Friday, April 12, 2013

God's Not Dead by Rice Brooks (book review)

I'm intrigued by apologetics (which is fancy talk for defending your position - usually in regards to faith, as in this case). Last year, Big A & I facilitated an apologetics study for church called The Truth Project (super good!).

As Christians, we should be able to defend our faith. Childlike faith does not mean blind faith; Jesus said if we ask, we will receive. That is in regards to wisdom and knowledge, too. I think it's good to ask questions and keep seeking truth. As I learned from our class, the truth will always lead you back to God. "God's Not Dead" by Rice Brooks was right up that alley of truth-seeking/faith defending, so I broke it open and absorbed.
image via Book Sneeze

I did not like it to begin with. I was thinking from the introduction that there would be more scientific, fact-like evidence. The first few chapters seemed more like "he said, he said" conversations with atheist point of views contradicted by Christian point of views and back and forth. Which, it seemed through the entire book that whenever there is a religious debate, Christians always kick butt of their agnostic and atheist counter parts. Not sure if that's true but you would think these guys would get bored of debating and losing. Or would realize they're wrong and turn to God.

I really enjoyed the chapters about morals and good/evil. If there is no God then where exactly do our morals come from? Every human knows it's wrong to kill another human - if a Designer didn't put them there, then how did we all evolve to have this same capacity? Where do the standards for good vs. evil come from? To a Christian it's obviously God starting with the 10 Commandments (and before because we all know that it was wrong of Cain to murder his brother) and continuing with Jesus's statement about loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and loving your brother as yourself.

"God's Not Dead" talked about how some naturalists (I believe) feel like we are just animals, bound by our primal urges. However, if we are merely animals, how is it that it's wrong (so wrong) to kill another person but lions are allowed to kill the weaker of their own kind? If we were animals, then we would be bound by Darwinian survival of the fittest. Yet, we are not. We are made in the image of God!

We also have a higher purpose - not merely survival, 'eat, drink, be merry' sort of thing. We seek to fill ourselves and yet come up empty handed most times. Food does not fill, material things does not fill (as shown by this statement "if happiness came from material things, Americans and other Westerners should be the happiest people on earth" and yet we aren't...."we are desperate for relationships, for significance, for a real reason to live."), children and family does not fill (although very nice!). As religion is pushed out of our world, there is little hope. That hopelessness is shown in the number of suicides - people desperate for hope but having not found that One who will fill them (not that this is the only reason for suicide, but it seems to be a large account of them).

The book concludes with proof of the resurrection of Christ (historical and Biblical/historical proof), information about the grace effect (in regards to when grace abounds we give grace), and ends with beautiful testimonies from all over the world sharing about atheists/agnostics whose eyes have been opened to the love of Christ.

What an amazing book to have. I believe apologetics make us stronger Christians, able to defend our faith and be firm in it. This book brought forth some interesting ideas that I hadn't heard, but a majority of them I had heard while going through The Truth Project. Still a valuable resource.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not have the same opinions and/or experiences with the book and/or publisher.

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