Monday, June 4

A Shot of Faith to the Head by Mitch Stokes

In the era of the internet, opinions are a mere click away.  So are rants, meaningless gibberish, anger, and people who are always ‘right.’  Bring in television, film, and book publishing, there are a multitude of ways not only to present an opinion, but also to hear it.  In an age where everyone tries to have there opinion heard, it can be difficult to weed out the truth.  To make it worse, those who voice their thoughts not only believe they’re right, but often believe that they can attack people who hold differing views.  While dialogue is important, it can be hard to have a true dialogue with people of differing views in today’s world. 

For Christians, this is especially found in talking with Atheists.  Often Christian beliefs are immediately dismissed as irrational.  And if someone thinks a view is irrational, it’s hard to have a proper dialogue, and may even lead to doubting one’s faith.  But is Christianity irrational?  Is Atheism the ration side, or is irrational?  In A Shot of Faith to the Head: Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists, Stokes writes to encourage Christians in their faith. 

Part 1 begins by going through common arguments as to why belief in God is not rational.  Then counter points are introduced, and a defense against attacks begins in part 2.  The final sections of the book deals with evil and suffering, as Stokes attempts to show how both God and evil could exist. 

What surprised me most about the book was that Stokes chose not to defend Christianity as true, but rather defends it as being rational.  The distinction is important.  Though I’m sure some would prefer that Stokes focus on the former, it is an area that many have already treaded.  I hadn’t heard any defenses of Christianity’s rationality until now.  Considering that many arguments against Christians come from the worldview that Christianity is irrational, it also seems to be an important topic to cover.

I thought Stokes interacted well with the different ideas in his chapters.  Though he seemed to enjoy poking fun at many of the famous atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, he never reduced himself to angry rants.  From what I could tell he also seemed careful to maintain the context of quotes, and each chapter felt well researched and thought through.  At points he seems a bit redundant, but it wasn’t a huge detractor.  Each chapter ends with a short summary of his keys points, and if you’re skipping around in the book these could be a good first place to start before deciding whether to read more.

Overall I enjoyed A Shot of Faith to the Head and if you’re looking for a book which addresses questions and arguments raised by atheists this would be a great book to look at.

4/5 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] 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

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