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Deepest Differences: A Christian-Atheist Dialogue

Overview

If you're looking for clear-cut answers to difcult questions about God-or for your guy to score a quick knock-out of a toughened sparring partner-then this book is not for you. But if you're open to an authentic, no-holds barred, respectful dialogue about one of life's most important issues, then take up and read. There are no straw men here. Sparked by a chance meeting between two book-club acquaintances and their discussion of Kurt Vonnegut's obituary, this dialogue between long-time Christian Jim Sire and ...
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Overview

If you're looking for clear-cut answers to difcult questions about God-or for your guy to score a quick knock-out of a toughened sparring partner-then this book is not for you. But if you're open to an authentic, no-holds barred, respectful dialogue about one of life's most important issues, then take up and read. There are no straw men here. Sparked by a chance meeting between two book-club acquaintances and their discussion of Kurt Vonnegut's obituary, this dialogue between long-time Christian Jim Sire and forthright atheist Carl Peraino developed through extended email exchanges exploring minds and brains, science and morality, faith and reason, God and violence, doubt and rhetoric. You'll find much to ponder, weigh and explore in this lively, down-to-earth book. A study guide is included for any who wish to delve deeper into any of the issues raised. James W. Sire (Ph.D., University of missouri), formerly a senior editor at interVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught english, philosophy, theology and short courses at many universities and seminaries. His interVarsity Press books include The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept and Why Good Arguments Often Fail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442992283
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/12/2009
  • Edition number: 16
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

James W. Sire (Ph.D., University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught English, philosophy, theology, and short courses at many universities and seminaries. He continues to be a frequent guest lecturer in the United States and Europe.

His InterVarsity Press books and Bible studies include The Universe Next Door (a worldviews textbook), Scripture Twisting, Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.

Carl Peraino (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is a retired senior biochemist at Argonne National Laboratory. He is author or coauthor of approximately one hundred research articles, including "Reduction and Enhancement by Phenobarbital of Hepatocarcinogenesis Induced in the Rat by 2-Acetylaminofluorene," coauthored with R. J. Michael Fry and Everett Staffeldt, Cancer Research 31:1506-1512, October 1971. This paper signaled a significant shift forward in cancer research.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Preface 11

Editorial Note 13

Part 1 Slipping into Dialogue 15

1 Mozart, Bach and Vonnegut: Signals of Transcendence 17

2 Signals Disallowed 18

3 Vonnegut: Humanist or Nihilist 19

4 Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter 21

5 Animal Morality 24

Part 2 From Morality to Worldview: The Argument Morphs 25

6 Morality, the Divine and Everything Else 27

7 An Objective Foundation for Morality 29

8 Scientists and Religious Commitment 34

9 A Colloquy on Morality 37

Part 3 The Theological Dimension: God in the Dock 43

10 Good and Evil and the Character of God 45

11 God Almighty 53

12 God, His Human Creation and Heavenly Bliss 59

13 God and Human Free Will 63

14 Speculation: What If? It Seems to Me 64

15 Carl's Sabbath: A Personal Reflection 67

Part 4 Intelligent or Unintelligent Design 73

16 Scientists and Intelligent Design 75

17 Intelligent Design 76

18 Unintelligent Design 81

19 Passionately Antireligious 83

20 Jim's Sabbath: A Dizzy Dream 83

Part 5 Our Age: Sacred or Secular? 85

21 Remembering Secularism 87

22 Secularism Is Not Dead 87

23 In Defense of Novak 89

Part 6 Doctorow: The Power of Doubt 93

24 A Highly Evolved and Beautifully Stated Religious Point of View 95

25 An Unbridgeable Gulf? 96

26 Doctorow Reconsidered 97

27 Doctorow: Pro and Con 100

28 Battling the Antitechnological Spirits 105

29 Computers Don't Forgive 105

30 Case Closed! 106

Part 7 The God Question Once Again 109

31 Getting God Off the Hook 111

32 A Colloquy on the God Hypothesis 115

33 The Scandal of the Particular 126

34 A Believer's Crutch 131

Part 8 Rats and Humans: Minds andBrains 135

35 Rat to Rat, Kindness Takes Hold 137

36 Chimps Too Are Kind 138

37 Show Me Kindness 138

38 Minds Emerge from Brains 139

39 Dualism Is Not Dead 140

40 Subtle Distinctions 141

Part 9 The Source of Our Deepest Differences 145

41 A Change of Focus 147

42 A Way Forward 147

43 Carl and Jim in Ancient Greece 149

44 A Final Colloquy: On Faith and Reason 153

Part The Last Winding Down 169

45 Enough Is Enough 171

46 Sure Is! 172

Afterword: Agreeing to Disagree 173

Carl's Comments 173

Jim's Comments 176

Study Guide 184

Relevant Readings 193

Biographies 197

Subject Index 200

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