Friday, September 11, 2015

"The Atheist who Didn't Exist."

  The Atheist Who Didn't Exist 

"The Atheist Who Didn't Exist," by Andy Bannister. Bannister is the Canadian Director for RZIM, which is Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. A book by one of Ravi's associates is a book for me. 

I've often heard my father-in-law refer to God as the "Man Upstairs." I've also done it myself. Its can be an affectionate colloquialism for God, or, as Andy Bannister points out, it can be linguistic laziness and theological ineptitude. Banner points out that according to 2,000 years of thoughtful Christian tradition, built upon several more thousand years of Hebrew scholarship, God is no "man upstairs." He is instead the ground of all being, the One who creates and sustains all things, the reason than anything exists. To argue about God is, perhaps, to tacitly admit that He exists, and that He demands your attention. 

RZIM is a ministry with a focus on apologetics- the rational, logical, personally relevant defense of the faith. Ravi teaches that behind every question stands a questioner, to be treated with respect and never dismissed or ridiculed with insult. 

Today, we have a movement (New Atheism?) with a few leaders suggesting that skepticism is the ideal way of life. Atheism is well-dressed these days, polished and educated and urbane. We need coherent thinkers and civil voices to present the alternative- the message of Christ. RZIM has provided quite a few such people. 

As you try to wrap your head around the arguments presented in this book, keep a few facts of Christian history in mind. The Gospels, especially when investigated, stand up as eyewitness accounts. Eleven of the twelve apostles were sentenced to death for their faith, and not one sold themselves out to save their own flesh. 

I recommend this book with the disclaimer that I like what RZIM is all about, and that includes Mr. Bannister's work. I thank Kregel Publications for providing me with a review copy. 

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