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ISBN/ASIN : 0849945283
Manufacturer : Thomas Nelson|
Release data : 01 September, 2004
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Can Christians live without apologists?
In a nutshell, Ravi Zacharias's Can Man Live Without God is a work whose premise is that we as individuals and as a society need God, the Christian God, to live meaningful lives. The main thrust of the reasoning in this book is that atheism, or "antitheism" as Zacharias puts it, is harmful or even deadly. "Antitheism" is defined as the denial of God's existence.
Some of the key points presented in this book include
Material affluence results in "anguish."
Living without God makes life unlivable if antitheism is "consistently carried through."
Hitler "lived without God" which explains his genocidal actions.
Stalin's genocide was a result of his being an atheist.
Antitheists have no "rational basis" for morality.
Antitheism provides no solace for hurting people.
Antitheistic philosophers like Nietzsche and Russell are at fault for social problems such as divorce.
For antitheists, life has no meaning.
You can make what you wish of the above assertions, but Zacharias does a good job of writing about the issues raised. His book is interesting and provocative, and he fills its pages with many heart-tugging examples to illustrate some of its most salient points. I found myself taking time out from other activities to read it.
Who will like Can Man Live Without God? I'd recommend it to anybody who's interested in the debate waged between atheists and Christians regarding not only the existence of God but how the ideas that may result from belief and disbelief can impact society. I believe that Christians in particular might appreciate this book because it may strengthen their faith when it comes under fire by skeptics.
Being a skeptic myself, I unsurprisingly have some criticisms of this work. First and foremost, I must call Zacharias to task for not providing data for his claims. All of the evidence he provides is anecdotal, and anybody with a modicum of scientific knowledge may ask where the statistics are to demonstrate that "antitheists" are more likely to be violent or despotic than those who believe in the Christian God.
What might possibly be even more obviously amiss with this book is Zacharias not explaining which Gods we presumably cannot live with or without. As a former Hindu, he should be acutely aware that there are more than two viewpoints on the existence of God, atheism and Christianity. What of Jews, Muslims, and Hindus? They have their Gods yet they don't believe in the Christian God. Do they suffer from the same maladies that antitheists allegedly do? If so, then one can believe in God but still be as bad off as Zacharias believes antitheists are. If not, then the Christian God is not necessary to live one's life with morality and meaning.
In closing, I'd recommend Can Man Live Without God. It's interesting, provocative, and reflective of the ideological struggle between modern rationalism and traditional Christian belief. It does leave me with a question for debate: Can Christians live without apologists like Zacharias?
Preaching to the Choir
I personally really enjoyed this book. I found Ravi's arguments compelling and thoughtful. So, I gave a copy of the book to an atheist friend. A few weeks later he returned it with a note that said "You may wish to sow this in more fertile ground."
What's one man's treasure is another man's trash. I believe the best use of this book will be for Christians to read and understand Ravi's arguments, and be prepared to use them in personal discussion with friends and loved ones. Man can't live without God, but men/women who are without God don't realize it.
Yes, Man Cannot Live Without God, and Zacharias Shows This
Despite what many will say about this book, Ravi Zacharias is one of the best writers found within Christianity today. Can man live without God? No. But, sadly enough, there's plenty of people (such as such popular Christianphobics and Godphobics like Dawkins and Sam Harris) out there willing to give it a try. Thus a book like this is both helpful and, sadly, not helpful to Christians such as you and I. It is helpful because, truth be told, not truth made by man but truth brought forth by God, only (as God Himself points out aplenty) a fool could look around and say there is no God. One of the biggest problems with apologetics is that you can have all the proof in the world for such things as Jesus Christ, Intelligent Design, and so forth, but a blind man will still be a blind man if there is no recognition of blindness. And thus the atheist and the humanist sinks deeper and deeper into his own self worship--worshiping himself as his own god because there is no other god but the atheist's/humanist's ego. Worship that involves nihilism dressed as "reasoning," while believing such matrixes as evolution as the Genesis of man.
Still, a work like this by Zacharias helps you and I to realize just how sinful we ourselves are and our sinful the world is. The world around us is filled with poverty, school shootings, war, rumors of war, and so much more--and if the humanists truly bring America into being a secular nation, a nation that is politically correct toward all but Christians (which is what the atheist and the humanist liberal wants to do), then we will indeed see more of these social and global travesties. I dare say that this is true, that the more the atheists and the humanists secularize the world, the more kids you will see shot at schools, the more drugs you will see sold in the corporations, the more teen pregnancies and abortions you'll see in the clinics. Why? Because to try to live without God means that you have no comprehension of morality, truth, and life everlasting. We cannot live without God, and we who call upon the Lord through Jesus Christ must recognize this empirical paradigm--we cannot live a life in this world, truly live a life in this world, if we do not recognize our base need to be with our Heavenly God through Jesus Christ. We must have God just as we must have breath, we must have God just as we must have our blood coursing through our veins. We cannot live life without God because we would be turning our back on true life, eternal true life, that is found only in God through Jesus Christ.
As Zacharias points out in chapter after chapter, the atheist truly has no reasoning and "logic" and "comprehension." The atheist has no answers toward those pressing questions that we all feel--from questions about suffering, questions about loneliness, questions about insecurity, questions about history and the lives of man in history. The atheist only believes that man must always be his own god so that man will know (or so the atheist believes, as Zacharias points out) how to truly live life. Yet man is blind. Man is deaf. Only God, as Zacharias points out, can fully answer our questions if we truly seek Him to answer these questions. We may have doubts, we may have tears, but if we truly allow God--in the fullness of time and place and station--to bring us the answers, then indeed we will have those answers. And those questions will always lead to the utmost of truths, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man who came into this world through virgin birth, lived a life of sinlessness, healed the sick, made the blind man see, spoke to the heart and the mind and the soul, then died upon the Cross and rose again on the Third Day so that we (through Him who brings us to the Father) will have eternal life.
Still, though we truly must stand against the humanist and their full desire to destroy by their own version of apologetics this country and our children in this country and this world. This can be done only through faith in God through Christ and living a life for our Lord God. We must not be egotistical ourselves, nor must we think of ourselves as better than them. We are just as poor as they are, spiritually, physically, we need God just like they do...the only difference is that Christ has opened our eyes because we have truly desired for Christ to open our eyes to our own self poverty. Yes we must have love for these sinners who are just as sinful as we are. For these people are those who need God through Christ just as much as we need God through Christ. Furthermore, we must also have pity toward these poor misguided fools (not my words, but God's position toward those who fail to see Him when He is there clear as day) who only desire is for their own self interest.
Thus I say to you that you must witness to the atheist, not through badgering or through heckling, but through love...the love of Christ that is suppose to shine in our hearts and minds and souls. We must do this because we must show the world that God so loved the World that He gave His only Son so that we wont have to die eternally, but instead have everlasting real life reasoned life in Him. Read this book by Zacharias, and I dare say to read his other fine books. His works will help you to understand your own need, your own desires, your own doubts, and your own hopes that can be answered by just laying them before the Resurrected One.