Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: The Making of an Atheist by James S. Spiegel

Book Review: The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to


Author Jim Spiegel is not impressed with the arguments offered up by the media named “New Atheists,” such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins:

“The new atheists do offer arguments to back up their proclamations-at least their less inflammatory claims. Unfortunately for them, they merely rehearse the same tired objections that have been offered up by skeptics many times before-arguments that have been repeatedly rebutted by philosophers and theologians, both Christian and non-Christian. There is really nothing new about the new atheism, except the degree of bombast in their claims.” [p.10]

However, Spiegel’s approach to the new atheism is quite different than that of Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, or Alister McGrath. These scholars saw fit to offer critique on the intellectual level; and while Spiegel’s book does offer up some quality arguments, he strives to demonstrate that atheism is not the intellectual pursuit that many would claim it to be:

“Could it be that their opposition to religious faith has more to do with the will than reason? What if, in the end, evidence has little to do with how atheists arrive at their anti-faith? Perhaps we should consider the possibility that skeptical objections are the atheists’ facade, a scholarly veneer masking the real causes of their unbelief-causes that are moral and psychological in nature. That is precisely my aim in this book. Atheism is not at all a consequence of intellectual doubts. Such doubts are mere symptoms of the root cause-moral rebellion. For the atheist, the missing ingredient is not evidence, but obedience.” [p. 11]

As the Bible declares, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” [Romans 1:18-20].

Spiegel notes:

“The biblical message is that there are moral dynamics involved in the abandonment of faith. The human mind does not neutrally observe the world, gathering facts purely and simply without preferences or predilections. On the contrary, what one believes about the world is always deeply impacted by one’s values. People are inclined to believe according to their desires; we tend to believe what we want to be true…it is important to note that this is true for the theist as well…Scripture breaks the tie, and quite decisively…according to the Bible, God’s existence is clearly evident in creation, while atheism is the product of moral corruption.” [p. 15]

It is with this foundation that Spiegel sets out to demonstrate that:

“Atheism is the suppression of truth by wickedness, the cognitive consequences of immorality. In short, it is sin that is the mother of unbelief.” [p. 18]

The Making of an Atheist is laid out in 5 easy-to-read chapters that are as follows:

  • Atheistic Arguments, Errors, and Insights
  • The Irrationality of Atheism
  • The Causes of Atheism
  • The Obstinacy of Atheism
  • The Blessings of Theism

Atheistic Arguments, Errors, and Insights

In this chapter, after taking some time to clarify his terms, Spiegel goes on to briefly cover two common arguments put forth by old and new atheists alike 1) the problem of evil 2) and positivism.

Spiegel does a sound job of pointing out the fatal flaws in the objection from evil:

“Even if successful, it [the objection from evil] only undermines certain beliefs about the nature of God…at most evil should prompt us to reconsider what kind of God exists, not whether God exists. To give up belief in a world creator because of the existence of evil is a blatant non sequitur.

Secondly, and more fundamentally, from a naturalist standpoint the objection from evil is incoherent… “good” and “ought” are values, not physical facts. But naturalists only believe in physical facts. They have no foundation for a standard of goodness, without which the naturalist cannot judge any state of affairs, even the Nazi Holocaust, to be “wrong” or “evil." And without a standard for goodness, the problem of evil cannot be posed.” [p. 27]

Positivism is the view that all knowledge must be scientifically verifiable. However, Spiegel demonstrates the absurdity of this view as well:

“The trouble is that the positivist thesis is actually self-refuting. The notion that all beliefs must be scientifically verifiable is, well, not scientifically verifiable. So by the positivist’s own standard, positivism must be rejected as unknowable.” [p. 29]

One of the likable aspects of this work is its fair mindedness. Not only does Mr. Spiegel call the atheists out on their inconsistencies and hypocrisy, but he also challenges Christians with what the new atheists are right about:

“…it is important to note that there are aspects of atheists’ complaints that are reasonable and should be affirmed, even though they fall far short of justifying atheism. Specifically, atheistic objections are correct insofar as they critique many human failures that often occur in the context of religious belief and practice…it is a truism that countless evils have been done in the name of religion. Theists of all kinds have acted in ways inconsistent with their confessed moral standard.

