I finally finished I don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. I was slow at reading the full book only because there was so much to provoke thought, especially in the first half of the book.
Essentially, IDHEFTBAA (pardon the abbreviation; it’s a long title) gives a step-by-step apologetics approach to Christianity, all the while contrasting it to the corresponding atheist position. While authors Norman Geisler and Frank Turek don’t score a bulls-eye on each proof they offer, by the end of the book it’s clear that quibbling with them on any given point will be futile. The atheistic viewpoint of the world requires a much greater leap of faith than the one Christians have to make.
The book comes with a detailed outline; a shortened version can be summarized this way:
– Truth exists; things that are contrary to truth are false;
– The universe was created;
– Something greater than the universe created it;
– Based on cosmological and teleological evidence, God must exist.
– If God exists, miracles are possible.
– If miracles exist, God performed them for a purpose;
– The New Testamant is historically reliable;
– The New Testament says Jesus claims to be God;
– Miracles confirm that Jesus’s claim is confirmed by God;
– Jesus taught that Bible is the Word of God.
In this short review, it’s not possible to cover each of those points in sufficient detail (after all, that’s why Geisler and Turek wrote a book!), but the authors provide more than ample evidence for each of these points.
Why would God make himself known this way? If God appeared in front of you and said, “Believe in Me,” and then created a mountain in front of you, whould you believe? Of course you would… but would you believe of your own free will, or were you intimidated? God gives us the freedom to reject Him, but enough evidence to choose Him.
The first half of the book lays out the groundwork for the belief that a single, theistic God exists as the creator of the universe. Beginning with Albert Einstein’s “irritating” discovery that the universe had a beginning, the authors point out if space and time had a beginning, then whatever created it existed outside of space and time. An infinite, timeless being, according to our own definitions of time and space. In science, every effect has a cause – something happens because something made it happen. What made the universe happen?
Opposing viewpoints to this argument might include, “it spontaneously happened.” If so, what else in science spontaneously happens with no cause whatsoever? Based on the Law of Causality, everything in science has a cause. So what caused the universe?
From there, the authors offer proof that the universe was designed; every watch requires a watchmaker. If you find a Rolex on the ground, you don’t assume it created itself over millions of years; the design is too complex. Yet the universe is infinitely more complex.
The chapters on God’s miracles are every bit as thought-provoking; the authors quote not only Christian sources, but anti-Christian sources to see what they say about the life of Jesus, concluding that the miracles He performed are substantially better documented than anything things else we have from that time period. Thousands of manuscripts document the life of Jesus, where only a few dozen exist at most for other historical figures such as Plato that we accept as historically accurate.
And the people who wrote the first manuscripts had no reason to embellish – they received no earthly reward. In fact, they were sytematically persecuted and killed for their views. They had every reason to lie and recant, yet they maintained unto death that Jesus was the Messiah. Why would they do that unless they had evidence and truly believed themselves?
The book is over 400 pages, well documented with external sources (many of them from atheists). Until I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, I had never read a Christian apologetics book, and found this one fascinating, a step-by-step logical deduction that Jesus was the Messiah. If you wish to refute the authors, you’ll probably find that they have already addressed your question.
Highly recommended, very thought provoking with logical progression, yet easy to read. You may not agree with the authors by the time you finish the book, but with the evidence and logic laid out in front of you, you’ll be well-aware that you are choosing not to believe, and the evidence for God is much stronger than the evidence against God. Read it and see.