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Found 57 comments on Mere Christianity:

u/LordGrac · 524 pointsr/Christianity

After reading through your responses here, I feel the need to clarify for you exactly what an argument is and what it can do. You list examples like evolution and heliocentrism and ask how those might affect one's faith. In reality, these arguments do nothing to disprove God, and are in fact separate issues entirely.

The way you've been speaking so far, it seems like the arguments you're assuming are these:

  • The church believed the sun revolved around the earth
  • The earth in fact revolves around the sun
  • Therefore, God does not exist


  • Some Christians say evolution is false
  • Evolution is not false
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    Do you see the leaps here? The statement "God does exist" is not a logically valid inference from these arguments. They, in fact, cannot say anything about whether or not God exists; such is simply not a possibility in the premises. What they really can do is this:

  • The church believed the sun revolved around the earth
  • The earth in fact revolves around the sun
  • Therefore, the church was wrong


  • Some Christians believe evolution is false
  • Evolution is not false
  • Therefore, some Christians are wrong

    Now, does "the church was wrong [on this occasion]" and "some Christians are wrong" equate to "God does not exist?" No. It means that it is a logical possibility, yes, but it does mean that is certain or even probable.

    In addition, you'll find that these arguments are not conflicts at all for the vast majority of Christians, especially those who frequent r/Christianity. This is why:

  1. It is possible in our theology for the church to be wrong. The church is made up of human beings, and though those human beings have the power of the Holy Spirit, they are still humans and therefore quite capable of sin and being wrong.

  2. The "heliocentrism debate" centered around Galileo is often blown way out of proportion. The issue was how the Church was going to handle someone challenging their authority. Heliocentrism itself was almost a negligible issue, though it was indeed an issue. Additionally, Galileo's proof for heliocentrism was lacking for the science standards of his day (natual philosophy of this time was strongly influence by Aristotle and his deductive method - induction was not considered valid, and heliocentrism relies on induction). See this Catholic.com article on the issue.

    You should also be aware of the philosophical foundation for science. Science is inherently naturalistic, which means that it cannot interact in any way with things outside of nature (related: it is also incapable of 'proving' anything, only math and logic can do that; science can only disprove and assume that which is most probable given the evidence). This includes God, as he exists outside of the universe as we perceive it. Dealing with things outside of nature is the realm of metaphysics, and metaphysics is largely philosophy and logic, not science. Thus, any argument that claims "science has proven God does not exist" is an argument resetting entirely on false beliefs about what exactly science is. This is what others in this thread have been saying.

    Given all that, you'd do well to know exactly what arguments do set out to disprove God - and there are very few of them that do so in a valid way. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theogica, was in the habit of stating a point, giving three positions on this point, and then stating his view which was contrary to the three and then arguing against the three first points. In his section on "Whether God Exists?" he only lists two reasons; this is because very few of the arguments that claim to disprove God can actually logically do so. These are the arguments he lists:

  • God is an all-good, all-powerful being
  • An all-good, all-powerful being would be capable of eradicating evil
  • Therefore, an all-good, all-powerful being must eradicate evil
  • Evil exists
  • Therefore, God is either not all-good, not all-powerful, or does not exist
  • The God of the Bible is necessarily all-good and all-powerful, therefore the God of the Bible does not exist


  • Things that were previously explained using God are now explained without God
  • Humanity will continue to find explanations for things now explained with God
  • Therefore, humanity has no need for God to exist
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    Note that these aren't the arguments exactly as he lists them; I've updated them slightly to better reflect how they are used today.

    The second argument is yet another argument making a logically invalid conclusion from the premises. Whether or not mankind needs God to exist is irrelevant to whether or not he actually exists. Thus this argument falls flat.

    The first argument is known as the Problem of Evil, and it has been a huge issue for theists for a very long time. It has not been answered in a way that most theists find existentially satisfying, meaning that no matter how the problem is answered, evil is always a big problem in everyone's life, and it's always hard to understand why God won't just take it away. That said, the Problem of Evil relies entirely on this premise:

  • Therefore, an all-good, all-powerful being must eradicate evil

    We have to ask is that really so? And the answer is, we have no idea if it is or not. It is logically possible that an all-good, all-poweful being could co-exist with evil, even if we don't know how that is possible. Ultimately, this argument is an argument from ignorance, meaning that it relies on the fact that we don't know something to make its claim (The "God of the gaps" argument does the same thing, by the way - it says "Look, we don't know how x or y happen, therefore God"). This is a logical fallacy, and as a result the problem of evil also cannot logically disprove God - though the answer does very little to comfort someone dealing with evil.

    I highly recommend you watch Tim Keller on the Problem of Evil at Google. Tim Keller is a big-name pastor in New York in addition to being a popular apologist (meaning one who defends an intellectual stance - in this case, Christianity).

    I feel it's worth mentioning what is probably the most common argument against theism, and especially Christianity, most especially on the internet. This is the argument:

  • Theists believe things that I find crazy
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    You should be able to tell by now that this argument is not a true argument at all. The conclusion has nothing at all to do with the premise. It sounds crazy to some people that Christians believe in life after death, but that does not mean it is false, and it certainly does not mean God does not exist. It sounds crazy to some people that some Christians believe that bread blessed by a priest becomes the body of Christ, but that does not mean it is false, and it certainly does not mean God does not exist (a lot of the popular arguments against evolution use this tactic, and are also invalid). This tactic is the one most commonly used by Richard Dawkins.

    Ultimately, that 'argument' fails because it relies entirely on the perception of the individual and has absolutely nothing to do with logic. It merely disguises itself as logic.

    Now, if you really want to read more about why people believe God can logically exist, you want to look into books on apologetics. There are a whole lot of those, as it has been a popular topic for hundreds of years now, but two that are quite accessible and quite strong are The Reason for God by Tim Keller, who I mentioned above, and Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, of Narnia fame. These two books deal with how God can logically exist, but there are a wealth of books on other apologetic issues, like how we can trust the Bible to be accurate (Reinventing Jesus is a very good book for this issue).

    Edit: error corrections, some paranthetical statements.
u/BeenBeans · 65 pointsr/Catholicism

Hi there! Also a former raised-Catholic-but-not-really-former-atheist/agnostic revert here.

There are numerous - almost endless - amount of resources out there, regarding the Church. (Considering the age of the Catholic Church, it's not surprising.) If you had more specific topics you were looking for, I'm sure people here would be more than willing to point you in the right direction.

For more general sources by platform:



  • There actually is a "Catholicism for Dummies".

  • Mere Christianity is a classic read for all Christians. It is not explicitly Catholic, but it gives a good foundation.



  • Father Mike Schmitz does a great job of explaining things concisely and with enthusiasm.

  • Bishop Robert Barron is also extremely popular on social media among Catholics. Great content.



  • Catholic Stuff You Should Know is one part goofy banter and one part reflections/discussions on Catholicism. I listened to them regularly when I had 1+ hour commutes each way :)

  • Catholic Answers is also a well-known podcast among Catholics. Haven't listened to them yet, but I always hear good things!



  • Regarding mass and its structure/meaning. Here is a link to a USCCB page that breaks down the mass structure and explains the significance of each section/prayer

  • On how to pray the rosary. Learning the rosary can be a big hurdle for neophytes, but it would still be fruitful to begin with perhaps just one decade.


    This subreddit is generally good at giving solid answers and advice, if you had specific questions/doubts/inquiries. It was actually probably quite an instrumental player in my reversion to the Church. And like you said, head to confession ASAP! Welcome back home, friend.
u/mirroredfate · 41 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

From an economics perspective:

u/The_New_34 · 31 pointsr/Christianity

As a Catholic, I can assure you Catholics ARE Christians. Mel Gibson is a Catholic... sort of. He's a Sedevacantist.

Man, call yourself a Christian! I would also recommend looking into the Roman Catholic faith or the Eastern Orthdox faith (we're the OG Christians, lol).