There is also the related problem of moral complacency. Christians- or those of us who so name ourselves- do not practice self-denial as our Lord taught us to. We are often greedy and stingy (only 6 percent of Christians tithe), slothful (how much television do we watch?), gluttonous (obesity is as much a problem in the church as outside it; and whatever happened to fasting as a basic spiritual discipline?), and lustful (the divorce rate among Christians is comparable to that of unbelievers, and pornography addiction is a problem in the church too).” [p. 35-36].

Spiegel goes on to challenge the body of Christ:

“…we should be willing to repent of these errors, on behalf of the church if not ourselves individually; and we should guard against making the same mistakes in the future.” [p. 39]

I could not agree more.

The Irrationality of Atheism

Spiegel begins the next chapter recalling British philosopher Anthony Flew’s change of mind from his 50 plus years of atheism to belief in God in 2004. Flew shocked both theists and atheists when he declared that he had come to believe in a Creator God by strictly “following the evidence wherever it lead.”

Spiegel continues by briefly revisiting the three main arguments that convinced Flew that a Divine Creator must exist- 1) the laws of nature 2) the existence of the cosmos 3) the presence of life.

After presenting some evidence for each of these arguments, largely drawing upon Flew’s work, There is a God, Spiegel proceeds to highlight some other problems the atheist must address; but then changes gears and faces head-on an oft repeated charge made by atheists and non-believers- “Theists are idiots for believing in God!”

“Let’s admit that both theism and atheism have their fair share of smart and not-so-smart devotees. As Christopher Hitchens observes, “There have been at least as many credulous idiots who professed faith in god as there have been dolts and simpletons who concluded otherwise.” [p. 51]

The suggestion here is clear- something other than intellectual objections lies at the heart of the atheist’s rejection of God.

He writes:

“The root of the problem, apparently, is not a lack of intelligence but rather a hardness of heart that is itself caused by immoral behavior.” [p. 52]

Here, Spiegel once again calls upon the writings of Paul in Romans 1:18-23 to sustain his argument:

“In this passage Paul makes clear that the problem with those who don’t believe in God is not lack of evidence. On the contrary, God has made His existence and attributes so “plain” and “clearly seen” from creation that unbelief is inexcusable. He also explains how, in spite of this, some reject the truth, specifically through immoral behavior. The evidential cause is not ambiguous, according to Paul." [p. 53].

At this point, the reader may be thinking, “Hey, Spiegel can’t use the bible to prove the bible!” However, this is not the author’s intent. The author begins the book by laying his foundation using the bible and then proceeds to demonstrate that his observations, research, and claims are parallel to what scripture says. Further, on his blog, Spiegel has made it clear that the main thrust of this book is to discover the root causes of atheism, not to prove it true or false.

Finally, Spiegel calls upon the arguments of philosopher Alvin Plantinga to demonstrate the self-defeating nature of the naturalist’s worldview:

“Given Darwinism, even our cognitive faculties must be the result of natural selection. Every aspect of human brain physiology and psychology was entirely fixed by its survival value. This means that nowhere along the human evolutionary path did a concern for truth necessarily come into play. So long as an organism’s cognitive apparatus enables it to stay alive, its beliefs need not be true or even reasonable. There is no necessary connection between the survival potential of a cognitive system and the truth of the beliefs it produces...this means that if naturalism is true, then we have no reason to be confident that any of our beliefs are actually true, and the includes our belief in the truth of naturalism.”
[p. 58-59]

The Causes of Atheism


It was Sigmund Freud who hypothesized that belief in God was simply the product of a psychological need of a loving father. However, as Spiegel notes, calling largely upon the research of Paul Vitz’s The Faith of the Fatherless (1999), Freud provides a basis for suspecting that atheism, in many cases, is actually the result of the resentment the atheist harbors toward his or her own father, in turn, justifying his rejection of a God.

Vitz’s work is highlighted throughout this chapter to sustain the large list of atheists who had lost their father early in life (David Hume, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus) or who had fathers that we abusive or weak (Voltaire, H.G. Wells, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Ludwig Feuerbach, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Ellis).

