Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Shot of Faith to the Head (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists

By Mitch Stokes, thomasnelson.com, 272 pages.

The amateurish title does not do justice to the seriousness of the task and tone successfully undertaken by Stokes, a theologian with an engineering background.

He puts the Enlightenment's aggressive atheism under the microscope, showing how belief in God is not irrational, but highly logical. He pivots this argument on an old Christian idea, the sensus divinitatis, the idea that the sense of God is implanted in every human, which is why nature, for instance, can evoke a feeling of awe and wonder in us.

The Enlightenment's "evidentialism", which demands verifiable evidence for every belief and rejects a place for any basic beliefs that are simply accepted, is rejected as impossible. Stokes clearly demonstrates how we cannot escape basic beliefs. We are merely deluding ourselves when we think we are pure evidentialists, with proof for everything. The author notes that even scientists have to take certain things on faith, such as their belief that their observations are correct - that their eyes and minds are not deceiving them.

Stokes also refers to the grand design of the world, and how atheists wrestle with the fact that the world seems to have been built with us in mind.

A Shot of Faith is a demanding yet extremely rewarding read. Evangelical Christians need more thinkers like Mitch Stokes.

1 comment:

  1. Brian!

    I have really enjoyed your reviews of books especially the one you did on 'A shot of faith to the head'. Your careful discernment and absorbtion into the book really shows not only how much you like to read but that you read for understanding. I am writing because I just published a book and would love to get your review of it (no matter what you end up thinking of it!). It would help me not only in exposure but I really appreciate a review from someone who will give their attention to it.

    The book is actually only a part of a large project called 'Days With Jesus'. It combines the book, which walks the reader through the first half of the Gospel of John, with numerous videos shot on-location in Israel hosted on the website where a person can see where that particular Day took place. I call the book a 'Docuvotional' as I attempt to take the reader through the life of Jesus as told to us by His disciple John, then help the reader to try and apply the teachings in a devotional manner.

    I can send you the ebook if you would like to read it unless you would prefer a different format. Feel no rush but if you would like to do a write-up on it I would be grateful. Please just shoot me an email if it interests you to do a review so I can be on the lookout for it.

    Thanks for your consideration!