Yes, get a Bible, but DON'T read it cover-to-cover. Once you get to Leviticus, you'll be like, "What the actual f--- is going ON here?" Start with the New Testament, specifically one of the Gospels. I personally love the Gospel of Luke because of how it portrays Mary, but the Gospel of John is quite good, too. It's very symbolic and is perhaps the one you could study the deepest.

if you're finding it hard to understand some of the New Testament of the Bible (the part with Jesus, the letters of Paul, and the Book of Revelation,) I would recommend buying the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. It's an actual, readable Bible that contains commentary throughout. The version I linked is only for the New Testament. The Old Testament analysis is still being compiled, but it's almost done.

Also, listen to Scott Hahn's podcast where he breaks down various sections of the Bible.

As for reading materials outside the Bible, I can highly recommend Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton, and Chesterton's other work The Everlasting Man.

Oh yeah, PRAY! Just have a conversation with God! Talk to him about anything you want! Pray to God, ask the Blessed Mother for intercession, or any of the saints

If you're confused about the various denominations of Christianity, Here's a basic flow chart.

Here's the Nicene Creed, which is a mash-up of what (most) Christians believe

Also, I highly recommend the Podcast Pints with Aquians! It's an analysis of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, who's life mission was to combine faith with human reason and prove that it was not unreasonable to believe in God, but perhaps it is unreasonable to not believe in God.

I, along with everyone on this sub, will be praying for you! Good luck on your faith journey!

u/KeanuReevesPenis · 26 pointsr/JordanPeterson

You might want to actually learn about CS Lewis.

In Mere Christianity, Lewis bluntly states, quote, that “a Christian society would be what we call Leftist.” His references to capitalism (competition, profit, the accumulation of wealth, marketing, inequality, self-interest) are always critical, often hostile. He insisted that “If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong”.

He also routinely criticized British Imperialism, the continuing effects of slavery, and critiqued glorified notions of “the family”. His buddy was crypto-commie George Macdonald, and he was surprised that the United States did not have a “socialist” English-style National Health Service, which he treated as common sense.  On more than one occasion - and in print - he called for economic equality.  When Churchill, in the reactionary 1950s, wanted to award him a “CBE”—Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Lewis turned it down, because he did not want to be associated with, quote, “anti-leftist propaganda.” He was also a friend of Edith Nesbit, the friend of Karl Marx’s daughter and repeatedly condemned fascism and the far right (especially in Spain) and detested conservatives like Evelyn Waugh. His attitude toward nationalism is especially revealing; he opposed the, quote, “fanatical Nationalist who tells me to throw away my scruples about universal justice and benevolence and adopt a system in which nothing but the wealth and power of my own country matters.”  “Universal justice and benevolence” are basic liberal values he explicitly said on more than one occasion. He even consigned two of England’s hero-sized nationalist monarchs—Henry V and Henry VIII—to Hell.  He also was buddies with the great English Marxist, William Morris, and notice how often the theme of social revolution turns up in Lewis’s books for children. 

And, though he has a reputation in America as a kind of evangelical Christian, Lewis abhorred mixing religion with politics.  “Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst”.  His language is blunt.  “Theocracy is the worst of all governments” and he openly called his beliefs “liberal” and “humanist” and expressed sympathy for the socialists hauled up before the McCarthy hearings, which he did not approve of. Up until he death, he expressed that humanity needed a new economic democracy, and his much touted "Mere Christianity" (perhaps his most popular book in the west) has surprising things to say about capitalism:  “Moses and Aristotle and the Christians agreed in forbidding interest. . . . three great civilisations had agreed in condemning the very thing on which we have based our whole life under capitalism". In a Christian society, he said, “There will be no manufacture of silly luxuries and then of sillier advertisements to persuade us to buy them. A Christian society would be what we now call Leftist”.

But of course, like Orwell (and numerous civil rights leaders), CS Lewis is whitewashed in the west.

u/Ask_Seek_Knock · 11 pointsr/Christianity

First, no one can convince you of God's existence except Him. I know, I was not raised Christian, not even close. I came to Christ as an adult, much to the amazement of my Christian friends and much to the horror of my secular friends and family. Ask, seek, knock Matt 7:7, it sounds like an easy solution but it isn't. If following God were simple then Jesus' death would have been unnecessary. If following Jesus were easy in a fallen world, then there would be no apostasy, there would be no need for caution, there would be no hypocrisy; but in reality there is.

Second, God calls us to love him with all that we are. Our hearts, mind and soul. God does not want mindless zombies. [Luke 10:27 & Deut 6:5] If you know a Christian who isn't thoughtful, then you probably know one who is deceived. In fact, throughout history you will find that many of the best educated people were Christians. All but one of the first universities in the fledgling US were Christian schools. Why? Because God warns us to be discerning so that we will not be deceived by lies, well told lies but lies all the same.

Third, read the Bible and study its' history. There is a lot of information available on these topics. Also study prophecy. Prophecy is given to the Church for several reasons, one of which is to testify to God's nature, the nature that allows him to lay out history before it happens.

Give God a chance and HE will show you his character and nature, but you do have to seek Him out. I'm sorry if that's not what you want to hear but it is true.

Resources, by far a drop in the bucket of the preponderance of information:

Is Jesus Real? Non-biblical evidence Short video, that goes over some of the information for a historical Jesus. Much is taken from the next link, The Divine Evidence.

The Divine Evidence Article Index Tons of articles to go through here.

Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul

Christian Martyrs Several part series, from Foxe's book Christian Martyrs of the world. This is an important part of Church history, it's good to see where the Church has been.

Mere Christianity Someone else suggested this and it's a good read. Some people have a negative view of Lewis, but I think his story and published writings are pretty inline with the Bible. At least the ones I have read.

u/Witty_Weasel · 11 pointsr/TrueChristian

For me I'm going to go a bit old school. First "The Abolition of Man" by C. S. Lewis, which argues for a sort of 'Universal Truth'. I thought it was endlessly fascinating, and it's really an easy, short read. (The audio book was only an few hours long). There's also Lewis's "Mere Christianity" which is once again easy and short. In it he sort of starts with a shortened version of the argument found in Abolition, and from there discusses why Christianity itself works as the 'Universal Truth'.

If your looking for something thicker, I would suggest G. K. Chesterton's "Heretics", which blasts away the philosophy of his contemporaries (Which is still applicable today), "Orthodoxy" which discusses his own conversion and his own search for truth, and "The Everlasting Man" which discusses the history of mankind and Christianity's role in it. (This was also the book that converted Lewis' intellect).

Chesterton is not necessarily a difficult read because of lengthy words, or because he references something no longer fashionable, but because of his ideas. I like to think I can understand things fairly well, but I had to pause often to go over a phrase, or to really think about a thought he presented. But both authors are very enjoyable.

u/DaSoleil14 · 9 pointsr/Catholicism

In terms of the existence of God, it was largely Anthony Flew's "There is a God" and C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" that got me to a place where I could at least be open the idea of the existence of God.

u/love_unknown · 7 pointsr/DebateReligion

I have a couple of things to say. Nothing philosophical, really—you've looked at the philosophical disputes already, and ultimately I think what you need to make up your mind is time, contemplation, and journeying. Don't think this is something that you need to determine instantly; if there is a God (as, I think, the best evidence indicates there is), then he must be compassionate and certainly is not displeased by someone who deliberately takes the time to figure things out and pursue truth with an open heart.

You're 17. Do you have any plans to go to college? If so, do the institutions you're looking at offer any philosophy of religion courses? Self-study is great, but sometimes coming at an issue in an explicitly academic context helps people really determine and refine what they think.

I, for one, cannot imagine the God in whom I believe sending such a sincere seeker of the truth to hell. Christians believe that God is love, that love is God's very essence (and indeed, if they are correct, the philosophical arguments over at /r/ThroughAGlassDarkly should establish that one of God's characteristics is being all-loving). If you have the time, I'd recommend picking up the book The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, a marvelous exposition into contemporary Christian thought regarding heaven and hell. In short, heaven is the condition of living in love, and hell is the condition of living without love—those who live in love presently on earth are already in an 'anticipated heaven,' as it were, while those who have surrendered to their own selfishness have already descended into a hell of their own making, a prison of their own subjectivity. I can't say for sure, obviously, but from this and other posts you don't strike me as someone whose concern for the satiation of subjective urges outweighs the longing for objective truth.