One of the most interesting sections of this chapter centered around the new atheists and their relationships with their fathers:

“What about the new atheists? Do they confirm this thesis? We know that Daniel Dennett’s father died in plane crash in 1947, when Dennett was just five years old…Christopher Hitchen’s father appears to have been very distant…tragically, when Hitchens was twenty-four, his mother killed herself in a suicide pact with lover. After his mother’s death, Hitchens says, “I no longer really had a family,” which is an especially sad statement considering his father was still alive. As for Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, there is very little information available regarding their relationships with their fathers.” [p. 68-69]

The author admits that “the psychological dynamics of atheism are very complex, but the impact of the father relationship does appear to be profound…Human beings were made in God’s image, and the father-child relationship mirrors that of humans as God’s “offspring.” We unconsciously (and often consciously, depending on one’s worldview) conceive of God after the pattern of our earthy father.” [p. 68-69]

Moral Depravity

I found this section to most fascinating. Spiegel challenges the reader with the idea that many of the most intelligent men and women reject God because of their moral depravity. Moreover, he makes the astute connection that an intellectual’s work is clearly impacted by one’s personal conduct. In fact, in many cases, the intellectual’s work is often the muse in which he or she attempts to justify his or her repugnant behavior.

Spiegel proceeds to quote E. Michael Jones to sustain this point:

“There are ultimately only two alternatives in the intellectual life: either one conforms desire to the truth or one conforms truth to desire. These two positions represent opposite poles between which a continuum of almost infinite gradations exist.” [p. 74]

The author then continues by providing numerous examples of many well-respected intellectuals of the past that clearly have “conformed the truth” to their largely sexual desires and in turn have corrupted their scholarly work as well:

“God delivers the sexually immoral over to a depraved mind. Jones sums it up well: “Sexual sins are corrupting…The most insidious corruption brought about by sexual sin, however, is the corruption of the mind. One moves all too easily from sexual sins, which are probably the most common to mankind, to intellectual sins, which are the most pernicious.” [p. 80]

As this chapter closes, the topic of faith is freshly revisited by considering the works of nineteenth-century Harvard philosopher William James.

Spiegel writes:

“James makes his point by using the illustration of a mountain climber who is unsure as to whether he can make it safely across a difficult pass. If he succeeds, he will go on to safety. But if he fails, death awaits. Can he make it? He will never know either way until he actually ventures. James makes a similar point about many philosophical issues, where the evidence alone is inconclusive. The lesson he draws is that faith is practically necessary. He concludes, ‘In the average man…the power to trust, to risk a little beyond the evidence, is an essential function…We cannot live or think at all without some degree of faith.’” [p. 83-84]

Indeed; this is true for the theologian, philosopher, and the atheist.

The Obstinacy of Atheism

Admittedly, many times when I am dialoguing with an atheist, I feel like I am talking with someone from another world. And I certainly realize that they most likely feel the same way about talking to me!

Drawing upon the now famous work of physicist Thomas Kuhn in his classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Spiegel attempts to use Kuhn’s concept of a “paradigm” to help the reader understand the atheist position better. He notes that the atheistic paradigm (a set of assumptions, definitions, laws, and techniques) must “reject as false…all references to miracles, souls, divine authority of Scripture, or personal experience of God.” Further, Spiegel admittedly writes that:

“…theists and atheists, in a sense, live in different worlds. God is at the center of the theist’s worldview, and this colors his or her every experience and value judgment. On the other hand, the axis of a worldview without God is necessarily the self, and the atheist’s values and personal experience are shaped accordingly.” [p. 101]

Spiegel continues by stating:

“The difference in perspective is compounded when we consider the concept of spiritual discernment, which is granted only to those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. As Paul writes, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14). [p. 102].

As this chapter ends, Spiegel assesses John Calvin’s sensus divinitatis. According to Calvin, the sensus divinitatis refers to every human’s natural awareness of God that is inborn or innate.

