Monday, May 16, 2011

Required Reading for a Christian Worldview

In my last post, I gave some general advice to men and women going into secular colleges. Here are some specific resources that have helped in my personal development of a Christian worldview and an apologia (a defense) of the faith.

Required Reading/Listening/Visiting
If you had 15 hours to steel your mind against false ideas, I’d recommend preparing with the following. Many of these resources could be studied, and read or watched many times without exhaustion.

Mere Christianity – An incredible perspective on Christianity, summarizing the major doctrines of the faith in everyday language. He is able to communicate the truths of Christianity in English that doesn’t take a lifetime in Sunday school or a seminary degree to understand. His style is incredibly useful in learning how to communicate with nonbelievers. (~8 hours)

John Lennox and Richard Dawkins (the existence of God and miracles). Dawkins is probably the most famous living Atheist. This may be the best example of how to have a productive friendly conversation with an Atheist that I’ve yet heard. (~1 hour)

William Lane Craig vs. Bart Ehrman (the historicity of the Resurrection). Ehrman is probably the most famous skeptic of the Resurrection. This is a masterful debate that shows a powerful argument for the Resurrection and how to argue forcefully against the Resurrection-As-Exaggeration argument (~2 hours)

William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens (the existence of God). Hitchens is probably the second most famous living Atheist. Hitchens presentation is very typical of what to expect when talking with a convinced skeptic. Craig responds as he always does: with precision and force. (~2 hours)

Veritas Forum – Lectures by top Christian thinkers from every field. Explore this site, especially as it pertains to the field you are interested in (or classes you are taking).   (~1 hour)

Blue Letter Bible – For the serious Bible student. You can have access to lexicons, different translations, and commentaries. (~1 hour)

Other Helpful Resources
Everything by CS Lewis – Study him. He’s answered most of the major questions we struggle with today. My favorite nonfictions in order: The Four Loves, The Abolition of Man (on education), The Problem of Pain, God in the Dock. He also wrote awesome sci-fi: The Space Trilogy. It’s also definitely worth it to read (or re-read) the Chronicles as an adult. You probably missed a lot as a kid J.

Orthodoxy - GK Chesterton. This book profoundly affected me. It's Chesterton's walk through the reasons why Christianity appealed to him, and he comes up with several really powerful reasons that are quite unique.

Learn the Bible in 24 Hours (Purchase .  Stream Online) - Chuck Missler. A series of 1-hour talks that are aimed to give a strategic picture of the Bible. It has been incredibly helpful in my coming to see the Bible as an inspired whole.

Love God with all Your Mind – JP Moreland. An incredible book on how we need to engage our mind to properly love God will all of ourselves. It gives very practical ideas on how to do this.

The Two Tasks edited by William Lane Craig. A series of essays on why Christians really really really need to succeed in the University.

The Reason for God by Tim Keller, 2008. This one is really good at answering modern objections and questions by a pastor working in NYC. It's very readable (i.e. the first quote in the book is from Darth Vader).

Ravi Zacharias. An Indian Christian philosopher. Google him; all of his stuff is great. "What Does it Mean to be Human" (here) is a good place to start. He’s especially good against Pantheism and pluralism. Here is a talk on Pantheism/Eastern though (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4), and one on Pluralism (Part 1 Part 2).

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