I have been contemplating the existence of a god for years now, and have settled upon the idea as a remedy to the absurd. I would like to believe in God, but my mind is so apt to lean on reason that committing to the belief is difficult. So is there any sort of "jumping off" point where I can finally start to realize my faith?

P.S.: I do not mean the word 'absurd' in any sort of offensive context. I mean it solely in reference to the writings of Camus and Kierkegaard, where the absurd is a word describing the impeccable improbability and zaniness of human existence.

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    Where you start in your walk with god is entirely subjective and individual. I'd recommend seeking out a Churn near you and speaking to a Pastor. This type of question is off-topic here. It's not that we don't want to help, but on the contrary, we don't feel that it's in anyone's best interest to try to do so on this site. For more info, please see this post: Pastoral Advice Questions Nov 22 '13 at 6:02
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    Suggestion: find a church near you that runs the Alpha course. Nov 22 '13 at 7:16
  • Read "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist" or "The Case for Christ/Faith/Creator" Series. Books like this present a very logical and reasonable case for belief in God.
    – Narnian
    Nov 22 '13 at 12:57
  • This is a good, and important question, but sadly, off-topic here. I encourage you to come to chat at your convenience, where it will be easier to have an open-ended discussion on topics like this.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 22 '13 at 13:46
  • You lean on reason, so what are the reasoning's holding you back? Reasoning isn't a bad thing. In fact it is my reasoning that helped me to find what I consider to be true worship. I think the best jumping off point is praying to God. Ask for his assistance in finding the answers. I was about to give up and be nondenominational because the church's didn't have answers to my questions. I prayed for help and 2 days later they came to my door. Don't underestimate Gods part in the equation. He wants you to seek him out and learn about him.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 22 '13 at 14:14

Technically this is off topic and your absolute best course of action is to talk with pastors, priests etc... But your query is so obviously crying out for one witness in particular that I want to break the "rules" of this site and give you an answer. I do not wish to speak to your personal circumstance - you really need a person for that, but there is one answer that I suspect you'll hear a lot if you ask.

Fifty years ago today (November 22, 1963), C.S. Lewis died. If there ever was a man "convinced by reason" into the Kingdom of God, it was he. Lewis was an Atheist Oxford don whose rationality and logic convinced him of the existence of God.

  • His semi-autobiography "Surprised By Joy" will probably seem very familiar to you.

  • "Mere Christianity" is a classic if densely packed work of systematic theology see below that also seeks to present the reasons for the basics of the faith in a clear, rational fashion.

  • "The Weight of Glory" is a brief sermon in which Lewis talks about the real reason for the faith - JOY, and not just mere pleasure. He argues that faith in God enables a man to see more clearly what man was created for, if man is willing to trust in God.

  • "The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe" is a children's book, in which an allegory in which the sacrifice of Christ and its role in salvation is pretty explicit.

  • "The Abolition of Man" is a brief invective against an educational system that seeks to remove virtue from its aims. "Men without chests" is a phrase he uses to decry the condition.

  • The "Screwtape Letters" further explores how Christians can avoid the truth of the love of God in extraordinarily clever writing.

  • The "Great Divorce" highlights how the choices we make have logical consequences in the afterlife. It has changed my life.

Finally, if C.S. Lewis isn't your cup of tea, consider Lee Stroebel's "The Case for Faith".

If you are an academic looking for the meatiest of systematic theologies and something older, consider Calvin's The Institutes of Christian Religion. Any good systematic theology - J.I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lombard, Francis of Assisi, Karl Barth, Alistar McGrath, Louis Berkhof, etc... - these are all books that attempt to systematize and explain the reasons behind the articles of dogma many Christians take for granted. While rarely a starting point to convince someone of the faith, they are really good for explaining it.

Finally, for most people, reading the Bible (John is usually a good book to start) and talking to other Christians and or trying out several churches is usually the best way to go. I have a particular passion for the intellectual who is seeking with rationality and faith so I get your reluctance to start with the followers and I wish you well on this journey.

  • I am reading Surprised By Joy myself, and while I'm enjoying it, it's not written for the skeptic. Lewis makes no apologies for this; it's written for the Christian, who wants to know about his conversion. That's not to say it wouldn't be valuable for a seeking Atheist, but that's not it's primary audience, and as such, it's very light on apologetics. It is very heavy on personal experience and the emotions he felt.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 22 '13 at 13:50

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