Why Christian Faith Still Makes Sense

A Response to Contemporary Challenges

series: Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology

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About

In recent years the Christian faith has been challenged by skeptics, including the New Atheists, who claim that belief in God is simply not reasonable. Prominent Christian philosopher C. Stephen Evans offers a fresh, contemporary, and nuanced response in Why Christian Faith Still Makes Sense. He makes the case for both belief in a personal God and belief that this God has revealed himself through the Christian revelation. Belief in God is grounded in natural "signs," and belief in the Christian revelation stems from three "signs" God has provided: miracles, the paradoxical nature of revelation, and the existential power of revelation.

After beginning with a brief introduction to New Atheist claims, Evans shows how natural theology can undermine an anti-naturalistic view of the world, opening the way for theism. He next discusses natural signs for God and their evidential value. But natural signs only open our minds to theistic possibilities; revelation is required for Christian belief. Evans concludes with a thorough discussion of the reasons God's self-revelation is both authoritative and authentic.

This sophisticated yet accessible book provides a clear account of the evidence for Christian faith, concluding that it still makes sense to believe. It will be of use to undergraduate professors and students of apologetics and philosophy as well as pastors, church leaders, and campus ministries.

About the Series
The Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series, sponsored by Acadia Divinity College, offers critical assessments of the major issues that the church faces in the twenty-first century. Authored by leading authorities in the field, these studies provide readers with requisite orientation and fresh understanding to enable them to take part meaningfully in discussion and debate.

Contents
1. Who Are the New Atheists, and What Are They Saying?
2. The Value of Natural Theology
3. The Concept of a Natural Sign for God
4. Natural Signs for God and Theistic Arguments
5. Can We Trust the Natural Signs for God?
6. Recognizing God's Self-Revelation
7. Criteria for a Genuine Revelation from God
8. Conclusions: Making the Case for Christian Faith
Index


Endorsements

"This small book is much bigger than it appears. Decades of first-rate philosophical scholarship and deep Christian reflection on the faith are here pressed with astonishing delicacy into an elixir of apologetics. Professor Evans brilliantly summarizes a wide range of arguments on behalf of the rationality of the Christian religion so that beginners are well introduced to the discourse. But in the spirit of his mentor Kierkegaard he also offers a trio of arguments from miracles, 'paradoxicality,' and existential power that sings a much fresher and more vital song than the grim, thin plaint of the New Atheists. Highly recommended for classrooms, small groups, personal consideration, and friendly discussion with your favorite atheist."

John G. Stackhouse Jr., Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture, Regent College, Vancouver

"Written by a seasoned Christian philosopher, this book is a marvelous overview of the reasonableness of biblical faith in a skeptical age. Evans's work is fresh and engaging, and the case for Christianity is further illuminated by his inclusion of Kierkegaard's reflections on reason, paradox, and belief. A delight to read!"

Paul Copan, Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida

"Lucid and accessible, this would be a great book to give to students and laypeople who wish to understand how reason supports Christian faith in the light of modern challenges."

George M. Marsden, professor of history emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"Evans is one of the foremost philosophers of religion in the world today. In this book, a synthesis of some of his more detailed earlier work, he has given us an accessible, lucid, and well-ordered analysis of the New Atheism and, what is far more important, expositions of the best historic and contemporary philosophical and theological responses. Any intelligent layperson can read this book with pleasure as well as profit, and it would make a great text for general-level courses as well."

David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Baylor University

"The so-called New Atheists have set the context for much contemporary disbelief in any god at all. Evans knows this but digs much deeper into much more problematic objections. His profound response is orderly, clear, and persuasive. I am most impressed by his explanation of how our perception of God relates to evidence, reason, and the witness of Scripture."

James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and Apologetics beyond Reason: Why Seeing Really Is Believing


The Author

  1. C. Stephen Evans

    C. Stephen Evans

    C. Stephen Evans (PhD, Yale University) is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University and is a widely traveled...

    Continue reading about C. Stephen Evans

Reviews

"Evans has provided Christians with a very helpful and practical book on the rationality of the Christian faith. Readers will benefit tremendously from the accessibility of Why Christian Faith Makes Sense, and will undoubtedly be attracted to the ease in which Evans defends Christianity from attack. . . . One of the main strengths of Evans' work is that he takes complicated ideas and converts them into straightforward ideas. . . . Why Christian Faith Still Makes Sense can be used as an introductory apologetic text to show the reasonableness of Christianity, and it can also be used as a launch pad into Evans' deeper apologetic thought. This work might also be a great book to pass on to atheists and skeptics alike. I believe that any reader will benefit from delving into Evans' work and mining for the treasures that are stored there."

Matthew W. Manry,

Christian Scholar's Review

"Evans addresses with dexterity and passion the charge of the 'New Atheists' that religious belief is irrational since it is not based on evidence. Evans writes in a manner that is accommodating, engaging, and intellectually stimulating so that both the educated layman and the professional philosopher benefit. . . . As one would expect from a philosopher of Evans's pedigree, his project is logical and convincing, addressing a number of objections and possible responses."

Derek Nutt,

Calvin Theological Journal

"Evans's book offers a fresh approach to natural theology for apologists who know that fundamentalism typically breeds fundamentalism. . . . With fresh insight and acuity, Evans quite ably challenges the New Atheists' epistemic and ethical claims. . . . Why Christian Faith Still Makes Sense is appreciably more than just another popular piece on natural theology. The several features Evans nuances throughout the book are thoughtfully selected for their specific contribution to a compelling case for his anti-naturalist approach. . . . Evans gives us a valuable resource for further reflection in natural theology, and it is highly recommended reading for those who enjoy the fine balance between the analytic and the imaginative when considering the reasonableness of the Christian faith."

Thomas A. Provenzola,

Southeastern Theological Review


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