So, here’s what I’m asking. If you are a leftist, what three books do you believe would best persuade thoughtful people who disagree with you that they are in error? And if you are a conservative or libertarian, what three books do you recommend to thoughtful leftists? In each case, assume the reader is intelligent and educated. Assume as well that he has a life, which means you probably shouldn’t roll up in here with Mises’s Human Action. Unless you really want to.
A few responses have been made here, here, here, and here. He's obviously talking about politics, but I'd like to redirect it to religion. What three books would you recommend to people who disagree with your religious beliefs, whatever they are, and why? They can be academic or popular-level, but exclude the Bible and other holy books (that includes God's Philosophers). Leave your answers in the comments, at the Quodlibeta forum, or write a post on your own blog linking back here. I tentatively offer this as my list of popular-level books:
Six Modern Myths about Christianity and Western Civilization by Philip J. Sampson. Most people have many misconceptions about Christianity that keeps them from being able to consider it as a viable worldview. In this excellent and heavily footnoted book, Sampson goes over Galileo, Darwin, the environment, missionaries, the repression of the human body, and witches to effectively remove these as potential stumbling blocks.
Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. There are plenty of good books on general apologetics, but I would choose this one because it has the most breadth of any other I've read, and because it is the most accessible.
The Son Rises by William Lane Craig. Again, there are plenty of books defending the resurrection, many of which are excellent. I would choose this one because Craig's argument is very simple and straightforward: there are several facts about Jesus' alleged resurrection that are accepted as demonstrably historical by the consensus of scholarship (his burial, the empty tomb, Jesus' post-mortem appearances, and the early belief in the resurrection) and the hypothesis that Jesus rose from the dead is the best explanation of them. By basing his arguments on facts that are acknowledged by the scholarly community, Craig is able to present a case based on premises that are not controversial. His conclusion, of course, is controversial, but he explains well why the resurrection is the best explanation of these four facts.
The reason for choosing these three is because the first one clears the way, the second one explains the reasons for accepting Christianity in broad strokes, and the third gives a detailed (but not difficult) defense of one of Christianity's central claims. Obviously, there are many other subjects that I would like to cover -- Christianity and science, Christianity and culture, catalogues of worldviews, common objections to Christianity, etc. (I posted a longer list here) -- but if I had to limit it to three books, I would probably choose the above.
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