Spiegel notes:

“Somehow, each of us comes into this world equipped with what we might call a spiritual “antenna,” to use yet another analogy. As one matures, this antenna becomes operational, usually beginning in early childhood. Many parents, like myself, can attest to the natural ability in children to understand and respond to the reality of God.” [p. 107]

The author believes that this concept of sensus divinitatis provides insight into the reason that many atheists seem incapable of sensing or thinking clearly about God. Simply put, their minds are suffering from the effects of sin. Drawing upon the argumentation of Plantinga once again, Spiegel explains that the non-believer’s mind has a type of “cognitive malfunction” that hinders their mind from working in the way it was created to.

Spiegel goes on to explain:

“What causes malfunction in any system always comes back to the fall. Sin and its consequences have wreaked havoc on the world, and human cognition is no exception. In short, sin disrupts our ability to think straight…discussion of such issues is outside the scope of this book, but it is worth noting that the noetic effects of sin extend far beyond theological matters. Cognition about God is only the most immediately impacted by sin.” [p. 111]

Spiegel ends this chapter by summarizing the overall case made in the book:

"The descent into atheism is caused by a complex of moral-psychological factors, not a perceived lack of evidence for God’s existence. The atheist willfully rejects God, though this is precipitated by immoral indulgences and typically a broken relationship with his or her father. Thus, the choice of the atheistic paradigm is motivated by non-rational factors, some of which are psychological and some of which are moral in nature…

The hardening of the atheistic mind-set occurs through cognitive malfunction due to two principal causes. First, atheists suffer from paradigm-induced blindness…second, atheists suffer from damage to the sensus divinitatis, so their natural awareness of God is severely impeded. Both of these mechanisms are aspects of the noetic effects of sin.” [p. 113-114].

The Blessings of Theism

In this closing chapter, Spiegel reminds the believer what a powerful apologetic his or her life can be:

“The point is that there is apologetic power in a life well-lived. As it was in the early church, when Christians won converts by simply demonstrating their love for one another, so it is today. Perhaps virtue and self-sacrifice are the most effective tools of persuasion, able to overcome gargantuan obstacles of doubt and lure even the most skeptical minds. When it comes to proving religious truth, an ounce of love is worth a ton of argument.” [p.117]

This is a point that has sadly been forgotten by many of those who claim the name of Christ.

Once again calling upon the arguments used prior regarding the effects of sin on the mind, Spiegel reminds us that the reduction of sin in our lives will actually improve our cognitive abilities and how we must consider our entertainment habits and how they have the ability to enhance or hinder our spiritual progress.

He continues by pointing out some of the more familiar benefits of an active faith:

  • Relief from the burden of guilt for one’s sins
  • The hope of eternal life after death
  • The psychological release found in offering praise and thanks to God

However, Spiegel also notes some less familiar benefits of faith such as:

  • Complaining to God; however, the atheist’s complaints seem absurd because he or she must accept, on their worldview, that things “just happen” without any purpose. [p. 121]
  • Thankfulness for blessings- Spiegel writes, “But what of the “natural” blessings we enjoy? Whom do we thank for our good health, intelligence, and innate physical and artistic talents? Again, the atheist can only point to eons of blind evolutionary forces that have culminated in endowing us so richly.” [p. 123]

As a follower of Jesus Christ, it is not unusual to find myself wondering how Jesus Himself would react or respond in different situations. While reading the closing paragraphs of The Making of an Atheist, I couldn’t help feeling that I caught a glimpse of just how Jesus may respond to the new atheists:

“As Christians, we need to demonstrate our love for God, as an encouragement and as a testimony of faith both to believers and unbelievers…This is the first and last order of business for any Christian, whether one is a scholar or a layperson. And if we improve in this area, then we will improve in all areas, especially in making the case for God and Christian truth.

Let’s not give atheists moral ammunition for their skeptical cannons. Let’s demonstrate patience and long-suffering with them. Let’s affirm them where they are correct (e.g., on church hypocrisy and the problem of evil). Let’s open our minds to their truth claims and interests as much as possible…and where we cannot agree, let’s resolve to listen anyway and give them the last word or paragraph. Let’s remember that they live with pains and disappointments as the rest of us, if not more so…Let’s be willing to be shortchanged, belittled, ridiculed, and scorned, and not return the same. In short, let’s live the Golden Rule as effectively as we can in their midst and not just because it might persuade them to believe, but because it’s the right thing to do. After all, that’s how Jesus did it.”
[p. 127-128]

In the words of comic creator and atheist Stan Lee- “Nuff said!”


