Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations, By Gregory E. Ganssle alt

Our Deepest Desires

How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations

by Gregory E. Ganssle

Our Deepest Desires
  • Length: 160 pages
  • Published: August 01, 2017
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 9095
  • ISBN: 9780830890958

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As human beings, we are created with desires.

We all long for meaningful relationships, lives that reflect goodness, engagements with beauty, and the freedom to pursue our lives with integrity. But where can our restless hearts find fulfillment for these universal longings?

Philosopher and apologist Greg Ganssle argues that our widely shared human aspirations are best understood and explained in the light of the Christian story. With grace and insight, Ganssle explains how the good news of Jesus Christ makes sense of—and fulfills—our deepest desires. It is only in the particular claims of the Christian faith, he argues, that our universal human aspirations can find fulfillment and our restless hearts will be at peace.

"Who I truly am—what Gregory Ganssle calls my 'core identity'—is a function of who and what I love the most. In this engaging and accessible book, Ganssle offers a compelling account of our deepest desires—the ones we cannot escape and would not if we could. Ganssle finds in the wisdom of the Christian tradition compelling support for his vision of how to get and stay on the right track in life. Believers and nonbelievers alike have much to gain from his warm and wise engagement with the question. Only a great teacher could have written a book like this."

Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale University

"Our Deepest Desires is a little gem of a book, written with the clarity and wisdom of a seasoned teacher. Learned yet accessible, Ganssle takes his readers on a fresh tour of life's big questions by tracking ways the claims of Christianity connect up with fundamental human longings. This may be our new Mere Christianity, and it will surely inspire conversations worth having."

Eric Gregory, professor of religion and chair of the council of the humanities, Princeton University

"Christian philosophers and apologists have spilled much ink defending the truth of Christianity—rightly so, given the rise of New Atheism and other movements that call into question Christianity's plausibility. What has been widely neglected, however, is showing the desirability of Jesus and the gospel. In this brilliantly written book, Gregory Ganssle shows how the Christian story makes sense of our deepest longings—for love, beauty, truth, goodness, and freedom. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding a story that is both true to the way things are and true to the way things ought to be."

Paul M. Gould, assistant professor of philosophy and Christian apologetics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

"We live in a time in the West when Christianity is implausible to many because it doesn't seem to be good. While frequently and unwittingly still assuming intuitions that echo our Christian past, late moderns have ironically come to see Christianity as a threat to human flourishing. Nonbelievers don't just think Christianity is wrong, they find it distasteful. This calls for an apologetic that appeals not only to the head but also to the heart. The need is to help unbelievers see that Christianity is not only true, it is beautiful. This is where Gregory Ganssle's book comes in—drawing on rich Christian resources of the past and winsomely dialoguing with competing secular stories. With both clarity and grace, Our Deepest Desires points to how the Christian story offers more explanatory power than its chief rivals."

Joshua D. Chatraw, executive director, Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, Liberty University

"This book is both philosophically acute and deeply personal in its account of what makes for a good human life and how Christianity helps us understand this better. It shows how morality, the love of beauty, good human relationships, and the search for truth can all be integrated into a single picture of how to live well—and we can see the point of each of them, if we suppose that there is a good God who creates us and brings us into communion. The book illustrates the theoretical claims with an abundance of telling examples from ordinary life."

John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University

"Gregory E. Ganssle should be congratulated for how much deep and interesting insight he has packed into its pages."

Influence Magazine, September 21, 2017


Introduction: Making Sense of Our Desires

Part I: Persons
1. Persons and Happiness
2. People Matter Most
3. We Flourish in Relationships

Part II: Goodness
4. Looking for Goodness
5. Goodness Is Primary
6. Goodness Is Good for Us

Part III: Beauty
7. The Startling Presence of Beauty
8. The Artist
9. Beauty Points the Way Home

Part IV: Freedom
10. Personal Freedom
11. Freedom and Truth
12. Freedom and Hope

Epilogue: Human Aspiration and the Christian Story
General Index
Scripture Index


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Gregory E. Ganssle

Greg Ganssle (PhD, Syracuse) is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He is the author of several books, including A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism and Thinking About God, and he is the editor of God and Time.