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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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I forgot this: https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2016/12/reading-now-andrew-klavan-the-great-good-thing.html

I think that this volume can be interesting:

https://tinyurl.com/u3zz8gyb (Faith and Reason: Philosophers Explain their Turn to Catholicism).

It contain essays by various thinkers, with various backgrounds and many of them write about conversion to theistic belief prior to Catholicism. I found essay by Brian Cutter particularly insightful.

Try here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1621642011?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1

Thanks, Milos. I wasn't aware of it until now. I will order it.

I can recommend several of the essays in Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers, edited by Kelly James Clark (Inter Varsity Press, 1993), and in particular Mortimer J. Adler’s “A Philosopher’s Religious Faith,” and Terence Penelhum’s “A Belated Return.”
Vito

Thanks for excellent suggestions everybody & keep them coming. I ordered Klavan's book already.

To answer BV's question about van Inwagen in the post: his entry in Morris' book is illuminating, but he was born into what I labelled, for brevity, "religious settings" -- went to Sunday school, parents were active members of Unitarian congregation etc. I'm looking for thinking ex-secular people's accounts like Klavan...

Cold Case Christianity by
J. Warner Wallace, recently retired Los Angeles Sheriff Deputy Detective (who specializing in cold-case homicides) and atheist who wanted to set his recently believing wife straight, applied his entire cold case tool kit, slowly, thoughtfully and methodically to prove to his wife that she should not throw her life away on this belief.

The Case for Christ by
Lee Sobel, an atheist, legal affairs editor for the Chicago Sun Times, took his journalistic resources and carefully applied them to the gospels in order to prove to his wife that she should not throw her life away on her recently acquired christian belief. His effort was rejected as an article for his paper (a long article chronicling his path from atheist, and upset husband, to belief). It became this book.

Thanks, Vito, for your suggestions.

Dmitri,

My Conversions category contains linkage and commentary re: various sorts of conversion and de-conversion. I draw your attention in particular to the case of R. J. Stove, son of the virulent Aussie atheist and positivist, David Stove. Scroll down.

https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/conversions/

Ingvarius Maximus,

Your submission in this matter is greatly appreciated.

two typos corrected:

Cold Case Christianity by 
J. Warner Wallace, recently retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Detective (who specialized in cold-case homicides), and atheist, who wanted to set his recently believing wife straight, applied his entire cold case tool kit, slowly, thoughtfully and methodically to prove to his wife that she should not throw her life away on this belief.

The Case for Christ by
Lee Sobel, an atheist, legal affairs editor for the Chicago Sun Times, took his journalistic resources and carefully applied them to the gospels in order to prove to his wife that she should not throw her life away on her recently acquired christian belief.  His effort was rejected as an article for his paper (a long article chronicling his path from atheist, and upset husband, to belief).  It became this book.

Ingvar,

The second title became a movie, did it not?

Just to be clear: did Wallace conclude that Christianity was buncombe, or the opposite?

Well I don't know what “buncombe“ means, but he is a Christian Apologist now, so there is that.

Otherwise Alasdair MacIntyre could qualify, and of course Mortimer Adler. Checking out their respective biographies should prove fruitful.

Professor,

In regard to Sobel, there is
1. a documentary, and,
2. a 2017 ‘Hollywood’ movie, “The Case for Christ.”
3. (Faye Dunaway is in the movie Hollywood movie.)


Wallace is a christian. His carefully applied toolkit took him there.
His book is also a textbook on careful investigatory method.
He says (my wording by memory) that the successful detective:
1. must be good at not missing details,
2. cannot be easily misled (the effort to mislead is often made against the detective prosecuting his sleuthing),
3. at the end of the final investigative step, and for the analysis, one must have common sense or it’s all for naught.

Both Wallace and Sobel are decided ‘type A’ personalities.

A book that interests me particularly is "There is a God" by Anthony Newton Flew. Before Dawkins & Co rose to notoriety, Flew was one of the leading atheist philosophers. I remember hearing him lecture to the Foundation Year at Keele University in the late 60s, where he was somewhat idolised by the students – who were for the most part radical disbelievers. I heard nothing of him for many years, until the early 2000s when I was most surprised that he (of all people) had changed his mind about the existence of God on purely rational grounds.

Another book I would mention is "Surprised by Joy" by CS Lewis, who is much better known among the general public than Flew, so I will leave it at that.

Finally I would mention Ed Feser whom I have found a very sound writer on the whole. While not a personal conversion account, his "The Last Superstition" is very good at showing the weaknesses of the case for atheism.

You could argue that none of these books meets your criteria, because all the writers were brought up as Christians and became atheists as young men; but they are worth mentioning anyway.

William Lane Craig grew up in a non-religious environment.

Kowalski,

Has Craig published an autobiographical statement?

Barber,

Good suggestions.

An update: in addition to Klavan's book, I've ordered also Philosophers Who Believe that has Penelhum's paper recommended by Vito.

Today I read the conversion account of R.J.Stove that BV shared. Definitely a medicine of the type I have been asking about in the thread. JFYI I have (and read) Flew's & Feser's books mentioned by Jonathan.

The bottom line is thank you all again. I have enough material to work with for now.

Unrelated but probably interesting to most of you: Thomas Nagel published a detailed review of Swinburne's latest book on NDPR's site. https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/are-we-bodies-or-souls/

Dmitri,

I am glad we could be of some help to you.

And thank YOU for pointing us to Nagel's review of Swinburne. I have the latter's new book, but I was not aware of Nagel's review. I have a high degree of respect for Nagel. He is one of our best philosophers.

Here is my Nagel category in case anyone is interested: https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/nagel-thomas/

Well, the book "Seven Story Mountain" by Thomas Merton comes to mind. Merton was not born with absolutely no contact with religion, but he was a functional non-beliver in his early days, I would say. (Post by"Brother Joe")

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