Friday, May 24, 2013

God's Not Dead by Rice Broocks

A few months ago, I was given a copy of God's Not Dead by Rice Broocks to review. It is a new apologetics book directed to three different type of people. 
"The Seeker is attempting to believe but faces doubts about whether God is real. I offer the evidence in these pages hoping that person will be able to realize that it is indeed credible as well as fulfilling to believe in God. Even before understanding Christianity or the Bible, there is ample evidence that the world around us is no accident. The Believer knows God is real subjectively but cannot easily articulate this faith to unbelievers. Hopefully these chapters will make the evidence for God clear so that it can be easily comprehended and then presented to others. The Skeptic may be reading this book from a critical point of view and a predetermined mind-set that there is no God. My hope is that regardless of how attached this reader is to skepticism, the following evidence will ironically allow a seed of doubt to be planted, helping that person break free of the matrix of a godless worldview and embrace the real story that best corresponds to the evidence, the one that declares, 'God's not dead'" (xviii-xix).
As Broocks writes, he tries to answer the question of why the Christian believes what they believe, particularly about creation and the meaning of life. But I did appreciate that he goes further than just arguing the issues of creation versus evolution. He spends ample time on the arguments for Jesus and the Christian life. In the end, he argues that true Christianity has produced a grace effect and living proof that there must be Someone who changes people from the inside out. 

If you have never read a book on apologetics, let me explain what you might expect. Some of the arguments are going to be hard to understand. But if you are willing to reread a page or two from time to time, your understanding will be expanded. I will not promise you that this is the easiest book you will ever read. But it is one that is needed by the Christian community. In fact, I would say that it is easier to understand than many other books like it I have read. 

The thing I appreciated most about this book is that Broocks clearly and definitively articulates the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not enough for him that someone become a theist. He must believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He shares a story of sitting next to a man on an airplane that stated God could not have existed because of all the evil in the world. He says,
"I told the man in 14D, 'God could get rid of all the evil in the world in a moment. All He would have to do is kill everybody.' Think about it. That's exactly what happened in the biblical account of Noah and the flood. God 'saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart" (Genesis 6:5-6). He eventually destroyed the majority of living things and saved one family of eight. The virus of evil was in them as well, though not fully manifested, and it has grown into the world we have today. 
I continued, 'God has a plan to get rid of all the evil in the world without having to destroy us.' The man was now somewhat stunned that his reasoning for rejecting God was being critiqued. 'He wants to remove all the evil in your heart without having to destroy us for being a carrier of this virus. God wants to get rid of all the evil in the world, starting with seat 14D.' The problem was the passenger wanted to get rid of others' evil, but he wasn't willing to give up of his. The truth is, we want God to stop evil consequences but not our own evil actions. We want evil to stop happening to us, but not through us" (62-63)
He goes on later to share why he preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"First, the gospel is the only thing on this planet that can tell a person what is really wrong with him or her . . . the gospel tells us that the source of our pain is our separation from God because of sin. As we have broken God's moral laws, it has resulted in our lives and our souls becoming broken . . . The second reason I preach the gospel is because it is the only thing on this planet that can tell us what to do to heal our condition" (63-64).
This book is more than just a book on apologetics. You will find the gospel weaved throughout it. For that reason, I would recommend it to you. I can envision giving this book out to a few people who are searching for answers.

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