Join me in a book (club) discussion. Each day we will cover the main concepts and questions of one of the chapters. I will summarize the points in each and offer my insights. You are welcome to comment. If you choose not to comment, you still may consider these and other points of interest to you. Feel free to do so on your own or with someone you know. I hope you enjoy and benefit from this experience. Shall we?
Why this book?
The introductions states –
What someone believes about God affects everything else he or she believes.1
It includes these 5 most critical questions in life:
- Origin: Where did we come from?
- Identity: Who are we?
- Meaning: Why are we here?
- Morality: How should we live?
- Destiny: Where are we going?
Any book that rightly helps us figure these out is worth discussing.
What we believe about God is often referred to as a worldview
There are 3 primary worldviews about God,
Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism.
Theism = God made all
Pantheism = God is all
Atheism = no God at all2
The authors introduce us to the modern myth that religion is nothing more than faith (blind faith, some call it) and they include the parable of the 6 blind men and the elephant story as an illustration.
The point we are asked to consider is that all religious worldviews make truth claims. To the degree those claims cannot be completely 100% proven, faith is used by people to cover what doubts remain.
We should evaluate these claims with scientific and historical evidence.
One example the authors provide is
Truth claim: The universe had a beginning
Truth claim: The universe has always existed and did not have a beginning
Both claims cannot be true.
The book is a presentation of the evidence that allows us to decide which claim to accept as true. This passage capsulizes the authors’ premise:
“Yet despite these intellectual, emotional, and volitional obstacles, we submit that it’s not faith in Christianity that’s difficult but faith in atheism or any other religion. That is, once one looks at the evidence, we think it takes more faith to be a non-Christian than it does to be a Christian. This may seem like a counter-intuitive claim, but it’s simply rooted in the fact that every religious worldview requires faith – even the worldview that says there is no God.”3
The book systematically covers twelve points that show Christianity is true.4 I have summarized them below.
- Truth about reality is knowable
- The opposite of true is false
- It is true that the theistic God exists. There are 4 types of evidence for this truth
- If God exists, then miracles are possible
- Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (acts of God confirm a word from God)
- The New Testament is historically reliable, based on 4 key points of evidence
- The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God
- The Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by
- His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself
- His sinless life and miraculous deeds
- His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection
- Therefore, Jesus is God
- Whatever Jesus teaches is true
- Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God
- Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God – and anything opposed to it is false
One of the closing points made by the authors in the introduction is that acceptance of Christianity is not solely based on proof that it is true. Many atheists and non-Christians refuse to become Christians because they are unwilling to live by the what they understand to be what Christianity espouses. The authors assert that God wanted it that way. Where there is room for choice. Here’s what they say is why God made the world the way it is in order that we have free will to accept or reject him.
God has provided enough evidence in this life to convince anyone willing to believe, yet he has also left some ambiguity so as not to compel the unwilling. In this way, God gives us the opportunity either to love him or to reject him without violating our freedom.5
I agree with the authors that God expects us to be knowledgeable about why we believe what we believe. I have found the Old Testament encourages wisdom. This is the type of book that helps us get exposed to more wisdom. I have also found that the New Testament encourages teaching and discipling other Christians and persuading non-Christians. This book should help with each of these.
What would you say on the points made in the introduction so far? The authors have promised to cover each of these topics in detail. Ideally, any questions you might have now will be answered in the chapters that follow.
1Geisler & Turek page 20 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
2Geisler & Turek page 23 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
3Geisler & Turek pages 24-25 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
4Geisler & Turek page 28 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
5Geisler & Turek page 31 I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.