God is just, loving, and merciful. If you love others and act according to your conscience, I don't think you have reason to fear. Yet by no means cease from exploring. Read widely. If you're at all interested in Christianity I would recommend picking up C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, any popular-level work by N. T. Wright, and perhaps Ratzinger's God and the World or any papal encyclical issued since 2005. If for now you're just trying to wrap your head around the question of whether God exists, I would suggest that you continue to study independently, and plunge headfirst into life, being open to ideas, to people, to new experiences. The reality of God is apprehended not just in philosophical argumentation but also experientially; if in your journeying it becomes evident to you that there is something more, something greater than the hum-drum of everyday life or the experience of material satisfaction and transient happiness, then perhaps you will understand that God is out there, and that he loves you.

u/TweaktheReaper · 7 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I am listening to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity right now and in it he goes over exactly this. Basically he says that saying one should do something because it's "good for society" or because it's "nice" is redundant and gets someone absolutely nowhere when trying to explain why someone ought to do or be something.

Instead this commandment to be good goes back to two things: The first is that God and Christ are good and all knowing, so when they ask you to do something it isn't as though they haven't thought through "why". And secondly, because God and Christ are good and something of them is within us (made in His image, as it goes) then that means there is something good within us that is worth respecting and nurturing because it is divine in nature. I like to call that goodness empathy, because without it we lack the ability to empathize, even with things we've not experienced.

Going off the second point, empathy is the best way to explain goodness for its own sake to anyone without a spiritual background. Empathy allows us to metaphorically experience the lives and situations of others without having to actually do it, and to some degree feel as they do in those situations. Because of empathy and the ability to feel as others do, we can discern the need to not do things to others, because it could cause a stir in us called guilt, or shame, or sometimes we can even feel the pain we inflicted on them, but within ourselves. Barring some kind of emotional perversion (read: sadism or masochism) we typically would not willingly desire to put ourselves in a state of discomfort, so ergo we should not put others in one either, lest we should feel that shame, guilt, or pain all over again. This is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Without empathy the golden rule holds no weight, and empathy is by this premise something of a spiritual nature so it should be heeded.

To address your specific grievance, you must also consider the eternal nature of our lives. You're not inherently incorrect when you say that our lives are inconsequential in the scope of eternity, in fact I'm inclined to agree with you. However in the context of a spiritual progression, and one outlined by He on most high, it would be prudent to heed all what He has told us. We are told He loves us, that He created us all, individually, and that we are all, individually, the most precious to Him. We are also told that this life is simply a step in our journey, and the things we learn here and leave with are certainly not inconsequential because mortality has allowed us the ability to progress far beyond a spiritual form would ever allow.

Knowing this and operating under this premise, it is only logical to treat everyone well because we are all precious in His eyes, and to do everything we can to better ourselves because this is the greatest opportunity to do so. If you were given a kitten by someone you greatly respected, whose life and well being was in your charge despite it having its own free will, would you not cherish it (even if only to prove to whomever gave it to you that you cared as much as they did)? And if you were given the opportunity to go study under the greatest mind in whatever your chosen field is for the span of several hours, would you not soak up every single word they uttered? We need to be kind because we need to extend a certain amount of respect toward the work God has done to create us, as we are His children and He created us this way, such as we are, and He's proud of that. And we need to use that kindness and practice it here as mortals, because mortality is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Sorry for the wall of text, but this is pretty intense philosophy we're exploring here. I would also highly recommend either reading or listening to Mere Christianity, as C.S. Lewis is far more eloquent in explaining these things than I am since he was an educated philosopher, and I'm just a 24 year old trying to figure life out =)

u/discipulus_eius · 7 pointsr/Christianity
God bless you! :) I love how you have shared your testimony.
I'm a young Christian guy and, unfortunately, struggle with porn and masturbation as well. So I do relate to your troubles there.

As someone who is new to the Christian faith, you might find this book REALLY helpful:

It is called "Mere Christianity" by C.S Lewis, who, fun fact, is also the auther of the "Chronicals of Narnia" fiction series.

C.S Lewis was a devout Christian and has wrote many great books on the Christian faith. I would also reccomend his book "the Screwtape Letters" which is a book about demons. And it might help you with temptation, as you shall realise the spiritual reality of what happens whan you go through that tempation.

You also mentioned that your parents are Catholic, so they might appreciate that you learn Theology from the renowned Theologian,
Thomas Aquinas: https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Aquinas-Selected-Writings-Classics/dp/0140436324/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473988742&sr=1-1&keywords=thomas+aquinas




Thomos Aquinas is not only one of the greatest philosophers of Christianity, but one of the greatest philosophers PERIOD.

Just by reading, you can really learn a lot about the nature of God, what it means to
pray, how to properly interpret Scripture, understanding your
sexuality, the proper use of meditation etc.

Just reading one book can inform you a LOT.

I say this because, a lot of times, new Christians ask how or where
they can learn more about Christianity. Which is funny because the
answer is right in front of them. :) You learn more about religion
just as you learn more about everything else iln life. Through books.

Anyways. God bless you in your newfound relationship with Him.
May you grow in faith and find righteous abstinence from sin.
Pray for me as I shall pray for you.

Deo Gratias! +++
u/mrdaneeyul · 7 pointsr/Christianity

Hey, welcome to the sub. :)

First off, you have the right attitude (more than many churchgoers, it seems). You want to understand and wrestle and have it be real. Good news: you're on the right track. Faith is hard, at least most of the time. I'm sorry others looked down on you for asking questions and trying to figure things out; they were wrong to do so.

I agree with what others here are saying: Genesis is probably not the easiest place to start, and you'll get even more bogged down in Numbers or in Chronicles. Start in one of the Gospels. I saw Luke suggested, and I'll throw in John. Luke's writing has more details, and John's might be easier to read.

Starting in the Gospels has a purpose: Jesus is really the major focus. There's a lot to gain from reading his words firsthand, and seeing his actions. You might find it a lot different from what the culture says about him. Take your time and soak it in, and I think you'll find him pretty compelling.

After that, Paul's letters are pretty great. Philippians might be a good one to read first, though they're all really short and won't take long.

I might also suggest reading a different version of the Bible. The NRSV is accurate, but can also be archaic and difficult to understand. There are a lot of debates over Bible versions, but don't sweat them for now; I'd suggest the ESV or the CEB (if you want to study deeper later, the NRSV might be better then).

You'll probably want to find a church. This can be hit-and-miss, depending on so many factors. You won't and shouldn't fit into a church that looks down on you for struggling with faith. To start, even though it might feel silly, talk to God about it. Doesn't have to be fancy, just a conversation asking him to help you find a good church. Visit a couple, and see if they try to follow the Jesus you read about in the Bible.

(And if you're in the Dallas area, let me know... you can visit ours! :D I know a couple other great churches in the area too.)

If you're looking for more resources, it depends on what you're interested in.

  • www.biblegateway.com if you want to read the Bible online. Tons of versions (again, I'd go with CEB or ESV). I find it harder to read online, but it's good to have on-hand anyhow.
  • I second Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. It's a great read with some heavy concepts explained simply (Lewis was fantastic at this).
  • For the Resurrection (central to Christianity), check out Willaim Lane Craig's books, The Son Rises and Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, and, for a debate, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?
  • For the creation story, Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation is a must, as there are several viewpoints on Creation (another reason starting with Genesis might be difficult).
  • For doubt, I recommend Disappointment with God.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth is a good one for... well, pretty much what the title says it's for.
  • Along the lines of Mere Christianity, try G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. It's free, but might be a bit harder to read.

    BUT... don't go crazy. Start with the Gospels and maybe Mere Christianity, and go from there.

