I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
I fluctuated between atheism and agnosticism most of my life. Then, at age 31, I became a Christian. During my most ardent years of skepticism, I took the position that there was no possible way to put together an intelligent argument for the existence of God, the divinity of Christ, or the divine authority of the Bible. Trying to logically argue for any of these things was the equivalent to arguing for the existence of Bilbo Baggins or flying spaghetti monsters.
After having an experience that opened my mind to the possibility of the existence of God, I wondered if anyone had ever tried to put together a logical, intelligent argument for the existence of the Christian God. I caught wind of a book called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, and this was my introduction to Christian apologetics — the logical defense of the Christian faith. From there, I read other books by Strobel and books by the scholars he interviewed in his book.
Like many — both Christians and non-Christians — I had no clue how much information was out there using philosophy, science, and history to explain the reliability of the Christian faith — and reading apologetic books has been a regular thing for me ever since.
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (IDHEFTBAA, for short!) by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek is an excellent introduction to Christian apologetics. Like Strobel’s books, I would recommend IDHEFTBAA to those who want a readable and accessible grasp of Christian apologetics.
In a post-modernist culture, where the gap between the secular and the religious is growing, open hostility towards Christians is increasing, and internet misinformation is spreading more rapidly than ever before, Christians need to know how to explain and defend their faith; IDHEFTBAA is a thorough overview of philosophical, scientific, and historical arguments for the validity of the Christian faith.
IDHEFTBAA literally builds an argument, starting from the ground with exploring the question of whether there is such a thing as objective truth (instead of subjective truth) and moves on to philosophical and scientific arguments that point towards a divine creator – an intelligent mind behind all of creation, the Uncaused First Cause – and then narrows down the possibilities to the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam, or Christianity. From there, the authors narrow their argument even more to the Christian God, Jesus Christ as the incarnate God, and the trustworthiness of the New Testament. Quite an accomplishment done in a relatively quick read!
IDHEFTBAA was written primarily for college-aged students who face challenges to their faith at secular universities and colleges. It’s readable and easy-to-follow, with plenty of written illustrations to help communicate ideas. Charts, lists, and subject headings make it easy to refer back to, so it’s a great, easy-to-use resource. Most of the chapters could be expanded into books of their own, so what they accomplish in a relatively small book for such a massive task is impressive.
Thus, IDHEFTBAA is an excellent overview and introduction, which will give a reader a good understanding of the major arguments for the Christian faith. I found the sections about the historical and biblical texts particularly thorough. Perhaps because Geisler and Turek don’t have backgrounds in science, the chapters on the scientific arguments left me wanting more. Where IDHEFTBAA is a great introduction to the big arguments for an intelligent creator behind the universe, and Geisler and Turek present some interesting arguments using science, I definitely would want to do much deeper reading on the subject (especially since I don’t have a background in science either) before engaging anyone with these arguments.
To be honest, I had read and owned a copy of IDHEFTBAA months before receiving my complementary ebook copy from Crossway Book’s Beyond the Page program for this review, but I chose the book so I could have an electronic copy on my kindle. Feeling passionate about the need for Christians to have a better grasp of their faith when it comes to defending it, I have been using IDHEFTBAA as a guide to teach an apologetics class at my church. (There is also a self-study curriculum guide for IDHEFTBAA available that I have found useful for this class too.)
I’ve found apologetics are particularly useful in responding to internet and Facebook misinformation about Christianity or in everyday conversations with friends and family. Furthermore, having a basic understanding of the information presented in IDHEFTBAA builds considerable confidence in believers who face regular attacks on their faith.
There is a difference between blind faith and the sort of faith that is better defined as trust. The longer one walks with Christ, the more trust one has in Christ – similar to any other healthy relationship. Books like IDHEFTBAA do a nice job of strengthening that trust even more and showing that accusations that all Christians are led by blind faith are unwarranted, and, in fact, many of those of other worldviews should be the ones accused of blind faith.