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The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate

Phillip E. Johnson

InterVarsity Press, (softbound edition), 191 pages, 2002

Item# B070
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Phillip Johnson helped shape the Intelligent Design movement by teaching people how to ask the right questions.� The ID movement is not about having all the answers.� It�s about teaching people how to ask all the right questions.�

  • Is nature all there is?
  • Can natural forces alone explain the universe and everything in it?
  • Did life arise by blind, materialistic Darwinian processes, or does the evidence point to other forces?

In this important book, released in October 2002, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, Professor Johnson teaches us how to put a variety of contemporary topics on the witness stand�such as education, science, logic, tolerance, gender and liberty�and unwrap the confusion by asking the right questions. You will also find a very personal reflection from Phillip Johnson as he relates how a debilitating stroke gave him a new perspective on the The Right Questions.

Johnson deftly demonstrates how the reigning naturalistic philosophy not only squelches public debate but also constrains us to ask the wrong questions. Unless we start with the right questions, Johnson argues, our discussions will be framed by the assumptions of that very philosophy which must be challenged.� A few of the questions Johnson puts on the table in this book include:

  • Why is it always wrong to mix science and religion?
  • What is the ultimate premise, the beginning point, from which logic should proceed?
  • How can a college education prepare students to understand the ultimate purpose or meaning for which life should be lived and to choose rightly from among the available possibilities?
  • What is the appropriate understanding of religion in a pluralistic nation where substantial numbers of Christians, agnostics, Jews and Muslims all need to live together in peace?
  • How can democratic liberalism remain viable when severed from its Christian roots?
  • What is the most important event in human history?

The foreword to the book by Nancy Pearcey is a bonus worth the price of the book itself.� Pearcey, who has been an observer and writer of the origins debate for many years, explains in the 19-page foreword why Phillip Johnson is a great strategist.� She also explains why the Intelligent Design movement was able to form around Johnson�s two simple strategies to: 1) unite theists behind the common theme of esign and 2) divide the practice of science from the worldview of philosophical naturalism.� If you want to understand the history of the intelligent design movement in a nutshell, and the pivotal role that Phillip Johnson played, then read the forward by Nancy Pearcey.

If you have a son or daughter in college I recommend you get them a copy of this book immediately.� If you went through college and only learned how to regurgitate what you had been taught, then I recommend you get yourself a copy of this book ASAP.� You may find yourself starting over as Johnson helps you break free of the intellectual and spiritual captivity of materialism by asking the right questions.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Nancy Pearcey

Introduction: The Logical Train

1 Biology and Liberal Freedom

THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
The Right Questions About Science, God and Morality

2 The Word of God in Education

The Right Questions About the Religious Foundations of Education

3 The First Catastrophe

UNARMED AMONG THE DRAGONS OF THE MIND
The Right Questions About Logic

4 My New Post

THE ROAD FORWARD
The Right Questions About the Meaning of Life

5 The Second Catastrophe

THE TOTTERING TOWERS OF FAITH
The Right Questions About Religion and Tolerance in a Pluralistic Society

6 Genesis and Gender

The Right Questions About Genesis

7 Truth and Liberty

FREEDOM TO DISSENT AND FREEDOM TO DO RIGHT
The Right Question About Truth and Liberty

8 The Ultimate Question

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN HUMAN HISTORY?


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