Friday, November 09, 2007

Book Review: No Other Gods

No Other Gods by Dr. Phil Fernandes could be described as a solid and foundational text covering an overall history of apologetics and presenting a strong cumulative apologetic for Christianity. It will serve as a strong future reference for the apologist, as it is concise yet thorough.

Fernandes’ historical overview of apologetics is useful and insightful. It is presented chronologically and outlines each key historical figure and what philosophies they pioneered. Without delving into a deep analysis of the belief systems, the reader gets a good feel for the progression of philosophies and theories.

Fernandes presents a nine-point cumulative case for the existence of God. He uses arguments from cosmology (the Kalam argument and Thomistic arguments), teleology (order and design of the Universe), human knowledge, universal truths, moral values, the absurdity of life without God, human dignity, and the existence of evil. Regarding the argument from the existence of evil, it is ironic that the argument many atheists would use to oppose God actually serves to prove His existence; how can evil exist if there is no God?

Old Testament and New Testament reliability are defended based on manuscript evidence, the apostolic fathers, external secular writings, ancient creeds, and the authority of professional scholars. Noteworthy is the appeal to the ancient creeds, as it serves to push the date of the original traditions and writings back even closer to the events they point to. Finally, the strong list of seven expert opinions helps to reinforce the case for Old and New Testament reliability.

The book reaches its target in the area of the Resurrection and the case of Christology. The short, but powerful case for the Resurrection goes right into proving the fact of Jesus’ divinity and therefore the validity of the scriptures as authoritative as God’s Word. Fernandes sites 25 prophecies as powerful evidence of Jesus as the Messiah.

Appendix Three, The Apologetic Methodology of Blaise Pascal was very interesting. Pascal’s way of thinking, methods and approach seem altogether unique. This chapter also brings proper clarity to the much-distorted and misused “Wager” argument for God. Most appreciated was Pascal’s focus on shaking men out of their indifference and removing the obstacles to their belief.

In conclusion, No Other Gods does an excellent job of presenting apologetics, and seems accessible to practically anyone.


Kanbei85 said...

I agree with your review, with one caveat: I think it must unfortunately be mentioned that the writing style of this book leaves *much* to be desired. It seems Dr. Fernandes has no respect for any punctuation marks besides the period.

Do not misunderstand me, because I am an ardent fan of Dr. Fernandes, and listen to his lectures all the time! But this book is very difficult to read in some places due to the extreme choppiness of the writing. I guess it's the "New Jersey Style"?

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