    If you have questions about what you're reading, feel free to come to this sub or /r/TrueChristian and ask. To be fair, there will be several opposing opinions on more controversial issues, which is a double-edged sword sometimes. But most everyone is welcoming, kind, and happy to discuss anything.
u/Shmurphy7833 · 6 pointsr/Catholicism

Every single person on this earth has their own idea about what religion is and how it originated, and you will encounter many more people with many ideas contrary to what you believe, so don't let your friends discourage you. You seem like you have a genuine desire to believe in God, so believe in him. In this life we are constantly being presented with new ideas and new experiences that shape the way we view things, the question is how will you chose to go about interpreting these new ideas and new experiences? Will you let something that challenges what you believe mold you and change your convictions, or will you fight to understand what you believe to be true, that there is a God and Jesus is his son? I write this as someone who has doubts everyday. Someone who questions constantly, and struggles with what you are struggling with now. However, I have come to learn that there will be a time to choose. What is it that you believe? And when you know it, fight for it, and hold on to it. Relish in the questions, take joy in the challenges, you are not loosing your faith, you are on the search for Truth, follow His voice.


Specifically, I think the most important place to start when trying to understand the miracles of Christ is His resurrection. Bishop Barron has a really good video on this.


I'll list some good books below which have helped me with these questions as well.




u/davidjricardo · 6 pointsr/Reformed

Kudos to you for wanting to diversify your reading list. Reading or listening to only one person is always a dangerous thing, no matter who that might be. I've made a bunch of book recommendations on this sub in the past. Here are a few I think are a good fit for you specifically. In general, I'd also highly recommend all of the works by the authors listed.

  • Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by Jamie Smith. This is always my top recommendation for the young person looking for more depth. It's a quick easy read best digested in small parts. It does a great job of providing an overview of the Reformed tradition that is accessible, theological, and pastoral. It's aimed at those who have a 'come-to-Calvin' moment from within other theological traditions (Smith was Pentecostal) but would benefit everyone.

  • Chosen by God and/or The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. Sproul is simply the best at explaining complex theological concepts in an easy to understand manner. These are his two best books in my opinion, but anything he has written is worth a read.

  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a satirical work where Lewis describes temptation from the vantage point of a junior and senior demon. The discription may sound odd, but it is full of insights into the state of mankind. Given your comments about temptation, I'd call this one a must read. Lewis was a master communicator, consider Mere Christianity as well.

  • Deep Down Faith by Cornelius Plantinga. This one is a devotional aimed at young adults, but an excellent explanation of Reformed Faith. Highly recommended.

  • Knowing God by J.I Packer - This is a classic book that, in the words of Elizabeth Elliot, "puts the hay where the sheep can reach it--plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God." I don't know that there are many books that every Christian needs to read, but this one is definitely on the list.

    Lastly, I'd encourage you to read through some of the Reformed Confessions. Begin with the Heidelberg Catechim and the Belgic Confession. If you want a more modern approach, I'd encourage you to also read the Christian Reformed Church's Contemporary Testimony Our World Belongs To God, too.
u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/Christianity

My suggestion to you, if you're really interested in Christianity, is to read CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. It's an excellent intro to Christianity from a talented and intelligent author. Here is the Amazon listing for the book, but if you don't wish to purchase it/check it out, here's a free .txt version.

Also, start with the New Testament - specifically Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - and remember that to be like Jesus is basically the end goal of all Christians. Don't get too bogged down in the Old Testament until later.

u/ComeHereOften7 · 4 pointsr/Christianity

I'm happy for you and will be praying for ya. I highly recommend checking out the book Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. It gives a well thought out overview of the Christian faith.

u/Repentant_Revenant · 4 pointsr/TrueChristian

Have you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis yet? You mentioned you were interested in apologetics, and this one is practically a staple in the church. If you haven't gotten to it yet, please read it as soon as you can.

Also, check out The Reason for God by Tim Keller.

Tim Keller's entire ministry is about the skepticism we see in the world today. It's important to know that you can be a Christian and be skeptical. Doubt is not the opposite of faith.

The fact that you're doubting means that you're entering into a new phase of your faith - where you hold it up to a high critical standard.

It might not feel like it, but I believe that this is a good thing, and in fact that God allows us to be in a state of doubt for this very reason. Once you've done your research, you'll be much better equipped to talk with non-Christians and with Christians who are struggling with their faith. You'll be better able to help them overcome their doubts.

u/Bakeshot · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Read through the Gospels. That's where we find the root of our faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

It may be good to read a contemporary book alongside scripture that discusses a little bit about why we believe what we do such as Surprised by Hope, Mere Christianity, or Orthodoxy.

u/lastnote · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Have you thought about reading any christian theology books? I find reading opposing perspectives and ideas helps to strengthen my own. If I can make a few recommendations...

The Reason for God - Timothy Keller

Jesus Among Other Gods - Ravi Zacharias

The End of Reason - Zacharias

Christian Apologetics - Norman Geisler

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

I would highly recommend everyone read Wayne Grudem's "Christian Beliefs". It's an abbreviated version of "Systematic Theology". Very short but concise overview of basic christian beliefs.

I can only recommend christian material as I haven't read a lot of other religious text. Christianity is the most relevant religion where I live, so understanding has been helpful in conversing with the religious folks around me.

u/ShavedRegressor · 3 pointsr/atheism

Sadly, some intelligent people fall for religions or cults. Mr. Lewis was one of them.

I enjoyed his fiction as a child, but I can’t say the same about Mere Christianity. It sounded like someone doing his best to rationalize nonsense.

u/Roycewho · 3 pointsr/quotes

There is neither Good nor evil. There simply, “is”.

We use words to describe something’s “is-ness”. However what it “is” depends almost entirely on the context in which it appears and/or how it is perceived by the observer. The difference between narcissism (bad) and confidence (Good) is how the phenomenon manifest.

Many of these ideas are better articulated by experts such as

Edmund Husserl and his theory of phenomenology

Also discussed by Mark Twain in “Mere Christianity”

Robert Anton in “Prometheus Rising”

u/Kidnapped_David_Bal4 · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Are some of your family members Christian? You could talk to them (certainly if it's your immediate family like mom and dad or siblings). It'd be harder if it's like a cousin or uncle or grandmother, but you probably want someone to talk to who you trust. Do you have friends who are Christian? Maybe just ask them- if this is a big decision in your life, they should hopefully have your back. You might find out that some of your friends are Christian and you didn't even know because they were too intimidated to tell you that and now you made the first move so it's find to talk about it.

If you really want to read something, you could try reading one of the gospels. Maybe Mark? I also think you'd benefit by reading something a little less formal, a little more geared right at you (the gospels have a lot of context and history and previous knowledge that they expect readers to be working with, so either accept that there's stuff that's going over your head and read them anyway or get a study Bible to help). A lot of people recommend Mere Christianity or The Reason for God or others by Tim Keller. I think that's the sort of thing you're looking for.

u/Ibrey · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Well, I wrote a comment yesterday trying to give a very broad overview of Christianity's family tree. I linked to a few historic creeds for the major branches of Christianity, though perhaps some of them won't be all that illuminating without prior familarity with the controversies they take a side in:

u/IRedditbe4 · 2 pointsr/Christianity

We all have doubts. It's part of being human and being a Christian. As you mentioned you are still looking for truth and are open to the idea of theism. I would just recommend a few books for reading that are great intellectual reading about the subject. That being: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism and The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus
as well as anything by CS Lewis notably [Mere Christianity] (http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425281260&sr=1-1&keywords=mere+christianity+cs+lewis) and Screwtape Letters.

All the best in finding truth friend, and although you may doubt Him (even as Apostles, greatest evangelists, martyrs, missionaries also did) I would not advise ruling out Christ just yet.

u/etrnloptimist · 2 pointsr/Parenting

Not sure if you're really interested in getting into a disucssion about this, but CS Lewis wrote a very excellent book called Mere Christianity which I would highly encourage everyone to read, whether Christian or atheist.

In it, he basically says what you said -- that the Golden Rule dictates how we interact with others.

But he also made the broader point that you need more than that to be a good person. He talks of having a moral compass even when nobody else is around.