I am grateful to Jim Spiegel for not only writing what I believe to be an important book, but also for giving me the opportunity to review it.

His thesis is a brave one that will undoubtedly spark much discussion regarding the root causes of atheism.

I was impressed with Spiegel’s willingness to build his case upon the Scriptures and then proceed to demonstrate how what is known of many modern atheists confirms what scripture has said all along.

It is evident throughout the book that Spiegel is carefully building his case while trying not to overstate his conclusions. He simply outlines his arguments, supports his premises, and allows the reader to agree or disagree with his analysis.

It is a demonstrable fact that there are many intelligent people who believe in God and many intelligent people who don’t believe in God. Logically then, we can conclude that there is more to disbelief than simply the evidence. Spiegel provides strong direct and in-direct evidence that the main cause of disbelief in God is not an objective assessment of the available evidence, but a desire for there to be no God.

Admittedly, the atheist could find this book offensive, but I would encourage the unbeliever to see the book through to the end and accept or reject it’s hypothesis on it’s own merits.

I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to the Christian who may be struggling to reach an unbeliever in their life or the atheist who truly desires to know God, but can’t seem to find Him. This book could prove most helpful.

Courage and Godspeed,

Note to Readers: Please don't forget that Jim will be answering a few of your questions via the blog so please feel free to ask away! For more details, see here.


  • All quotes were directly taken from The Making of an Atheist by Jim Spiegel (Chicago, IL., Moody Publishers, 2010).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Experiencing God in Pain and Suffering

In was Jesus who said, "If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority" [John 7:17, ESV; Emphasis mine].

On January 4th, 2010, we posted an article by apologist Dr. Frank Turek that dealt with a young couple, Neil and Anna, who had just lost their newborn baby.

One of our readers, after finishing the article, wrote the following in reflection: [Note: I received permission by the writer to share this in a post]

"I read Neil and Anna's story last night, and I have been reflecting on it quite a lot. I have lost a child through a miscarriage, and although the baby did not survive to term, I did had the opportunity to see the heart beating at two separate ultrasounds. When you see that on the screen, it becomes very real to you that there is a little child living in your womb.

When I had my first ultrasound, a song kept going through my head called "Blessed be Your Name". When it became apparent that something was wrong in my pregnancy, and I was at the hospital having the ultrasound that essentially revealed that the placenta was collapsing on itself, and that the baby had died, the same song was playing in my head. The words of the song that rang so true both times was "You give and take away, You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name" . Other parts of the song came to mind as well like "Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise, when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, blessed be the Name of the Lord." Well, on that day, the darkness was closing in, and it was one of the most painful experiences that I have ever experienced aside from Godly sorrow that led me to repentance (2 Cor 7:9) - which happened not long after the miscarriage.

During that time, I was not able to readily reason as Neil and Anna were able to do. I had not yet been introduced to the study of apologetics. However, I did understand one of the points that they had mentioned which was that the child was not ours. I realized that God created the child in my womb, and that the child in my womb ultimately belonged to Him. I was just a steward of what He had given me.

I struggled for answers, and I was very grieved. But, I never lost the Hope that is found only in Him. I searched out His word for answers, as well as other Christian authors who wrote about the loss of children. I recall one book entitled, "I'll See You in Heaven" which referred to the loss of King David's child which reminded me that the child that was in my womb had an eternal soul. I was comforted by the words of King David who said of his newborn son who had died, " I'll go to him, but he will never return to me." (2Sam12;23).

Looking back on my miscarriage that occurred a little over 5 years ago, I see that God was always there, in good times and during the dark times. His Truth endures forever (Psalm 100:5 KJV) . The experience of the miscarriage left me broken, humble, and with loss of control of my life. That was the point where I could start to grow in His grace. At that point, God revealed to me strongholds of sin in my life that had never been dealt with. After a dry period, He produced in me Godly sorrow which led to true repentance, and a dependence on Him. The revelation of the true wickedness in my heart led me to truly put away anything else that I was relying on for salvation but Jesus Christ alone and His finished work on the cross.

