If you want to learn more specifically about the evidence for God’s existence, here are my top five picks for parents. I recommend reading them in this particular sequence:
1. God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe
By J. Warner Wallace
This is the ultimate book on the evidence for God’s existence.
God’s Crime Scene brilliantly lays out the case for God’s existence based on cumulative evidence from the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the design of life, our experience of consciousness, free will, and morality. In each chapter, Detective Wallace evaluates possible explanations for these pieces of evidence, just as a detective would evaluate possible explanations for evidence found at a crime scene. In the process, he points readers to “expert witnesses” who vary in their conclusions about the evidence and then provides an excellent reading list at the end of the book so the reader can continue to study both sides of the issue. You might need to read it a couple of times to let the details sink in, but it’s well worth it.
2. Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case
By Frank Turek
In this book, apologist Frank Turek walks through causality, reason, information & intentionality, morality, evil and science (CRIMES) to show that atheists can’t make their case without appealing to realities only theism can explain. It makes an excellent follow-up to God’s Crime Scene. It covers similar subjects, but with its own unique and memorable perspective that will really enhance your understanding. I highly recommend it.
3. The God Delusion
By Richard Dawkins
Once you’ve read the two books above, it’s time to read one by an atheist. Richard Dawkins is probably the world’s most prominent atheist, and his writings have been extremely influential. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, will give you the sense of urgency you need for equipping your kids to defend their faith more than reading this book. Reading such religious antagonism may be painful, but you have to know what your kids are up against. Otherwise, it’s like training a football team while refusing to watch the game films of your upcoming opponent. Of all the popular atheist books, this one covers the greatest range of topics, so it’s your best bet for a single book written by the “other side.”
4. True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism
a volume of essays edited by Tom Gilson and Carson Weitnauer
This is a fantastic collection of essays that just destroy the notion that popular atheists–like Dawkins–should have any special claim to being more reasonable than Christians. These authors really nailed it. While you could read this without having actually read a book by an atheist, it will be MUCH more impactful for you if you read an atheist’s book first. I highly recommend you read The God Delusion, then dig into this excellent response (the authors respond to more than Dawkins, so you’ll learn what other atheist authors have to say as well). If you know teens who have been swayed by atheist writers, get them a copy of True Reason too.
5. Thank God for Atheists: How the Greatest Skeptics Led Me to Faith
By Timothy Morgan
This is a series of four “mini-debates” with some of the most prominent atheists in history: Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. The author, Timothy Morgan, was a Christian who had grown frustrated in his faith and was ready to reject God completely. He set off on a journey to read the works of some of the greatest atheist thinkers, but in the process found their arguments intellectually unsatisfying…ultimately leading him back to God. Morgan methodically walks you through the writings of Nietzsche, Russell, Harris, and Dawkins, and evaluates whether their logic stands up to scrutiny. I recommend this book because it will give you more of a historical perspective on atheism (it’s fascinating to see the trajectory in thought from Nietzsche and Russell to the “new” atheists, Harris and Dawkins) and the point-by-point analysis of what these atheists wrote makes an excellent learning tool.
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