For instance, if you were on a desert island, where there is no other living being, there still exists both moral and immoral behavior. No action of yours could possibly hurt or be influenced by another person.

However, even though the Golden Rule does not apply in this situation, it is still possible to be a good or a bad person. You may lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Eat too much. Drink too much. Don't exercise. Be filled with self loathing or self importance. None of these would affect another person. They are all personal vices. What principles, then, govern your behavior in these circumstances?

u/SaxonySam · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis:

>In the beginning, the everlasting God spoke both time and the universe into existence.

Gary Baxter, A Defense of the Bible:

>God did not have a beginning as He is outside of time.

Norman Geisler, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

>As Creator, God is as different from the universe as an architect is from his architecture.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity:

>[Christians] think God invented and made the universe—like a man making a picture or composing a tune. A painter is not a picture, and he does not die if his picture is destroyed.

There are many more examples, but these should illustrate the point. This sentiment appears to be relatively common among evangelical and fundamentalist Christians.


>People love just making stuff up.

That's why arguments need to be honed to combat their ideas, and why I commented as I did: OP's argument won't be effective on such people.


Edit: clarification

u/MojoPin83 · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Part 3: Book recommendations:

If you want to dig deep into this topic, here are some book recommendations. Perhaps you would want to read N.T. Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God series (this is very heavy, scholarly reading). N.T. Wright is the foremost scholar on the New Testament and this is possibly the most thorough literature on the historical Jesus, early Christianity and the Apostle Paul:


Anything by N.T. Wright is well worth reading (Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope would be good introductions). Likewise, anything by Ravi Zacharias.

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona: https://www.amazon.ca/Case-Resurrection-Jesus-Gary-Habermas/dp/0825427886

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Nabeel-Qureshi/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ANabeel%20Qureshi

No God But One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi: https://www.amazon.com/God-but-One-Investigates-Christianity/dp/0310522552/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517050609&sr=1-2&refinements=p_27%3ANabeel+Qureshi

On Guard by William Lane Craig: https://www.amazon.ca/Guard-William-Lane-Craig/dp/1434764885/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526542104&sr=8-1&keywords=on+guard+william+lane+craig

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel: https://www.amazon.ca/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310339308

Bonus reading: Heaven by Randy Alcorn: https://www.amazon.ca/Heaven-Randy-Alcorn/dp/0842379428/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526542237&sr=1-1&keywords=randy+alcorn+heaven

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: https://www.amazon.ca/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926

Read anything by G.K. Chesterton, especially, The Everlasting Man

Answers to Common Objections and Questions:

Jesus’ Resurrection and Christian Origins: http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/jesus-resurrection-and-christian-origins/

The Evidence for Jesus: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/jesus-of-nazareth/the-evidence-for-jesus/

The Resurrection of Jesus: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/jesus-of-nazareth/the-resurrection-of-jesus/

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Christianity's Centerpiece: http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/The_Resurrection_of_Jesus_Christ_as_Christianitys_Centerpiece_FullArticle?fbclid=IwAR0oE22vtBvR2u--R78tSyW-51OpIbWBfWDNH2Ep8miBc9W6uUJMwMsz0yk

Origin, Meaning, Morality and Destiny: http://rzim.org/just-thinking/think-again-deep-questions/

Accompanying video to the link above: Why is Christianity True?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5qJPZySo7A

How Do You Know Christianity Is the One True Way of Living? | Abdu Murray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14ze_SVg-0E&app=desktop

What makes Christianity unique among the world’s religions? Verifiability is a Christian Distinctive: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/verifiability-is-a-christian-distinctive/

Is Jesus God? (Feat. Craig, Strobel, Habermas, Licona, Qureshi...): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dLoKCyDDAg&app=desktop

How Can Understanding Eyewitness Testimony Help Us Evaluate the Gospels?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tCDDsPXQSQ&app=desktop

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection - Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection? - Nabeel Qureshi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hD7w1Uja2o

‪Questioning Jesus: Critically Considering Christian Claims with Dr. Nabeel Qureshi‬: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UpuEDp4ObA

Did Jesus Rise From the Dead? | Yale 2014 | William Lane Craig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NAOc6ctw1s&app=desktop

Historical Resurrection of Christ?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Dc01HVlaM

‪Are The New Testament Documents Historically Credible?:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgdsIaqFAp4

Are the Gospels Accurate?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxrDy_G8h88

(Answer to the common objection: ‘the gospels are anonymous’)
Gospel Authorship—Who Cares?: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer/P40/gospel-authorshipwho-cares

What is the Evidence That Jesus Appeared Alive After His Death?: https://youtu.be/96WIa3pZISE

On Extra-Biblical Sources for Jesus' Post-Mortem Appearances: https://youtu.be/-Dbx7PPIIsQ

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead Or Was It A Hoax By His Followers?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aELRKdxV7Wk

Follow up to the previous video: ‪Did Jesus rise from the dead, or was it hallucinations by his followers?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29224I3x_M0&feature=youtu.be

Did the Disciples Invent the Resurrection?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOHUWsNDPZc

‬Facts to show the Resurrection is not fiction, by William Lane Craig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AduPVkqbis

‬Did Paul actually see the risen Jesus, or did he simply have some sort of vision?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yNdynwqtWI&t

What Do You Mean By ‘Literal?’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQpFosrTUk

Evidence For Jesus' Resurrection: https://youtu.be/4iyxR8uE9GQ?t=1s

Death, Resurrection and Afterlife: https://youtu.be/HXAc_x_egk4?t=1s

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?: https://youtu.be/KnkNKIJ_dnw?t=1s

4 Historical Facts That Prove Jesus Really Did Rise From The Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmKg62GDqF4

‪What About Pre-Christ Resurrection Myths?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrCYVk6xrXg

Jesus and Pagan Mythology: Is Jesus A Copied Myth or Real Person?: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/jesus-and-pagan-mythology/

Zeitgeist - Is Jesus A Myth: https://alwaysbeready.com/zeitgeist-the-movie

Did Greco-Roman myths influence the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pt9rlG7ABo&app=desktop

‪Does the Resurrection Require Extraordinary Evidence?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLN30A0vmlo

Moral Argument For God’s Existence: How Can A Good God Allow Evil? Does Life Have Meaning?: https://youtu.be/it7mhQ8fEq0

‪Are there Inconsistencies Between the Four Gospels?: https://youtu.be/sgdsIaqFAp4

‪Why Are There Differences in the Resurrection Accounts?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtz2lVGmXFI

Don't the Gospels Contradict One Another?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gt9kCwttVY

Why Differences Between the Gospels Demonstrate Their Reliability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zimP8m3_hCk

Why the Gospels Can Differ, Yet Still Be Reliable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An5wU2hxIfM

Four Reasons the New Testament Gospels Are Reliable: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/four-reasons-the-new-testament-gospels-are-reliable/

Find Contradictions in the Bible All You Want: https://www.thepoachedegg.net/2019/05/apologetics-find-contradictions-in-the-bible-all-you-want.html

The Case for the Historicity and Deity of Jesus: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-case-for-the-historicity-and-deity-of-jesus/

Bart Ehrman is one of the world's most renowned ancient historians/New Testament scholars, and he is an atheist. Listen to what he has to say on the matter of Jesus' existence: ‪The Historical Jesus DID Exist - Bart Ehrman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43mDuIN5-ww

Bart D Ehrman About the Historical Jesus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6U6TJ4cwSo

Extra-Biblical evidence: In addition to the gospel accounts and the letters from the Apostle Paul, we have sources outside the New Testament with references to Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, the Jewish Talmud, etc:


Is There Extrabiblical Evidence About Jesus' Life?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzP0Kz9eT_U&app=desktop

How do we know Jesus was really who he said he was?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ksvhHEoMLM&app=desktop

YouTube Channels to browse:

William Lane Craig - ReasonableFaithOrg: https://www.youtube.com/user/ReasonableFaithOrg?app=desktop

drcraigvideos: https://www.youtube.com/user/drcraigvideos?app=desktop

Ravi Zacharias - Ravi Zacharias International Ministries: https://www.youtube.com/user/rzimmedia?app=desktop

J. Warner Wallace - Cold-Case Christianity with J. Warner Wallace: https://www.youtube.com/user/pleaseconvinceme/featured?disable_polymer=1

The Bible Project: https://www.youtube.com/user/jointhebibleproject

Unbelievable?: https://www.youtube.com/user/PremierUnbelievable

David Wood - Acts17Apologetics: https://www.youtube.com/user/Acts17Apologetics

Nabeel Qureshi - NQMinistries: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCepxnLs6GWAxAyI8m2U9s7A/featured?disable_polymer=1

Randy Alcorn - Eternal Perspective Ministries with Randy Alcorn: https://www.youtube.com/user/eternalperspectives?app=desktop

Frank Turek - Cross Examined: https://www.youtube.com/user/TurekVideo

Brian Holdsworth: https://www.youtube.com/user/holdsworthdesign

u/DoubledPawns · 2 pointsr/religion

Mere Christianity is a great read. As far as a biography where he steps through his journey, I'm not sure he ever wrote anything quite like that.

