It was my pleasure to interview author, Doug Erlandson. He has an impressive body of work in a variety of subjects including Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Christianity. Don’t pass up his counsel, personal experiences and his love for the Chicago Cubs all available on Amazon.
To some extent this depends on the book. I’ve written several books covering different areas of philosophy. My main goal in these books is to give the reader an elementary understanding either of philosophy as a whole or a particular area of philosophy and to encourage the reader to see that philosophy needn’t be difficult or mysterious. With my more explicitly Christian books I’m addressing issues such as the problem of evil, how to share one’s faith in a secular culture, and how to square God’s sovereignty with human responsibility. Here my purpose is to provide a biblically-grounded response to the perplexity people often feel when thinking about these topics.
I’ve read most of John Piper’s writings and have found them inspiring and encouraging. When it comes to philosophy I’ve found the work of Christian philosophers such as John Frame, Wm. Lane Craig, and others to be helpful in my own thinking.
What is your current writing project and when will it be released?
Right now I have two projects in the works, both of them in the area of philosophy. One is a book on how to use probability to make decisions in everyday life. I hope to have this one ready to go by summer. The other is just underway. It’s a study of topics typically covered in the area of philosophy known as metaphysics. This will include discussions of the relationship between the mind and the brain, whether human beings have free will, how we determine personal identity over time, the nature of time, etc. Autumn is the earliest I will have this one completed.
Did you decide to communicate in the written form to reach more people or were you just compelled to write?
I’ve written one book solely for the joy of writing I Bleed Cubbie Blue and another as personal therapy Battle for Control. Although I enjoy writing, I’ve written my other books first and foremost to share my ideas in a way that people can understand
Yes. Particularly when I first returned to the faith (a journey I detail in Faith Reborn) and was still teaching philosophy at a secular institution, I felt the disapprobation of some of my colleagues. I found that the best approach in these situations (and what I try to do today as well) is to not become argumentative while at the same time remaining true to my convictions.
What advice would you give to encourage readers in their own spiritual journey?
First, read the Word. This may sound trite or formulaic. However, without immersing oneself in the Word, one is not going to grow in the faith. Second, acknowledge doubts. If we have doubts and don’t deal with them, they will simply fester and manifest themselves in some other way. I’ve had times of serious doubt. And the only way I’ve been able to overcome my doubts is to admit them and work through them. Third, seek the fellowship of other believers. And, as much as possible, read books by mature Christian thinkers who have gained insight into who God is. (I think here of someone like J. I. Packer, Knowing God).
You’ve published many books, where do you recommend readers start with your body of work?
This depends on the reader. If someone is interested in my personal journey, Faith Reborn is the place to start. If, on the other hand, someone is more interested in learning a bit about philosophy, then a book like Philosophy Basics or one of my other “Basics” books in a specific area of philosophy (such as Ethics Basics) would be a good starting point.
Doug Erlandson has several places where you can find him on the web.
All of his books can be found on his Amazon Author Central Page.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CubbieBlueBook and here https://www.facebook.com/KindleBooksByDougErlandson
Excerpt from Faith Reborn
For twelve years I had denied the truth of Christianity. Almost everything that I had read had told me that it was nonsense. I had accepted higher criticism. I believed that the universe did not need an explanation for its existence. I believed in the evolutionary account of the origin of life, including human life. I knew that if I believed in the worldview of Scripture I would have to give up these other beliefs. Indeed, I would have to abandon a worldview in which I had felt comfortable for a dozen years. How could I do this?
The struggle intensified. My mind was telling me one thing. Yet I knew that I had undergone a transformation in my heart. And then one day about a week after my initial conversation with Warren, I was sitting in my office in Oldfather Hall early one morning. The day was just dawning. No one else was on the floor. I had wrestled with the issues as much as I could. Finally, I looked upward. I breathed my first genuine prayer in years. “God, I surrender.” Three words. Yet, with those three words my worldview, which had already started cracking two weeks earlier, shattered.