In summary, I guess that what I am saying is that God's Word is true. We can rely on Him completely. Even when things happen in our lives that hurt, He is there always (Hebrews 13:5). We can stand on His truth, even when our emotions are telling us something completely different. He can use the hardships and trials in our life for His glory and good.

In closing, I would like to include a few verses that have brought me comfort and joy during previous trials in my life.

Isaiah 43:2, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 51:17, Psalm 147:3, Romans 8:38-39 Romans 8:28, Hebrews 13:5(b), Matthew 28:20(b)

Then, she followed these comments as follows:

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the wonderful support that I had from my sisters in Christ during that difficult time. They sent cards, showed me much love, and shared in my sorrow. Several women shared of similar heartbreaks that they had experienced. Besides seeking God and His word for answers and reading Christian authors on the subject, I also sought out mature Christian women to help me during this time.

I would also like to mention that on the day of the miscarriage, I was at work. One of my co-workers, who was also a sister in Christ, immediately stopped what she was doing and took me straight to the hospital. She held my hand, so to speak, during the hospital visit, ultrasound, and subsequent trip to my doctor's office. She stayed with me faithfully until my husband was able to join me. Besides the tangible things that the body of Christ did for our family, I know that there were also many prayers lifted up for us during that time. My husband also tried to comfort me, but ultimately it was God who I needed, and it was ultimately God who would heal my pain."


We many times ask, "Why God?" I am well aware that we will never fully know, nor be able to comprehend, all the reasons that God allows suffering in our lives; however, I take comfort in testimonies such as the one above, especially when one considers that, "...we know that for those who love God all things work together for good" [Romans 8:28].

It was C.S. Lewis who once penned the following words: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

God used this heart-breaking situation to "shout" to this young lady and she is currently reaching others with the life saving message of Jesus Christ.

Many thanks to Anonymous for allowing us to share this powerful testimony.

Courage and Godspeed,

Common Objection #9: "If you were born in Arkansas and you think Christianity is true and Islam false, knowing full well that you would think..."

...the opposite if you have been born in Afghanistan,you are a victim of indoctrination."

The skeptic who makes this statement is basically trying to say- "Particular religious beliefs are just the random product of one's environment/upbringing."

However, does it then follow that all religions and/or worldviews are equally the same?

Philosopher Paul Copan exposes the fallacy of this type of objection:

"If you'd grown up in the Soviet Union, chances are that you'd have been part of the Communist Youth. But should we therefore conclude that all political systems are morally equivalent (Communism vs. democracy, for instance?) Certainly not! Similarly, the diversity of religious systems doesn't mean that (1) all belief systems are equally plausible or (2) one religion can't be true vis-a-vis the others. Our ability to step back and reflect upon cultural influences, and even resist them, indicates that we are thinking, choosing beings made to seek truth, whatever our limitations...appealing to geographical statistics doesn't settle anything. History, philosophy, experience, and revelation are some important reasons for considering a religion to be true." [2]

The person who offers an objection such as the one above commits the genetic fallacy- meaning, they are rejecting what someone believes based upon the origin of their beliefs, thus avoiding having to deal with the merits of the belief itself.

However, the question that must be asked is, "What is true?"

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 3.
2. Paul Copan, Don't Religious Beliefs Reflect Where One Was Raised?, The Apologetics Study Bible, p. 1199.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Free Online Book: Thinking Biblically by John MacArthur (Editor) and The Master's College

Crossway Books is offering a free online book- Think Biblically by John MacArthur and The Master's College.

This books seeks to aid the Christian in establishing a biblical worldview.

You can get it here.

Many thanks to Brian over at Apologetics 315 for pointing it out!

As always, this book has been added to our Free Apologetics E-book Library located here.

Courage and Godspeed,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Making of an Atheist Book Blog Tour

Truthbomb Apologetics is excited to announce that we have been given the opportunity to participate in a Blog Tour with James S. Spiegel. His latest book, The Making of an Atheist, "considers the possibility that skeptical objections are the Atheists' facade, a scholarly veneer masking the real causes of their unbelief."

Jim will be stopping by Truthbomb on February 27 and I will be selecting some of your questions for him to respond to. I will be posting a review of his book and welcome readers to visit the blog on the above dates to ask their questions via the comments.

