Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy  -     By: Gregory E. Ganssle
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Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy

InterVarsity Press / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Philosophy is often perceived as being inaccessible to the layman, but that was not always the case. Philosopher and lecturer Ganssle wants to resurrect the non-expert-level philosophy discussion, starting with the basics so that anyone can understand. He starts by walking the reader through logic, conceptual distinctions and the importance of the history of philosophy, quickly building to reasons for believing in a God, the problem of evil and the nature of God. Humorous, engaging and informative, this book shows how philosophy is well within the grasp of most people and not just for the intellectual elite.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 204
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0830827846
ISBN-13: 9780830827848
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Can we really think about God? Can we prove God’s existence? What about faith? Are there good reasons to believe in the Christian God? What about evil? Can we really know with our finite minds anything for sure about a transcendent God? Can we avoid thinking about God? The real problem, says philosopher Gregory E. Ganssle, is not whether we can think about God, but whether we will think well or poorly about God. Admittedly there is a lot of bad thinking going around. But Ganssle, who teaches students, wants to help us think better, especially about God. He thinks philosophy can actually help. In the first part of this book Ganssle lays the groundwork for clear and careful thinking, providing us an introductory guide to doing philosophy. In the second part Ganssle then takes us through the process of thinking well about God in particular. He asks us to consider whether there are good reasons to believe that God exists. He thinks there are! In a third part Ganssle addresses the thorny issue of the existence both of God and of evil. He thinks there’s a valid way through this problem. In the final part Ganssle helps us thread our way through questions like: What is God like? What can God do? What can God know? How does God communicate? He thinks that there are some clear answers to these questions, at least if you’re talking about the God of Christianity. If you're looking for your first book for thinking clearly and carefully about God, then you'll appreciate the good thinking found in this book.

Author Bio

Ganssle serves with the Rivendell Institute for Christian Thought and Learning, a special project of the Campus Crusade for Christ student ministry at Yale University. He has taught philosophy at Syracuse University and has worked as a teaching fellow and part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale University. He has published academic papers on God's relation to time, free will, and St. Augustine. He has also coedited an anthology of philosophical essays for Oxford University Press called

Publisher Description

In the first part of this book Ganssle lays the groundwork for clear and careful thinking, providing us an introductory guide to doing philosophy. In the second part Ganssle then takes us through the process of thinking well about God in particular. He asks us to consider whether there are good reasons to believe that God exists. He thinks there are! In a third part Ganssle addresses the thorny issue of the existence both of God and of evil. He thinks there's a valid way through this problem. In the final part Ganssle helps us thread our way through questions like: What can God know? How does God communicate? He thinks that there are some clear answers to these questions, at least if you're talking about the God of Christianity.

Editorial Reviews

Ganssle provides a helpful, introductory guide for many of the most basic philosophical hurdles surrounding matters of faith.
"This is a superb introduction to philosophical thinking about God. But it is much more than that--it's a refreshingly clear, compelling and funny introduction to thinking itself, to the world of philosophy. I can't think of a better way into these subjects than with Ganssle as a guide."
" Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy is an outstanding book for those who want to learn to think philosophically about God's existence and nature. Ganssle's book uses these topics to help the reader learn to work through arguments to reasoned conclusions. Although religious beliefs are often dealt with emotionally, Ganssle shows the reader how to think carefully about them. While other philosophical texts tend to deal with technicalities which make them largely inaccessible to the inexperienced reader, Ganssle's book is aimed at helping these readers understand the underlying arguments and issues. Hence, this book provides a much-needed resource, a bridge between technical philosophical arguments and the untrained thinker that will be valuable in many churches and the lives of many Christians today. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to learn to think about the God they worship."
"Ganssle does a masterful job of guiding readers through the fundamental philosophical questions about God. He writes with a clarity rarely found in philosophers, simplifying complex issues without descending in simplistic explanations, and does it all with a touch of humor. A great introduction to philosophy of religion."

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Gregory Ganssle
Located in: Hamden, CT
Submitted: January 17, 2006

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I teach philosophy at Yale (part time) and work with the Rivendell Institute which combines ministry to faculty and graduate students with thinking hard about the obstacles to the Gospel in the university.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  I began teaching one day a week at the high school where my kids go. I could not find any adequate texts so I wrote this one.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  This book is especially suited for home school at the high school level. It provides step by step reasoning in a light tone. It is also good preparation for students going to college. Many of the chapters came out of lectures I have given on many secular campuses.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  My influences include C.S. Lewis, Alvin Plantinga and Bob Dylan.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  There are lots of jokes and I hope you laugh!

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