I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. By Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. Wheaton : Crossway Books, 2004. 447 pp. Paper. $15.99.
In his first epistle, Peter commands believers to “sanctify Christ as Lord in [their] hearts, always being ready to a defense to everyone who asks [them] to give an account for the hope that is in [them], yet with gentleness and reverence” ( 3:15 , NASB). Apologetics are a very important element in the overall picture of Christian evangelism. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, written by apologists Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, is a valuable resource for preparing Christians to defend their faith.
The book’s main premise (as suggested by the title) is that all worldviews require at least some faith, but Christianity, as the only one that accurately portrays reality, requires the least, because its claims can be shown to be objective fact. The content presented in the book has a stacked structure: Geisler and Turek lay a foundation upon which they build their case for Christianity, beginning with the broad topics and working down to the narrow.
The first two chapters are devoted to establishing the foundation of any belief—namely, the reality of truth. Now, to the average person this may seem pointless. After all, don’t we all know through common sense that there is such a thing as truth? The fact of the matter is truth has come under attack in our postmodern culture. It is viewed by many as relative. “What is true for you may not be true for me,” they say. Geisler and Turek show through sound reasoning that not only is truth absolute, but it is knowable as well.
Chapters three through eight present a case for the existence of God. Three arguments are utilized: 1) The Kalam Cosmological Argument (there must be a first cause of the universe); 2) The Teleological Argument (there must be an intelligent designer); and 3) The Moral Argument (because there are moral values and laws, there must be a Lawgiver). Geisler and Turek present their reasoning in a clear and scholarly fashion, responding to various objections that might be raised and ultimately showing that a supernatural Being is the only adequate explanation of what we observe around us. The question of evolution is dealt with in chapters five and six.
The last section of the book addresses God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ and in the Bible—which is ultimately the clincher. Many religions claim ultimate truth and claim to worship God, but if it can be shown that Jesus is what He declared Himself to be, then Christianity is the only religion that can claim to be of God. Chapters nine through eleven present a case for the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miraculous life. Chapter twelve lays out the evidence for the resurrection. Chapters thirteen and fourteen conclude that because of his fulfillment of prophecy, his sinless life, and his defeat of death in the resurrection, Jesus is God. Because He is God, whatever He teaches must be true. He taught that Scripture is God’s Word; therefore, the Bible, as God’s Word, can be completely trusted as an inspired, infallible book.
The only concern I have with this work is the authors’ presentation of the gospel. Although they use words like trust and believe, they equate them to a commitment to Christ. They write, “Jesus went through all of [the pain that He did] so you and I could be reconciled to him, so you and I could be saved from our sins by affirming, Father, into your hands I commit my life” (p. 383). Yet, because this book is not specifically a defense of soteriology, I strongly recommend it as a source to better understand the foundations of Christianity. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist presents the clearest and most accessible defense of our faith that I have seen. It is a welcome addition to the world of Christian apologetics. All believers would do well to take the time to read and study this book. I think many would be surprised at just how reasonable their faith really is.
First Evangelical Church
Tupelo , MS