This book inspired me to embark on a long search for knowledge and truth. I studied books on history, theology, and the sciences, researching many things Dr. Kennedy considered and many other issues he ignored; I examined some of his references; and I engaged in lengthy electronic debates with several learned individuals. In this series of commentaries, I present some of the things I learned in my quest. As with the book's chapters, each successive commentary builds on the previous ones. Many of the chapter commentaries include a separate appendix. These appendices consist of supporting material not written by me.
A word about my point of view: I am nonreligious, and I can be classified as "weak atheist" in the sense that my mind harbors no beliefs regarding deities; however, I personally do not reject out-of-hand everything spiritual. Therefore, an atheist might object to my attempt in chapter 1 at formulating a rationale for liking the Bible, or to my proposing reincarnation in chapter 5 as an alternative to Kennedy's Heaven/Hell argument. In the former case, I merely try to show how Kennedy could have made a more bulletproof argument without resorting to doubtful examples prophecy. In the latter case I simply discuss the plausibility of an alternative which Kennedy ignores, especially because the references he cites do mention it (and one actually advocates this alternative).
A Christian, on the other hand, might object to my heathen's point of view. Even so, I believe that no honest Christian can object to my treatment of Dr. Kennedy and his book.
Originally I wrote this commentary for my own benefit, and as a result, it may not be as "scholarly" as I'd like for general worldwide distribution; nevertheless I do cite many references and in some cases make suggestions for further reading.
Before I begin with chapter 1, let me say that I loved the introduction to Why I Believe. D. James Kennedy said in a concise way things I have often tried to articulate in the past. Stand ready with reason for your beliefs. Examine the evidence on all sides, and hold fast to that which is good. This captures, in part, the essence of how I try to live my life! With this heartening advice in mind, I plunged into the book.
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