Questions about God's existence and God's nature (what is God like?), are of universal interest and we take them seriously. These are questions of ultimate significance.
Some people have doubts, and their doubts must be taken seriously. It is not a sin to have doubts. Doubts can even lead to faith. The important thing to do with questions and doubts is to use them to explore and research in a spirit of discovery. That is, to be open to learning answers and making new discoveries, the way a scientist uses his or her questions to guide research in the search for answers. This is asking questions in a positive way. Positive questions can open up new worlds to us.
We believe that God does exist. We believe that "God rewards those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). The search for truth about ultimate questions may not be easy or resolved quickly, but that does not mean the truth is impossible to discover. The search is worthy of our time and energy.
Because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in our space-time history, we accept his claim to be God's eternal Son. We accept his claim to be the one who reveals God with accuracy and authority. He provides both reconciliation and revelation, and helps us enter into a spiritual fellowship with the invisible God. He is the central answer to our ultimate questions.
Here are some books that can offer help:
Journalist Lee Strobel in "The Case for Christ" interviews many scholars on questions about Jesus.
F.F. Bruce's "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?" is short and full of information. Get the newest edition with the introduction by N.T. Wright. This is an important foundation for studies about Jesus and early Christianity.
Armand Nicholi, Jr., professor of psychiatry at Harvard, in "The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life" gives a readable guide to thinking about ultimate questions.
Philosopher William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith" discusses the possibility of miracles, the possibility of historical knowledge, and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. This book should be high on your reading list.
New Testament historian and theologian N.T. Wright's "Simply Christian" gives a good introduction to Christianity - this one can be helpful to intelligent high school students as well as older readers.
John C. Lennox, Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science, argues that science does not point toward atheism in his book, "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?"
A Jewish biblical scholar and scientist, former physics professor at M.I.T., Gerald Schroeder has written readable books, "Genesis and the Big Bang" and "The Science of God." Schroeder argues that modern science and a reading of the Bible are compatable in some areas that may surprise us. Schroeder's books helped the leading philosophical atheist of our day, Antony Flew, to return to theism (the belief that a creator God exists).
Owen Gingerich, emeritus professor of astrophysics at Harvard, wrote a short book with concise presentations and reflections, called "God's Universe." It is another good introduction that helps us understand the reasons why a number of scientists are returning to faith in God.
Philosopher Dallas Willard edited "A Place for Truth" offers contributions by Christian scholars and scientists who explore hard questions. These come from their public lectures at major universities, but are very readable and non-technical.
Also read the ancient books about Jesus containing eyewitness information: try the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John, because they tell a life story that was humanly uninventable in that time and culture, one that still speaks directly to our minds and hearts today. The Gospel of Mark is short and reads fast. One should read the primary literature on Jesus, not just books about what people think of the New Testament. The portrayals of Jesus in the four basic books, "The Gospel according to Matthew . . . Mark, Luke, John," are deep and multifaceted and unrivaled in their ability to present a sound portrayal of Jesus. They were affirmed by the circle of eyewitnesses who knew Jesus during his life and witnessed his public death and resurrection appearances.
Legal scholar, John Warwick Montgomery, a man with high degrees in philosophy, theology and history, wrote a short and helpful book called "History, Law and Christianity." It has a good legal examination of the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and is worth reading. It can be obtained through the Canadian Institute of Law, Theology, and Public Policy.
For high school students, J. Budziszewski's "How to Stay Christian in College" is excellent and very readable, covering many subjects and exposing the underlying presuppositions as he examines different important ideas. He writes very clearly in non-technical language about beliefs and about lifestyles and important personal choices. This is good for both teenagers and adults. For additional reading, see his new book, "The Meaning of Sex."
Other resources can be recommended, adjusted to your personal questions, your age and level of interest. Feel free to contact Pastor Mark for suggestions. There are also some good websites he can recommend.