Faith and/or Reason and Philosophy of Religion
Steven B. Cowan and James S. Spiegel (Broadman & Hollman: Apr 2009), 480 pages.
Philosophy is defined as the love of wisdom, and college students will certainly admire this Bible-informed introductory level textbook’s fun approach to an often heady subject. The Love of Wisdom is made distinct in its engaging style that includes humor and copious popular culture illustrations to heighten reader interest and clarify important concepts. The book even addresses two key topics often omitted by other texts: political philosophy and aesthetics (beauty and the arts). Students and teachers can also make great use of the study questions for each chapter, a glossary of terms, and further reading suggestions. ~ From the Publisher
Charles Taliaferro (Cambridge University Press : February 28, 2005), 470 pages.
Emphasizing shifting views of faith and the nature of evidence, Taliaferro has written a dynamic narrative history of philosophical reflection on religion from the 17th century to the present, with an emphasis on shifting views of faith and the nature of evidence. The book begins with the movement called Cambridge Platonism, which formed a bridge between the ancient and medieval worlds and early modern philosophy. While the book provides an overview of different movements in philosophy, it also offers a detailed exposition and reflection on key arguments, and the scope is broad from Descartes to contemporary feminist philosophy of religion.
Paul Copan (Chalice Press : November 30, 2007), 214 pages.
Loving Wisdom is a book that's difficult to summarize, and I gather that was intentional. In groundbeaking fashion, Christian apologist and philosopher Paul Copan has written an extraordinarily wide-ranging book that's exhaustive enough to serve as a textbook on many subjects within apologetics and philosophy of religion, but concise enough to serve as "a kind of launching pad" to further exploration. This is one of the densest books I've ever read — dense in ideas not words! The author can cover a remarkable amount of ground in a relatively few pages. Coming to it as a layman, I found it readable and accessible — even when comprehension of difficult concepts proved elusive. Although a serious and scholarly treatment of serious topics, Loving Wisdom is never ponderous, mainly because Copan's writing is suffused with good humor and wit. What also comes through is his charitable and fair treatment of opposing viewpoints.
Michael Peterson, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger (Oxford University Press: November 2002), 326 pages.
What is the status of belief in God? Must a rational case be made or can such belief be properly basic? Is it possible to reconcile the concept of a good God with evil and suffering? In light of great differences among religions, can only one religion be true? The most comprehensive work of its kind, Reason and Religious Belief, now in its third edition, explores these and other perennial questions in the philosophy of religion. Drawing from the best in both classical and contemporary discussions, the authors examine religious experience, faith and reason, theistic arguments, the problem of evil, Reformed epistemology, miracles, and religious language. They also treat subjects not often included in competing texts, such as process theism, religious pluralism, religion and science, and the relationship between religion and morality. The third edition retains the engaging style and thorough coverage of previous editions and also takes into account the latest contributions in the field by such thinkers as Plantinga, Alston, Martin, Murphy, Dembski, M. Adams, and Swinburne. Integrating a variety of perspectives, it adds a chapter on the openness of God debate, several sections on feminist concerns, and frequent comparisons of how Eastern religions compare with Western theism. A sophisticated yet accessible introduction, Reason and Religious Belief is ideally suited for use with the authors' companion anthology, Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (OUP, 2000). ~ Product Description
The Natural History of Religion (1757), Parts XI, XV.
To oppose the torrent of scholastic religion by such feeble maxims as these, that it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be, that the whole is greater than a part, that two and three make five; is pretending to stop the ocean with a bullrush. Will you set up profane reason against sacred mystery? No punishment is great enough for your impiety. And the same fires, which were kindled for heretics, will serve also for the destruction of philosophers. ... The whole is a riddle, an aenigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspence of judgment appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject. But such is the frailty of human reason, and such the irresistible contagion of opinion, that even this deliberate doubt could scarcely be upheld; did we not enlarge our view, and opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape, into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy.