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Religion and the Critical Mind provides an overview of the Western heritage of the criticism of religion. Anton Jacobs surveys criticisms from within and without religion from the time of the Hebrew prophets and classical Greek thinkers until the Enlightenment and shows how developments during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the scientific revolution laid foundations for later, modern critiques. While sympathetic to religion, Jacobs listens carefully to its best critics and dedicates a chapter to each of the modern critics of religion: Voltaire, Marx, Nietzsche, Durkheim, Freud, and Russell. He supplies context for their criticism and gauges their impact on religion. While effectively arguing that there are only three real stances a modern person can take on religion and offering an apologia for all religions, Jacobs makes a persuasive case in favor of religious participation.
In a world of constant change, how does one balance life as an individual, as a person of faith, as a citizen? Anton K. Jacobs, author, clergyman, and professor, addressed this challenge for eight years in his bi-weekly newspaper column, My Country, My Faith, & Me. These essays treat politics, religion, the arts, culture, and ethics that counter the views of the fundamentalist religious right and our national glorification of warriorhood. Serving as a pastor while teaching philosophy, Anton Jacobs began sharing his view of life in The Record, a long-established newspaper in Kansas City, Kansas. Building on his professional career as well as his early work as a carhop and a truck driver, no topic was outside the range of his reflections. Anton's deep understanding of the world's great religions allows him to apply his own critical thinking and courageous questioning to the daily world around him. His essays follow the teachings of Jesus, whose parables, Jacobs maintains, "were spoken not to define a belief system, but to make us think." The results are funny, poignant and profound. They are in line with liberal Christian thinking in a conflicted world. His timeless interpretations continue to help readers find meaning and justice in a confusing world. This book will bring smiles, questions, and perhaps even resolution to those who want to walk a path of integrity and commitment.
Faith Beyond Belief gives a much-needed voice to the “good” people who have left their church but whose spirituality continues to mature. Johnston uses first-person stories as well as known spiritual authorities in describing various stages of religious growth. Some of these real-life accounts are by nonbelievers; others are by those among the growing numbers of the “spiritual but not religious.” All are thoughtful people with too much integrity to live what they consider a lie. The stories of the nonbelievers-including an ex-Catholic, a former Mormon, and a clandestine Muslim apostate who left his community after the attacks of 9/11-show how complete confidence in human reason can lead away from literal religious interpretation. But, while that step is a necessary one on the spiritual path, it is only intermediate. Her second set of stories are of people at the “mystic” level who can tolerate paradox and see truth and reality as multidimensional. Johnston’s book will help doubters to see things in a new light as well as those who are struggling to clarify their own spiritual vision. It also points beyond the atheist/believer controversy wrecking such divisive havoc in our culture today.
The sequel to The Case for Christ discusses the "barriers to faith" and shows Christians how to overcome them. Simultaneous.
All religions and worldviews seek to answer the fundamental questions of human existence: Why am I here? What does it mean to be human? Why is there evil in the world and how do we deal with it? But not every worldview places equal emphasis on each issue. The main worldviews each tend to stress a different central question. Secular humanism focuses on: What is the inherent value of human beings? Pantheism emphasizes: How do we escape suffering? Islam s main concern is: How is God great? Abdu Murray digs deeply into these three representatives of major worldviews of our day: secular humanism, pantheism and theism (specifically in the form of Islam). This lawyer and former Muslim brings compassion, understanding and clarity to his analysis, comparing the answers of each view to the central message of Christianity.
This book presents a model of Christianity that incorporates the insights of a Jesus-centered theology of biblical interpretation and integral philosophy.
In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, morality, and identity are built. The inextricable embedment of religion in Muslim culture has forced a new generation of non-believing Muslims to face the heavy costs of abandoning their parents’ religion: disowned by their families, marginalized from their communities, imprisoned, or even sentenced to death by their governments. Struggling to reconcile the Muslim society he was living in as a scientist and physician and the religion he was being raised in, Ali A. Rizvi eventually loses his faith. Discovering that he is not alone, he moves to North America and promises to use his new freedom of speech to represent the voices that are usually quashed before reaching the mainstream media—the Atheist Muslim. In The Atheist Muslim, we follow Rizvi as he finds himself caught between two narrative voices he cannot relate to: extreme Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry in a post-9/11 world. The Atheist Muslim recounts the journey that allows Rizvi to criticize Islam—as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas—without demonizing his entire people. Emotionally and intellectually compelling, his personal story outlines the challenges of modern Islam and the factors that could help lead it toward a substantive, progressive reformation.

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