aquinas'  "Summa Theologica"?

If you're looking for something more recent and expansive on the subject, Thomas Crean has a response to Richard Dawkins book. Crean's book is called "God is No Delusion". And James Schall (prof. at Georgetown) has new book called "The Order of Things" which is not specifically a sort of "proof" for God's existence, but there are a few chapters where he talks about the order of the cosmos, polity, and mind that might be intriguing food for thought.

I know there are more books I could recommend, I'll have to think about it more (and maybe dig through some old philosophy books).

"Faith and Reason"

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
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Lee Strobel has a few books: Case for Christ, Case for Faith, and Case for a Creator.  I have never read them, though, so I can't honestly tell you the arguments aren't circular, or even if they're good.  I have heard they are good, if that helps. :) 

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I haven't read anything by Thomas Aquinas, but have heard him spoken of by religious friends.  What are the "relevant parts"?

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 243
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Mainly, the First Part (Prima Pars) of the "Summa Theologica" Question 2 deals with the existence of God. Granted, since it it part of the Summa Theologica, it does contain some theological elements, but I think you could pull out a few purely philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,704
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Vanessa, I haven't read any pro-God texts, but i know how you feel.....a couple of the "atheist" books I've read were terrible!  They seemed to promote almost a religion of their own, that offered no tolerance for anything outside of atheism.  It was weird.

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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If you like CS lewis you  might want to give Richard Foster a try.... DH loves them both and constantly re-reads them.

Challenge of the Disciplined Life

Prayers from the Heart

Celebration of Discipline

Streams of Living Water

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World

 



Last Edited on: 1/14/08 10:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/15/2008 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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Thanks for the recs, please keep 'em coming.  I'm trying to see which ones are available at my library.

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 243
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GK Chesterton was a friend of CS Lewis' (and reads a bit like him as well). You can read most of GK Chesterton's works on the internet for free; you might enjoy many of his essays.

 

Date Posted: 1/17/2008 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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Something you may be interested in reading is "Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience." It has been many years since I've read this book but it was immensely interesting to me when I read it. Now, after reading yourpost, I am thinking of reading it again.

It is for sale on Amazon.com  I haven't checked to see if it is posted here at paperbackswap.com

From the back cover:

"Who is right about what it means to be human ? The Greeks envisioned an ideal humanity. Their ethereal sculptures,like that on the front cover, depict a transcendent,spiritual model. The reigning modern view is that people are simply machines.The biblical view is different from both. To be human is to be in the image of God. Guided by this truth, Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs discuss the nature of spiritual experience. As the pursuit of true spirituality takes us away from sinfulness, it moves us closer to what God intended us to be. When we are truly spiritual we are fully human. The authors begin by stressing the centrality of Christ. Then they distinguish between self and the sinfulness of self, argue for using our minds in spiritual matters and illuminate the many ways God guides Christians. Their chapter on the family discusses the vexed issue of authority. In short, this book presents an integrated model for what genuine human beings really are."

You can get a look in the book on amazon. com  I think you can get a look at the table of contents and some sample pages. 

Sherry 

 

Date Posted: 1/19/2008 1:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 23
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Try The Universe In A Single Atom - The Convergence of Science And Spirituality by the Dalai Lama.  Extremely good read (in my opinion, of course)!   :D