Summary CHAPTER 5: THE REASONABLENESS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH (Pgs. 71-91)


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McGrath argues that through arguments and evidence Christianity’s reasonableness obtains and makes more sense out of reality as we know it than its’ rivals, thus giving veracity to Christianity’s claims.

When addressing the issue of faith McGrath for me was not as clear.  He seemed to argue that the Christian faith is cognitively true (i.e., believing “x” is true), relational and existential (i.e., trust in a person—Christ, not just an idea).  He points out that the New Atheists, as everyone else, comes at reality with presuppositions that are not argued but asserted.  I believe McGrath’s point is that like Christians, these atheists believe things they also can’t prove to be true.

McGrath then focuses on how we all know things and differentiates between mathematical certainty and abductive probability, and explains that every area of human knowledge falls into one or the other category.  He continues and holds that if Christianity’s reasonableness is not championed, people will view it as irrational and thus defenseless.  In the spirit of C.S. Lewis McGrath points out that through the reasonableness of Christianity it illumines all of reality as we know it.

He then explains how philosophy can help us apologetically by showing us how to arrive at: causal explanations, inferences to the best explanations and unificatory explanations.  There’s more.  Yet, for all the help this chapter gives, it seemed to me that McGrath lacked clarity on the use of terms like: faith, belief, etc., which left me a bit frustrated.  I guess that’s part of the writing, communicating and the learning enterprise for us all.

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