Item description for The Big Questions by Jonathan Hill...
How the great Christian thinkers past and present have answered the fundamental questions of life.
Publishers Description Inthisinvestigation ofChristian thinkers, selected philosophers, and other religious leaders, key issues regarding Christianity over the centuries are discussed in detail. Considering the arguments for and against each position, the study's perspective focuseson the key questions of life and existence, showing the different ways Christian thinkers have answered them. Providing an excellent way into understanding these issues andhaving readersformulateopinionsfor themselves, the collection of questions include: How can we believe in God when there is so much suffering? Does science mean the end of religion? Does life after death really exist? Have we any good reason to believe in God? What is the ultimate goal of life? and What does it mean to lead a good life?
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Studio: Lion UK
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.73" Width: 6.53" Height: 0.71" Weight: 0.57 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2008
Publisher Lion UK
ISBN 0745951406 ISBN13 9780745951409
Availability 0 units.
More About Jonathan Hill
Hill has a first class degree in philosophy and theology, and an M.Phil in theology from Oxford University, England. He has worked as a writer and editor since 1997.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Big Questions?
Thinking through the important questions Oct 7, 2007
This book combines two main areas: philosophy of religion, and historical theology. It examines the big questions that philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for millennia. These include, who is God?; is it reasonable to believe in God?; what about suffering and the problem of evil?; do faith and science conflict?; what about freedom and free will?; and what does it mean to be moral?
These are all huge questions which Christians have debated for centuries on end. And there has been a wide diversity of opinion on these sorts of issues. Hill makes it clear that there has not been unanimity amongst believers on any of these issues. But given the scale and complexity of some of these questions, we should not be surprised to find so much discussion and at times disagreement on these questions.
Indeed, the variety of opinions held by believers on these vexed questions is highlighted in this book. But if that is the strength of the book, it may also be its weakness. One might get the impression from reading this volume that there is hardly any Christian agreement at all on these tough questions.
While the pros and cons of the various perspectives and sides of the debates are given, little effort is made to show how some agreement might be reached. The reader is left with a large range of opinions, and no clear idea that any might be better than another, or that any possible unity on these issues might be found.
Indeed, Hill sets the stage right away in his introduction by noting how wide the diversity is on these issues, and that there does "not seem to be anything like `the' Christian view on anything at all, even fairly fundamental things such as the nature of God".
But one can respond with a yes and no here. Certainly the history of theology teaches us that there has indeed been a very wide range of views on almost every aspect of Christian thinking and practice. Yet there are also some basic essentials that have been hammered out in the early Christian creeds, such as the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed, which do indeed provide a fair amount of common ground and readily agreed-to core beliefs.
It is not as if every Christian is just left floating in theological space, with no clear framework by which to assess Christian teaching and doctrine. The line between orthodoxy and heresy may be wobbly at best, but a line nonetheless exists. Defining the parameters of theological orthodoxy may be a trying and difficult task, but it is a task we are nonetheless called to undertake.
Hill has written before on matters of Christian thought and historical theology. He is well versed in the main theological issues that have been debated over the centuries. The volume here nicely lays out the various answers given to some of these hard questions.
This book can be used for two purposes: as an apologetic tool for non-believers who are seeking some deep thinking on these tough questions. But its primary purpose seems to be to help believers understand the depth and nuance of the various questions, even if it may leave some believers frustrated with so many options and so little guidance as to which might be the better path to take.
However, if this volume gets believers to think more deeply and to further explore these important questions, then it will have done much good indeed.
An excellently-written study of philosophers' views on ten big questions Jun 5, 2007
Jonathan Hill's book is an excellently-written discussion of many different philosophers' views on big questions that have shaped the church including suffering, the nature of God, life after death, freedom, living a good life, science and more. Interestingly he doesn't offer 'the answer' but sets out the different viewpoints from philosophers as varied as Aristotle, Origen, Augustine, Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and more, showing some of the arguments for and against each view. Hill's writing is clear and he is able to set out very complex thoughts in an understandable way, including quotes from the philosophers he discusses. This isn't a book to lend to non-Christians to convince them about God but it's a fascinating read for Christians to understand how Western thought has evolved and to engage with some of the topical issues of today that have exercised the minds of great thinkers for two thousand years.