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

Book review by Deane Barker
tags: faith, apologetics
2012
Mitch Stokes
251
8/10

I’m going to have to read this book again. Slower, maybe in a group.

This is a book of philosophy that attempts to prove, logically, that belief in God is rational, and that atheistic arguments to the contrary are not valid.

It’s roughly divided into three parts:

  1. Belief in God is rational
  2. Science does not disprove God’s existence
  3. Evil does not disprove God’s existence

This book is…complicated. It gets deep into philosophical and logical arguments.

It starts off with a bang by denying “evidentialism,” or the need to have evidence for something. Essentially – I think – it’s saying that we depend on our senses for our beliefs, but how do we know are senses are valid? We trust our eyesight, but why trust that more than a built-in sense of God?

Again, I need to re-read this. I started to read faster towards the end, because I knew I was going to go back through it.

It’s an important book. The writer is smart, and approaches the subject methodically, building an argument a chapter at a time. The chapters are quite short, and each one has summary points at the end.

I didn’t like some of the flippancy of it. The author tries to cheekily dismiss atheists the same we they dismiss believers, which I feel is counterproductive. Also, the author tends to assume his own persuasion – “As we’ve seen, evidentialism is quite dead.” Well, is it? You’re assuming you’ve persuaded me.

There’s an audiobook version coming in November. I’ve pre-ordered it. Until then, I’m trying to find some people to read this with, in a group.

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