3 Stars: A Shot of Faith (to the Head) by Mitch Stokes, PHD

I figured because I'm a college grad and can read and comprehend some of the old dead guy Reformers in old English, that I could grasp the logic of this book and gain some real insight. But in the end, I must say that this book was painful, tedious, and plain old boring. Unless you have a PHD like the author or naturally love logic, I would guess that you will not enjoy this book. The author does not bring his concepts down to an easy-to-grasp level. Reading slowly and carefully, I was able to follow the author's logic, but the subject matter and ideas were so dry, who would want to read this? The back of the book doesn't quite portray what the book is like. It gives us interesting topics that sound promising: be able to logically state your beliefs when up against athiests and the ability to logically see that Christianity is more logical than athiesm. But instead, the book starts out dry, slow to anything interesting. If you aren't already good at logic, you will go "okay" "okay" "okay" but unless you do a lot of studying, you will not be able to use these concepts in real life. The book is beneficial, if you can get through it and grasp the concepts, so I give it 3 stars. Rather than this book, I would recommend the DVD "The Truth Project" which does an even better job explaining logically to a lay person how a Christian worldview actually makes much much more sense than an athiest view. If you do read this book, I would recommend you skip directly to chapter 4 unless you want to know:

The Introduction is focused on athiests like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and their bashing of Christianity. "Dawkins thinks that a religious upbringing is worse than most forms of child abuse." Stokes explains that athiests declared religion dead, but then Christians started using logic to demonstrate that religion is not irrational, and so God made a comeback.

Chapter 1 is about "evidentialism [the] require[ment] that all beliefs be supported by evidence". As I was reading this, I was agreeing that evidentialism is true. We use logic and evidence to support our beliefs. But the author surprised me by stating that it is false. This chapter was okay to read.

Chatper 2 is explaining why evidentialism is false. Why? Because once you give some evidence, you must give evidence for THAT evidence and evidence for THAT evidence, endlessly into infinity. So the alternative to evidentialism is either to cut the requirement for evidence short (which most of us logically allow) or to create a circular argument. This chapter was painful and boring to read.

Chapter 3 focuses more on pointing out why those who hold evidentialism are illogical and wrong. Very boring chapter. Painful to read.

The rest of the book picks up a little more but I still did not enjoy the author's writing style. He argues that athiests demand a logical argument/reason to believe in God. However, using reasonable arguments to "prove God" would negate taking God on "faith". If we know something 100%, we don't need to use faith to believe. We believe through reason. To believe on faith, there must be some belief that is not tied to proof. Stokes does warn readers not to take faith too far into unreasonable, illogical conclusions - God is not the author of confusion.

By the end, Stokes does address all those questions that you and I want to know from the back of the book and more. He addresses Darwin/evolution, the argument for intelligent design, how God and science fit together logically, and Stokes even addresses the subject of evil. I enjoyed learning that non-Christian scientists don't have any logical answers and was shocked by some of their claims that don't hold to any sort of logic at all. Although I am glad I read this book, I would not recommend it to the average reader. Instead, I would highly recommend the much easier, much more comprehensive (much more expensive) DVD called "The Truth Project." The Truth Project is worldview changing and something all Christians should watch.

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher but I am not required to give a positive review. I always give brutally honest reviews and attempt to critically point out parts of the book that may not appeal to others. I want you readers to be able to confidently choose a book based on the stars I give it, because I know you have limited money, time and energy to read. So let's make the most of our lives and choose the very best books.

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