Edit: Perhaps this might help

u/TooManyInLitter · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

> What book should I download and listen to that will convince me (a strong atheist) there is a god?

"The Call of Cthulhu" - a short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft

Praise HIM so that upon waking HE may find you worthy and consume you first.

Just Kidding. We already know (gnostic theist) that Cthulhu exists as documented in the Lovecraft historical documentary story (disguised as fiction to hide the ONE TRUE GOD from heathens)!

As an agnostic atheist towards all supernatural Deities, and a gnostic atheist towards monotheistic Yahwehism, I don't know of any books that would convince you. However, if you would like to read/listen to one of the better known Christian Apologists - consider:

  • Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics,
    by William Lane Craig

    Or perhaps something of a more emotional appeal ...

  • Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis

    Both books have garnered many positive reviews by Christians.

    Neither is likely to convince a strong atheist (e.g., one that holds a knowledge position that no Gods, or specific God(s), do not exist), but I know of no book/set of books/narratives/evidence/arguments that presents credible evidence or argument to support belief or acceptance in any God - with the belief in Yahweh even more unsupportable.
u/eternityisreal · 1 pointr/Christianity

Not to worry, there is a reasonable, rational foundation for the Christian faith! I strongly encourage you to check out the following resources:

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

7 Days that Divide the World by John Lennox
Video lecture version of book:

Cold Case Christianity by J Warner Wallace

There is also a free pdf of the entire book floating around online :)

They've made a huge difference for me in helping me keep my belief in the bible as the word of God despite coming to embrace scientific fact.

Be encouraged friend, God wants us to love him with our whole self: body, spirit, and MIND. The evidence is there!

u/at1stsite · 1 pointr/Christianity

I'd be happy to suggest some titles. (And I hope my comment didn't seem to insinuate that I thought you had unrealistic expectations about a spiritual moment of awakening or anything. I don't think that at all.) I understand what you mean about feeling that God might be hiding from you if He exists given that you've made some sincere attempts to know Him via the Bible, church, etc.

John Polkinghorne might be a good author to check out. He's a physicist who writes a lot about science & theology. (I suggest him b/c some of your authors you listed lead me to believe you're very confident in science and not sure how religion still has a place or provides evidence for God? Maybe?) Here's a good book of his that could get you started.

Have you read any C.S. Lewis? I personally found his arguments to be fairly compelling, but understand he's not compelling for everyone. Mere Christianity is his best known work, but all of his stuff is pretty great.

In any case, I do hope that these suggestions are in some way helpful in how your journey of wrestling with God's potential existence.

u/iDante · 1 pointr/tabc

I'm actually more interested in reading the Christian books, since I've read pretty much all of the popular atheist literature:


Mere Christianity

But of course there's good atheist literature too:

HPMOR and others that I'll think of and post later I suppose.

u/not_irish_patrick · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis is a good choice.

Not sure about how deep of a book you want.

u/TheCrapIPutUpWith · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I would highly recommend that you pick up a book by CS Lewis called Mere Christianity. It pulls together the philisophical and also human experience of the author's thought process of evaluating his faith. Lewis was an agnostic and at one point atheist who slowly came to faith later in life as a professor at Oxford. While not catholic (Although most think he was close to swimming the Tiber), I think it's worth a read if you're investigating the christian faith in general. As far as why Catholic, I agree with all below on the Church being the original church that emerged from the Apostles, and that the beauty of the sacraments and repetitive unchanging nature of the catholic experience is edifying and grounding to my otherwise crazy life.

u/onemanandhishat · 1 pointr/TrueChristian

Bible Reading:

Most important thing when choosing a Bible: pick the one you'll read. It doesn't matter if you prefer it because of how the cover makes you feel, if that will make you read it, then that's fine.

Most issues with translations only kick in when you find passages that are hard to understand and you want a sense of what the original writer was saying. Then something like the NLT may be less useful, because it paraphrases more. The one thing I'd say is that I wouldn't recommend a full paraphrase version like The Message, because it has a lot of the writer's own interpretation. It has its value, but not for regular study.

If you want an easy to access but still good for Bible study translation, then the NIV is a widely used version. With your background in mind, howevr, the ESV might be usable for you. It's a widely respected translation that is considered good for serious study because it gets closer to the original language than the NIV, with some sacrifice for ease of reading. It's not something I'd necessarily recommend for someone new to Christianity, but given that you grew up in a Christian family, you might not find the vocabulary as daunting.

Regarding annotations: feel free to skip them. They are intended to aid understanding, but are not part of God's word. Therefore they are not essential reading, although if you want help understanding a passage they may be useful. If you find the length of the Bible challenging, you may want to consider a Bible reading plan - it will give you a structured approach that just makes it all feel a bit more manageable. If you want to manage the whole thing in a year (4 chapters a day), then try For The Love of God by Don Carson. If that's too much you could give one of these a try. One popular approach is to just alternate reading Old Testament and New Testament books (e.g. read through Matthew, then Genesis, then Mark, then Exodus etc), and then, because the New Testament is shorter, starting over while you go through the 2nd half of the Old Testament. That one's good because it doesn't matter how much you read each day to fit the plan. But reading plans are just a tool, if you want to just sit and read, that's also great, reading whole books in one go has its benefits even. Whatever works for you.

Other resources:

There are many, many Christian books available. But if you want a couple of easy recommendations try:

  • The Cross-Centered Life by CJ Mahaney, it's super short but nails the essentials of the Christian life. Likewise Humility: True Greatness by the same author, also short.

  • Mere Christianity by CS Lewis - it's a good one for the atheist mindset, as CS Lewis was very talented at explaining Christian ideas in a way that makes logical and philosophical sense.

  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Mike Reeves - I confess I haven't read this one myself, but I love the author and I've heard him speak on this topic, and it really opened my eyes to explain the Trinity, which is one of the most mind-bending Christian teachings, yet it changes everything in an amazing way. Really worth checking out. Can also send you a link to his talks on it, if you prefer an audio option. He does some great church history stuff that warms my heart as well. We can learn a lot from those who came before us, and can shed light on our struggles and encourage us with their wisdom.
u/FaxRahCozy · 1 pointr/Christianity

Tl;dr: pastor, bible, catechism, mere Christianity and other books, the bible project, and other podcasts.

You should really consider talking to your pastor or a pastor at your church. Either go up to one and ask for a meeting, or go through the church email address or whatever contact method you have. Many protestant churches have membership or intro classes that explain these difficult,but important topics, and the Catholic church and orthodox church have formal classes. Reading the bible is Great, it is the most important thing to have besides a saving relationship with Christ. but having someone mature who can help you and lead you is immensely helpful,it's why they're there. A lot of these things are difficult to understand, and reading the bible often leads to more questions before it answers them. Find a teacher (or a few) that you trust to help explain them,then see of they line up with scripture as you grow more acquainted with it.

