The Decision of Faith: Can Christian Beliefs be Freely Chosen? (Paperback)
  • The Decision of Faith: Can Christian Beliefs be Freely Chosen? (Paperback)
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The Decision of Faith: Can Christian Beliefs be Freely Chosen? (Paperback)

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£45.00
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 23/10/2005
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Christian theologians have historically described a 'saving faith in God' as containing a fundamental element of 'belief'. However, philosophers present strong arguments exist that we are not capable of freely deciding which beliefs we will hold. Rather, we simply find ourselves believing things as the evidence before us seems to dictate. So, if belief is indeed involuntary, and if certain beliefs are requisite for Christian faith, then how can the matter of one's salvation rest on whether one has freely put one's faith in God? After explaining this objection to the Christian affirmation that faith is a voluntary matter for which God will hold all people morally accountable, this study in philosophical theology explores how the Christian theist might respond to this objection. Kevin Kinghorn uses experimental studies within the psychological literature on self-deception to make sense of the Christian idea of 'spiritual blindness'; and argues that whether or not a person wilfully contributes to self-deception will hinge on decisions he or she makes either to embrace or avoid the truth as he or she sees it. Kinghorn then attempts to show that decisions of this type - more specifically, decisions to embrace or avoid the truth about God, wherever the truth lies - are ultimately more fundamental to the kind of relationship with God commended by the Christian religion than is the question of what a person believes. Kinghorn's conclusion is that the Christian theist can indeed rebut the objection pending against him or her, but only if he or she adopts Kinghorn's own account of the nature of faith, which provides a sharper distinction between faith and belief than is generally found in accounts of faith within the Christian tradition.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780567030689
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 249 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Kinghorn's prose is admirably clear.' Church Times, April 2006--, "Church Times "
'Kevin Kinghorn's writing is clear and cogent ... He shows how, although a belief cannot be voluntarily chosen there and then, which religious beliefs we hold may result from various voluntary actions of ours in the past for which we can be held responsible.' Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford
'Kinghorn's prose is admirably clear. The book leads the reader methodically through the stages of his argument, which is illustrated, at various stages, with scenarios and examples.' Church Times, April 2006--Sanford Lakoff "Church Times "
'This book is recommended by Richard Swinburne.'--Sanford Lakoff "Theology "
"This not only gets us to question the way things are but challenges us to give our selves to a vision of what might be" Steve Hollinghurst, ANVIL Vo.. 24 No. 1--Sanford Lakoff "Anvil "
'A noteworthy contribution to the ongoing debate in this area.' Meriel Patrick, OUCS, Oxford University. Expository Times --Sanford Lakoff

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