I’ve read a lot of apologetics-themed books over the course of the last several years. It’s a challenge to critique such works effectively, due to the range of levels at which such volumes are written: one book might be directed at the layman, while another may require some background in academic philosophy to fully grasp. Commendably, Rice Broocks’ “God’s Not Dead: Evidence for Faith in an Age of Unbelief” attempts to straddle this gulf…and does so with surprising aplomb.
I’m personally partial to the denser type of apologetic literature (“A Shot of Faith to the Head,” which I reviewed last year, is a good example of this), but Broocks neatly sidesteps the potential for oversimplification. Broocks distills many of the best arguments for Christianity into an accessible, easy-to-understand package, while offering his own take on a number of points. Notably outstanding is a section detailing the unique aspects that separate human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom…I’ve never read anything that expresses such ideas in quite such an articulate manner. Also strong is a chapter detailing the positive effects of Christianity throughout human history…a nicely presented arsenal for apologists who have grown weary of the religion-bashing common among modern intelligentsia.
Broocks’ book isn’t the top apologetic resource I’ve come across (that honor belongs to Tom Gilson’s “True Reason,” with John Warwick Montgomery’s “Evidence for Faith” a close follow-up). Some of its points seem a bit truncated, and there’s an extended gospel presentation that feels just slightly too long. Overall, however, Broocks delivers a strong defense of Christianity that will be of interest to both academics and laypersons; though some of its arguments are fleshed out more thoroughly elsewhere, “God’s Not Dead” remains a valuable contribution to existing apologetic literature. (I’m not sure it would be worth its full list price of $20, though…waiting for the paperback might be advisable).
An intelligent, concise introduction to robust philosophical apologetics.
* I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”