Catechisms are also helpful. They cover the basics in a question and answer format. There are also lots of podcasts that talk about this stuff as well. Books, videos, everything. C.S. Lewis is famous for explaining faith well, mere christianity is a great start. I have found the bible project youtube channel to be particularly helpful when reading and trying to understand the bible. It gives outlines of the books and helps frame the confusing language in an understandable way. John piper has a podcast "ask pastor john", but these are from one very specific view on Christianity called Calvinism and are very specific. Keep that one in your back pocket for now. Hope that helps supplement the answers here and give you direction. I've definitely had the confusing times where I don't know where to begin,I hope this makes that a smaller period of time for you. Pm me as well if you want additional resources.

u/RyanTDaniels · 1 pointr/Christianity

I recommend reading Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

u/Happy_Pizza_ · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I actually deconverted from Catholicism in college. I'm a revert.

I never got into into the party culture. I'm really against drinking and doing drugs, and I've always been skeptical of sex outside of a committed relationship and those morals stuck with me even after I deconverted from Christianity. What I did encounter was a lot of intellectual arguments against religion that I couldn't answer. However, what I also eventually discovered was that most of those objections had been heard before and responded to, at least in some manner.

So, here's my semi-comprehensive list of apologetics apologetics resources that I've accumulated over the years.

IMHO, the following books cover all the essentials very well and are probably must reads. You can buy used or online copies of them relatively cheaply, under 20 dollars if you're in the US. Check out Trent Horn's Answering Atheism, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civ, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (you can probably get Mere Christianity at your at public library), and What is Marriage? Man and Woman a Defense for defending the concept of natural marriage. You should also read How to Argue which is a free pdf. I haven't researched abortion apologetics as extensively as other areas but I know Trent Horn has some books on those.


I'm not going to say you should read all of my remaining recommendations but I'm putting the rest out there for you so you know they exist.

Now, no list of apologtics is going to cover every argument about Christianity so I would also recommend some online resources. www.reddit.com/r/Catholicism is an amazing forum. It has tons of Catholics who are way more knowledgable and experienced that me who can answer questions and stuff. You may or may not have heard of it ;). I also recommend William Lane Craig's site: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer. Again, Craig is a protestant so don't look to him for a defense of Catholicism. However, he's good when it comes to defending the basics of Christianity from atheism. Catholic Answers is good. Fr Barron is good. Strange Notions can be good, I link to it in my last paragraph.

The exact relationship between faith and reason was my biggest stumbling block on the road back to Catholicism, so I have some good recommendations on that topic. I recommend the papal encycle Fides et Ratio and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civ. Plantinga's book Where the Conflict Really Lies is also popular and uses evolution to make an interesting argument against materialism. Plantinga's not a Catholic so I don't know how well they would square with Catholic philosophies like Thomism, but, yeah, he exists. He also wrote this giant essay on faith and science, which was helpful. The book God and the Philosophers is pretty good too, it's an anthology of different Christian philosophers and talks about how they converted to Christianity.

Some comprehensive (but expensive) books by non-Catholics include The Blackwell Companion to natural theology by William Lane Craig (not a Catholic). I've heard good things about Richard Swinburne's apologetics trilogy The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason. Swinburne is Eastern Orthodox, just for the record.

I want to give a special shoutout to Edward Fesser. He's a secular atheist philosopher who converted to Catholicism. You can read his conversion story here. He also has a blog that you can google. Fesser also wrote a bunch of books that are highly recommended by people on this sub, although I haven't read them.

u/Amator · 1 pointr/JordanPeterson

Hello, I'm a bit late to this parade (I just heard Dr. Peterson's podcast with Joe Rogan yesterday) but I wanted to weigh in here.

There are a lot of good sources from a variety of Christian viewpoints. Many of the ones already listed are very good, but I don't see anything from my own particular version of Christianity (Eastern Orthodoxy), so I wanted to suggest two resource for you from that perspective as well as another from C.S. Lewis whose words are held dear by most Christians.

The first is a lecture by Fr. John Behr, the current dean of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds Masters of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University. This one is on YouTube and is 1.5 hours in length. It is called Death, the Final Frontier.There are a couple of minutes of fluff at the beginning but it starts to really roll into something I think Jordan Peterson fans would enjoy at the 3-minute mark. It is ostensibly about death, but it is a great critique of modern western culture viewed through the lens of liturgical Christianity.

This second is a recording of a lecture provided by a former dean of the same seminary that I think cuts to the heart of what Christianity actually means. It is called "The Word of the Cross" by Rev. Dr. Thomas Hopko and is around two hours total and has been broken into four individual sections by an Orthodox podcast publisher:
Part 1
[Part 2] (http://www.ancientfaith.com/specials/hopko_lectures/the_word_of_the_cross_part_2)
Part 3
Part 4

Lastly, I would direct you toward the writings of C.S. Lewis. When I was a young teenage atheist, his arguments were very persuasive for me and have been very popular amongst most Christians. I know many Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics who have all found their first theological footing in Lewis' work. Mere Christianity is probably the best source to steer you toward, but I think his best ideas can be found in The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, and Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. Since you've professed a preference for audio content, I will point you toward a YouTube playlist of the series of BBC radio broadcast lectures that C.S. Lewis gave during WWII that were the core of what later became Mere Christianity.

I'm tempted to also suggest that you read Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Kirkegaard, Dostoyevsky, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many, many others. Enjoy your journey!

u/video_descriptionbot · 1 pointr/TraditionalCatholics
Title | Sexual Morality by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 14, Mere Christianity, Bk 3, Chapter 5)
Description | C.S Lewis looks at the virtue of chastity. Notes below... This is an illustration of Lewis’ 4th talk of the third radio series called ‘Christian Behaviour’. This became Chapter 5 of Book 3, in the book called ‘Mere Christianity’. You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926 (0:36) "and in what words" - Lewis: “Sit down and draw your nude. When you have finished it, take your pen and attempt the written description. Before you have finished you w...
Length | 0:20:17


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u/sasquatchwarrior · 1 pointr/Catholicism

Peter Kreeft's Shorter Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa is short enough to read in a couple days.

And C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity explains the Christian concept of God.

u/BostonCross · 1 pointr/Catholicism

You should look into the story of C.S. Lewis, one of the most famous theologians and Christian writers in modern history. He, like you, was raised a Christian but became an atheist at the age of 15. When he was an atheist, he started reading about Christianity and asking some of the same questions you are, but finding answers. Two of my favorite books that helped me confirm my faith are linked below. Give them a read before you make any decisions.. Mere Christianity is a little tough to get through, but I have a copy with plenty of pencil markings in it next to my bed.

- Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

- The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

Also, about where you were born.. Catholics believe God knew us from the day he created us. Even if you were born in a Muslim family, you would have found your way to the same place somehow.

u/gordonjames62 · 1 pointr/Christianity

These are two books I have found helpful



dated but very good and available in e-reader format

u/D5LR · 1 pointr/AskMen

I think you're confusing morality and ethics - you can't use one to prove/disprove, or even support the other.

I'm a guy by the way. I think we're cool. You do you and I'll do me. :)

If you're ever interested in revisiting Christianity (from an intellectual, not faith, perspective) I would suggest this book - https://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310345863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522900460&sr=8-1&keywords=the+case+for+christ

Strobel applies legal tests to historical claims about the bible to assess how they hold up. It is a fascinating read.

Another good one is this one - https://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522900483&sr=8-1&keywords=mere+christianity

Regardless of your theistic persuasion, this one is a life changer. The insight Lewis provides into human nature is amazing (although he is a little sexist in one section).

u/shockwolf85 · 1 pointr/Bible

To become a better person takes intentionality, meaning you have to make a decision to make a change every time something new and unwholesome presents itself to you regarding yourself. The Bible is certainly a plumb line on major things to do to become a better person, but it's also full of pictures of individuals who showed the way for being amazing people.

I've found that the more I study leadership, psychology, emotional intelligence, etc., the more I see a blue print for it in the Bible, in particular, demonstrated by Christ himself.

