A redated post from over 6 1/2 years ago.
I hear that over and over (and just saw it once again in a post by BeingItself). But apparently not. I got this letter a few weeks back from a recent convert to Christianity:
I recently got a copy of your C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea. I'm in the
middle of it, and I have found it to be quite good. I was very
impressed with a number of your responses to objections against the
Argument from Reason.
To get to the point, I recently converted to Christianity. I have been
a theist for about six months, after being an atheist for about five
years or so.
I suppose a bit of background would help. I gave up my Christianity
during high school and became an atheist. When I entered the
university, I was a biology major and spent most of my free time
reading books about evolutionary biology and cosmology--especially
Guth's inflationary cosmology.
It wasn't until about a year or so into my college education that I
discovered philosophy. I took my first class and fell in love. I've
always enjoyed philosophical topics, argumentation and the examination
of unquestioned assumptions.
That was about two years ago. I switched my major to philosophy and as
a result have delayed my graduation (I have about two years left). The
point is, that when I discovered philosophy, I concurrently discovered
Platinga, C. Stephen Evans, William Dembski, William Lane Craig, Gary
Habermas, Richard Swinburne, Robin Collins, Soren Kierkegaard, et al.
They were quite good at challenging my scientism(istic) and atheistic
faith. I began to question materialism, which I took to be better
confirmed than theism or humanism. Of course Swinburne's attack on
materialism in his book 'Is There a God?' was hard to swallow.
Of the course of about a year and a half, I began to lose faith in
science, materialism and atheism. And about six months I decided that
there were a number of very good reasons affirm theism as a much
better hypothesis than materialism.
It took a couple of trips of the Cathedral to realize all that
Christianity had to offer. That there were good reasons to believe in
the Gospels historical reliability and that Christianity seemed to
capture the essence of man (if he indeed possesses on) better than any
As a result of this change, and resently getting a copy of your book
(which has helped change my mind as well), how would I go about
defending Christianity and theism? I have a number of very skeptical
friends, most of which are atheists. The work done in defense of
theism is especially good! But what about Christianity? It seems
persuasive to me, but as a theist, the probability of Jesus'
resurrection goes up (i.e. Stephen Davis). But it doesn't follow from
the proposition that theism raises the probability of Jesus'
resurrection that his resurrection isn't sufficiently high to the
naturalist! At least not without further argumentation. That is a
simple point of logic.
I suppose I am a bit overwhelmed. I do not know quite how to proceed.
I got a copy of a book by F. F. Bruce arguing for the gospel's
reliability. But that doesn't seem to be enough.
I know that philosophers have pretty much given up the idea of a
"knock-down" Cartesian-style system to PROVE beyond a shadow of a
doubt that Christian theism is true. But I don't know quite how to
defend Christian theism and show that it is a very reasonable and
powerful alternative to materialism/naturalism AND that it is superior
at least to some degree or other.
Please help! You're advice would be much appreciated.