You can learn more about Jim Spiegel by checking out his Wisdom and Folly blog.

You can learn more about the book The Making of an Atheist here.

The entire Blog Tour schedule is as follows:

EPS Blog Joe Gorra February 10-12 Interview
Cloud of Witnesses Chris Reese February 14-16 Interview Rich Park February 22-24 Review
Truthbomb Apologetics Chad Gross February 25-27 Review
Triablogue Peter Pike March 1-3 Review
Apologetics 315 Brian Auten March 4-6 Review & Interview
Mike Austin’s blog Mike Austin March 8-10 Review
The Seventh Sola Joel Griffith March 11-13 Review
EPS Blog Steve Cowan March 15-17 Review
Evangel and TeamPyro Frank Turk TBD Review/Interview
Doug Geivett’s blog Doug Geivett March 22-24 Interview / Giveaway
Say Hello to my Little Friend Glenn Peoples March 25-27 Review Jim Wallace March 29-31 Review
Just Thinking William Dicks April 1-3 Interview & Review
Oversight of Souls Ray Van Neste April 5-7 Review
Constructive Curmudgeon Doug Groothuis April 8-10 Review
A-Team Blog Roger Overton April 12-14 Review

I would encourage our readers to visit each of these excellent blogs and participate in The Making of an Atheist Book Blog Tour!

Keep watching the blog for more details!

Courage and Godspeed,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Featured Resource: Michael Gleghorn- Christian Resources for Tough Questions

Apologist Michael Gleghorn offers some wonderful articles and resources here. Gleghorn, who is associated with Probe Ministries, offers clear, compelling arguments on various topics such as:

  • and more!
I encourage you to visit Gleghorn's site for numerous cutting-edge apologetic articles.

Gleghorn's homepage has also been added to our Apologetics Arsenal located here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts for a Beginner on How to Study the Bible

A few Sundays ago, a young lady from our church approached me and told me about a young man she knew who truly had a desire to study the Bible, but had a hard time staying focused long enough to do so. She went on to ask me, "Do you have any suggestions that I could pass on to him to help him out?"

After giving the question a moments thought, I suggested the following:

1. Make sure that he is reading a smooth, comfortable text. I suggested the Holman Christian Standard, the New International Version, or the English Standard Version to start. I recall once when I was talking to a gentlemen at church and he was expressing his frustrations to me about how hard it was to read his Bible. I asked him, "What version are you reading?" He replied, "The King James Version!" I encouraged him to at least try the New King James Version. The KJV is second to none for it's poetic verse; however, it can be challenging to read, especially when one is reading the Bible for the first time!

For those who may shout, "Hey, King James Only," please see here.

2. Purchase an Audio Bible and follow along with the recording. Many times, this can make the reading seem much less laborious, especially to a new reader. Moreover, there are Audio Bibles currently available that have dramatic actors reading the parts of various biblical figures. For a sample, see here. In our entertainment rich culture, this could be a great way to get the slow starter interested in the scriptures, which is ultimately the goal.

3. I also suggested that she tell her friend to gradually increase the amount of time he reads the Bible every week. For example, during the first week he could read for 10 minutes per day. The following week, up it to 15 minutes per day. Of course, this type of method could vary from person to person but this at least gives someone a starting place. Ultimately, the goal is that the person loses track of time when they are reading the Bible because they are enjoying it so much!

Now that some time has passed and I've thought about the question longer, I also would add:

1. Pray before you begin reading! I gave myself a big "duh" on that one! I was blessed to find out later that this young gentlemen does indeed pray before thanks to me! I made a note to myself never to assume that again.

2. Purchase a good Study Bible. When you are able to understand the backdrop and/or culture that the book was written in, it many times will allow the pages to come to life.

3. Study with a friend, family member, or small group.

4. Listen to expository sermons from pastors such as John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, or James MacDonald.

If anyone thinks of some other ways that may aid someone in studying the Bible, please feel free to share!

Courage and Godspeed,

Book Recommendations:

1. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart

2. How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Featured Resource: TrueU with Dr. Stephen Meyer

"I'm going to do you the dignity of making an argument"

- Dr. Stephen Meyer

It is with this statement, early on in the first lesson of TrueU's Does God Exist? video series, that Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of the best-selling book Signature in the Cell, begins systematically making a scientific and philosophical case for the existence of God.