If you want to be the best version of yourself, study servant-based leadership. Jesus was a servant leader. The apostles learned from Jesus how to be servant leaders. Servant leadership is the mortal granularity that made the gospel so transformative and helped it spread like a wildfire. If you are essentially having to "sell" a new religious belief system in the 1st century, you've got to be able to believe the salesman as well as the integrity of the product, right? The product is salvation and the sales pitch is a new way of walking in freedom and living a wholesome, abundant life. Christ's leadership model did just that.

If you want some good reads on leadership, check these out, and then read the new testament chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Keep in mind, you don't need a title or position to be a leader -- that's what servant leadership is all about.

"Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Sanders: Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer (Sanders Spiritual Growth Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0802416705/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_u.ZhDbPEN8952

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis: Mere Christianity https://www.amazon.com/dp/0060652926/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Ma0hDbTCSG70T

More leadership for business and for life:

"The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0785288376/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_cc0hDbRCMAGMZ

"The 5 Levels of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential https://www.amazon.com/dp/1599953633/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_6c0hDbK4RV56Y

u/Areanndee · 1 pointr/funny

Mere Christianity

Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History's Greatest Question

Both of these books were written by skeptics who reversed their positions based on evidence.

u/AmoDman · 1 pointr/Christianity

Asian girlfriend of what previous religious background? If you want to share ideas, it's best to first establish common ground for communication. This is a pretty dense piece of work, but might be interesting to her if she's from a Daoist background.

From a more Western context, I'd also reccoment Mere Christianity and Start Here.

u/Holophonist · 1 pointr/dataisbeautiful

>I don't need to. The assertions is that a physical thing can't create another physical thing. That is demonstrably untrue. You're placing restricting characteristics, not me.

It's not that a physical thing can't create another physical thing (even though it would actually be a physical thing creating a physical thing out of nothing), it's that the werewolf, a physical thing, would have nowhere to be while creating the universe, and no time to do it in.

>If a wearwolf doesn't exist, it can be whatever definition I'd like. Just like your god.

No this is idiotic. The word werewolf has a definition. You can't just change the definition however you'd like. If you can, then the conversation is meaningless because you'll just change it to be exactly like god, and then we're not talking about werewolves anymore.

> I would need to know why you think anything is likely in order to demonstrate why my wearwolf is likely. You would have to present your argument for why god is likely to have created the universe. I can then replace god with anything, and the argument will probably not change, if it's any of the popular ones. To be clear. Any argument I present would be a straw man of whatever you actually believe God is. I don't know how else to explain this.

Wrong. What I have to do is show why a werewolf is less likely to have created the universe than god, and I have. You don't seem to have anything to say in response.

>It is informed. Not sure that infants have developed morals, but I'm sure you have a well thought out argument on why slavery and genocide are cool.

I never said slavery and genocide are cool, I said you have an infantile understanding of religion.

>They're equally likely within the context of an argument for the likelihood of any being creating a universe. I personally don't think the likelihood of either is even measurable. If you say god is likely, because of reasons. I could replace god with a wearwolf, and the reasons wouldn't need to change.

Yeah you keep saying this and it's not true. You get that you're supposed to be making an argument, right? All you're doing is repeating that they're same over and over, and not explaining how. Prove to me that they're the same likelihood. Why are you saying anything else? All you should be doing is proving that, or taking back what you said.

>If a being needs to be capable of creating a universe to create a universe, then that is the only characteristic necessary for creating a universe. Adding additional requirements only makes it harder to prove. My wearwolf can be both a wearwolf and have the ability to create a universe. That ability wouldn't make it less of a wearwolf. It could possibly be more likely, because the characteristics of a wearwolf can be found in nature. Whereas the common characteristics given to a god are found NOWHERE. So what seems like a bigger stretch? But again, if you assert that additional characteristics are required to be capable of creating a universe, the onus is on you to argue that assertion.

The fact that there were men and wolves in nature absolutely does not make it more likely that a werewolf created the universe, because NOTHING about men or wolves would indicate that they can create universes. In fact, we know so much about them that it makes it way less likely. God, being defined as an all-powerful metaphysical being is much more likely to have created the universe, because nothing about the nature of god, as is traditionally defined, prevents it from doing so.

>A omniscient god would know. Otherwise, we could start with any that is measurable and predictable, and work our way towards a reasonable conclusion.

An omniscient god would know what?

>I don't have an argument to present unless you give me your reason for believing a universe creating being is likely at all. Then we can discuss why a wearwolf is as equally as likely as a that being. I have no idea why you think what you think, and I'm not going to guess from a wiki page.

You're very confused. I'm not proving to you that god exists, I'm proving to you that it's more likely that god created the universe than a werewolf. The fact that there is a long line of argumentation for god is itself evidence, because there is no corresponding argumentation for a werewolf creating the universe. If you have some, feel free to present it. Since you flippantly dismissed the fact that I gave you a wikipedia page to introduce you to apologetics, here are some books:





u/brtf4vre · 1 pointr/Catholicism

You can dispute all the evidence, we aren't going to come to any agreements here. I think still it is obvious that everything around us happened by design rather than a series of random events. You do not want God to exist and it is clouding your thinking. I am not the world's greatest apologist so please don't just think that because I could not give you a satisfactory answer everything is settled.
These questions have been asked and answered for millenia by people much smarter than both of us. If you are truely a man of science searching for the truth then I recommend reading some classic books on these topics.
Here is one I think is a good intro
Mere Christianity

One final thing on the 5 ways, you are correct that those first 3 are related, but the key is that they prove with certainty that there has to be something which had no cause. However, a thing which has no cause means that it has always existed and existence itself requires this being to be. The assertion that a thing could arise from nothing is not possible. If you dispute the principle that something cannot come from nothing then you are essentially denying the concept of science - effects have causes. So if you are claiming that the universe began to exist, at the Big Bang, then the universe could not be this special uncaused thing.

u/mmmbacon914 · 1 pointr/Christianity

I haven't read it in a long while, but CS Lewis' Mere Christianity is a very readable introduction to the faith that deals with a lot of common anxieties. It's a very common book, so if you don't want to buy it you can likely find it in your local library.

u/soulwinningstudents · 0 pointsr/Christianity

For me it comes down to the cumulative case for Christianity. I can imagine you must feel very hapy, joyful and open-minded. I would recommend a couple books to you:

  1. http://www.amazon.com/Case-Resurrection-Jesus-Gary-Habermas/dp/0825427886


  2. http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Demands-Questions-Challenging-Christians/dp/0785242198/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381803878&sr=1-1&keywords=evidence+that+demands+a+verdict

    I think when you are done, that you will see that even with all of the legitimate questions and curiosities that Christianity has, it still is the most logical worldview out there. Also, I would encourage you to find churches outside of the Catholic church as the Catholic church keeps people in bondage. Try and find a solid baptist church. There is no perfect church, but we can find the perfection of love and holiness in Christ.

    Also, check out: http://answersforatheists.com/. This addresses many of the common questions and objections to Christianity from a very logical point of view.
u/switchplayer · -3 pointsr/askphilosophy

You, my friend, are in a position of great importance. Allow me to expound on my thoughts of life and where you are at:

There are the people that distract themselves with the trifles of everyday life and fail to ever realize the vanity of their existence. They refuse to think about the decisions they make, the purposes of their daily rituals, the reasons for their desires....but there are those that, due to a variety of possible reasons, do.

I was once in your position. I realized the meaninglessness of waking up everyday, repeating the mundane tasks that offer no meaning. I came to the conclusion (after much kicking and screaming) that the most logical answer to the question of meaning in life lies in God and His Son. Now, perhaps you have been turned off by past shitty experiences of church or christians (and if so, I assure you they are not what Christianity truly is about), but I must emphasize that the adventure of finding God is the greatest journey one can ever take. It gave me meaning and reason to live.

If you choose to partake down the wondrous path of faith, I present to you two good options for the start down the path (in order):

https://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926 Free online versions are available by googling


I end with this: It doesn't hurt to explore. Read the first book, and judge for yourself!

Feel free to PM for any questions, comments, etc.