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1. Books that deal with the question of suffering...
One of the most frequent questions or objections, that people raise against the claims of the Christian faith (and other faiths, for that matter), concerns the issue of suffering, whether it has human or 'natural' causes. It is a most complex issue, and for those who are dealing with suffering, it can be so hard to find comfort and meaning in the face of tradegy. Christians have long given thought to such issues - after all - suffering affects Christians as much as anyone else. None of us are immune from suffering. The question therefore is central: Can we believe in a 'good God' in the face of suffering, and if so, what can we believe or know about this God?
There are lots of books I could recommend, but one that has been recently published by Philip Yancey, is a good place to start, and I would commend this to anyone who wants to reflect on the problem of suffering from a contemporary viewpoint.
Title: 'The Question That Never Goes Away: What is God up to in a world of such tragedy and pain?'
Published date: 2013
Yancey has written many other helpful books on a range of subjects that are for Christians, and for those wrestling with the issues of faith.
David Bentley Hart has written a more academic book which examines the question of evil and suffering. This was written in response to the December 2004 tsunami which devastated so much of Asia. He addresses these questions: How could a good and loving God - if such exists - allow such suffering?
Title: 'The Doors of the Sea: Where was God in the Tsunami?
Publisher: Wm,B. Eerdmands Publishing Co,
Paperback edition: 2011
2. Books that deal with Christianity and science...
There are a good many books published on this subject. It is true to say, that Christians do not all take the same view about issues to do with cosmology or evolution. That said, all are agreed that the universe was created and not the product of random chance. Likewise, those who are evolutionary scientists, take the view that evolution is a 'divinely guided' process as opposed to a process arising from a random chance occurance.
The following are some examples are books well worth considering as a starter.
Lee Strobel was educated a Yale Law School. Formerly a legal journalist, he turned to writing a series of books that examined the underlying arguments for the Christian faith. These are very readable and draw on a series of interviews with major Christian thinkers in the fields of science, philosophy and theology. This book investigates the scientific evidence that points towards the God who is revealed in the Bible.
Title: 'The Case for a Creator'
Publisher: Zondervan (2004)
Dr Stuart Burgess, at the time of writing, was a Reader in Engineering Design at Bristol University. This book sets forth the case for purposeful design in nature.
Title: 'Hallmarks of Design: Evidence of purposeful design and beauty in nature.'
Publisher: Day One (2002)
Professor John C. Lennox, of Oxford University, has written and spoken widely on this subject. In this book he asks the reader to consider whether everything in science points towards atheism, or whether theism (belief in God), sits more comfortably with science than atheism.
Title: 'God's undertaker: Has science buried God?'
Publisher: Lion Hudson (2007)
Professor Alister McGrath, also of Oxford University, has a doctorate in science as well as a doctorate in theology. In this book he critically examines the arguments of the renowned Richard Dawkins. Like Lennox, McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism.
Title: 'The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist fundamentalism and the denial of the divine.'
Publisher: SPCK (2007)
Dr Denis Alexander is an eminent scientist who sets out a coherent case for believing in the evidence for evolution alongside the belief that the Bible is God's authoritative word for all people.
Title: 'Creation or Evolution - do we have to choose?'
Publisher: Monarch Books (2008)