Book review: Philosophy for Believers

by Edward W. H. Vick

★★★★

This is an introductory philosophy text, complete with worksheets, focusing primarily on the subject of the nature of truth and how we know something to be true. What makes this text unique is that it chooses Christianity for its playground.

Do not assume an argument will be presented justifying Christian belief. Apologetics is not the focus at all. The exercises and examples often relate to Christian thinking, but you’ll find little resolution. In fact, the discussion seems to meander around several philosophy topics without ever zeroing in on any solid answers. The point is to introduce the philosophy of examining truth.

Along the way, you’ll discuss what is means to believe, the nature of religious belief, how God is experienced, providence, cause and effect, dualism, even miracles and the afterlife. Finally, Vick touches on the friction between science and faith, and the role of both. It’s an appropriate finish, and the book closes with an enigmatic discovery: “One cannot reasonably claim that knowledge results only from one kind of experience, or only from one method of understanding the world.” In other words, science and faith should cooperate in the search for truth.

My favorite section was a discussion of self-deception. Is such a thing even possible? This topic borders on the psychological. Does anyone ever really hold contradictory beliefs, or does one simply refuse to acknowledge the contradiction?

I can’t say this book is what I expected, but I did enjoy the study!

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