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4 Stars Out Of 5
December 30, 2012
Have reached the half way point. It takes considerable effort to read/reread passages to an understanding of what is being described. Excellent book in terms of logic, but concepts are challenging to grasp. Keep your philosophy dictionary nearby as terms are frequently assumed. It is a weighty tome and I am plodding along through it. Although it is a slow, sometimes dull and methodical reading exercise, the result so far merits the effort required to finish the work. After wading through it once, it may be one of those books worthy of a second or third reading to really grasp the content... but it is quite time consuming demanding much concentration, patience, and perseverance.
This is one book that changed my world-view. Geisler shows you how to reduce complex philosophical theories to their basic assertions and then shows you how self-defeating they are. This is probably one of his best books in a field he has the most competence.
I also like the fact that it is so clearly written and easy to understand (for most of the time). I had not done any course in philosophy prior to reading this book yet I profited from it immensely. If you're like me, you may not understand a lot of the material the first time you read it. But after re-reading a few time, you will be able to "pull yourself up from a state of understanding less to a state of understanding more" (Adler Mortimer). Highly recommended.
This book covers thoughts and philosophies in a couple of pages that the original author of these ideas took hundreds of pages to articulate and defend. Geisler also limits himself to a page or two debunking each theory. Understanding each theory was easier then comprehending the argument against. This despite my own disagreement with the original theory. Geislers argument I usually read a second time and on occasion a third time before getting some sort of a comprehension and moving on. In the preface, the purpose of this work is to prove Jesus is the Christ and the Bible is the word of God.<BR>The first part of the book deals with methodology; The process in determining the truth through a prior knowledge or lack of knowledge before moving forward. One must know Gods attributes before one can make arguments about His existence. The discussion starts with agnosticism: The ability to know God and some of His attributes. The discusion continues in six different sections about Rationalism, Floeism, Experientialism, Evidentialism, Pragmatism and Combinationalism. These are six different arguments in how to determine truth.<BR>The second part deals with six theories on who God is: Deism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Atheism, and Theism. Geisler calls these World views. Each has its defenders and Geisler discusses philosophers thoughts on each and makes an argument against those accept Theism. Which he defends. Which leads to the third part where he attempts to prove Christianity. By arguing for the existence for the Supernatural, the ability to know history, and the reliability of the Bible.