TrueU, from the creators of Focus on the Family's The Truth Project, is a DVD-based apologetics curriculum aimed at students 15-22 "who are high school students preparing to go to college and undergraduate students who have already begun to experience an onslaught of challenges both in and out of the classroom."

Indeed; statistics indicate that nearly 90% of students who enter college lose their faith before leaving. Something is very wrong.

In TrueU's: Does God Exist? Dr. Meyer plays a "philosophical survival game" pitting four worldviews against one another in the quest to decide which one gives the best answers. Dr. Meyer helps you examine the evidence and provides the tools needed to defend your faith and make it your own.

Here are some video previews of the series:
I have had the pleasure of viewing the first 4 lessons in the Does God Exist? series (Part 1) and I have been extremely impressed with the content of the lectures, the excellent illustrations, and Meyer's ability to make scientific and philosophical concepts understandable even to the laymen.

As I have written about before, we in the body of Christ have for to long sat on the sidelines and watched what we believe and hold so dear be torn apart by false teachings and vain philosophies. It is time for us to stand-up and engage our cultural intellectually! The Bible commands it, reason demands it, and are children deserve to be equipped to "make a defense"(1 Peter 3:15) to those who question them.

TrueU is an outstanding apologetics curriculum that I believe followers of Christ of all ages will benefit from. I strongly encourage you and your church to check it out and implement this outstanding program.

To learn more about TrueU and how you can order your own set of DVDs, checkout their website here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, February 08, 2010

Free E-books by John Bunyan

Here are two free e-books by John Bunyan, best known for his work A Pilgrim's Progress.

1. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners [A Downloadable PDF Copy is Available]

2. Holy War [PDF also available]

Of course, both of these classics have been added to our Free Online Apologetics E-book Library located here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Regarding Hell, Annihilation, and Conditional Immorality

As a follower of Jesus Christ I must acknowledge the fact that Jesus Himself talked more about hell than He did heaven. Jesus described hell as a very real and terrible place (Matt. 16:19-31).

Many within evangelical circles, and those who have aligned themselves with certain cults, teach that hell is simply being annihilated out of existence or that one will suffer for only a time and then be annihilated. This is of course a drastic descent from the traditional view of an eternal hell.

However, what does the Bible say about the duration of the non-believers fate in hell?

This two-part article by Alan W. Gomes aims to set the record straight regarding hell, annihilationism, and conditional immorality.

You can check out the article here:

Evangelicals and the Annihilation of Hell: Part I Part II

Courage and Godspeed,

Friday, February 05, 2010

Featured Resource: I Love Atheists- Just not their Worldview

In the past week I have talked with two people who have relatives or friends who are devout atheists. Many times, I believe atheists scare Christians away, but there is not reason to fear them and their questions. I actually believe that Christianity offers compelling answers for those who are sincerely seeking the truth. not their worldview is an outstanding Internet outreach to atheists that boasts an excellent team and useful resources such as:

Top 100 Atheist Challenges- This is a massive list of the most common atheist objections followed be clear, concise answers.

Proof that God Exists

The Best Apologetics Resource on the Internet! - Apologetics 315!

Our Favorite Podcasts

Favorite Blogs- Truthbomb made the list!
  • And more!
If you are looking for excellent answers for the most common atheist objections, I would encourage you to visit and register[It is free and takes less than two minutes] so that you can take advanced of this outstanding website!

I have also added to our Apologetics Arsenal here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sermon: The Quietness of Life by Pastor Dave Vance

It was Dr. Seuss who once wrote, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

In this sermon, Pastor Dave Vance of Faith Christian Fellowship in Williamsport, MD, takes a look at the question, "Why Pro-Life?" with fresh and challenging perspective.

Pastor Dave reminds us that the debate over abortion is not a political matter, it is a God matter.

Since becoming a Christian I can honestly say that I have never heard a message dealing with this topic quite like this one.

I encourage you to listen here.

Further, check out Greg Koukl's article Fetal Personhood: It's Simple.

Courage and Godspeed,