This book is very well researched and documented. The writing style makes it enjoyable reading. The positive advance reviews contained in the book are well-earned. My grade for the book: “Excellent start, but incomplete.”
The book shows how science and historical/archeological work have inflicted mortal wounds upon the dogma pushed by prominent atheists. But this monster isn’t as near-dead as it may seem- it is at the core of progressive woke activism, which works to create a socialist God-free America. This infection seems to be very advanced and likely to grow, until it is ultimately absorbed into the Satanic religion of the Tribulation period.
The Excellent Start: In Part I (“Does Science Point to God?”) Metaxas shows the current scientific analysis and the many scientists pointing to a Creator for everything in the universe. He presents compelling evidence. The evidence he cites does show that whole universe (including the life on Earth) had to come from God.
The book presents the case from current science, that indicates everything in this universe must have started with a mysterious big bang, followed by 13 billion years of natural processes. These are big problems for the atheist pseudo-science cult. Thirteen billion years doesn’t provide enough time to support their theories about evolution and all the other intricate details of the universe. They are left unable to explain where life came from or how Earth, of all places in the universe, became the perfect place for life. The evidence points to an all-powerful and all-wise Creator.
In Part II (“The Stones Will Cry Out”), Metaxas provides substantial evidence (historical and archaeologic) as to the accuracy of the Bible and Biblical events. Part III (“What is Truth?”) connects Christianity to science and scientists, and deflates various atheistic myths. Further, Metaxas contrasts the great evils done under atheist regimes (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.) and the goodness that can come only from Christ.
Metaxas concludes the book with these powerful words that connect the shaken disciples of Jesus after His crucifixion to us today: “But as it happens, God- back then and again now- has revealed things to us that we did not know before, that we could not have known before, that we couldn’t have even imagined. And based on these new things, then and again now, we can say something deeply and heartbreakingly beautiful and true: God is not dead. He is alive. Rejoice.”
What’s Missing? Unfortunately, this book does not take the next step, to deal with the gap between the thirteen-billion-year-old universe theory and the timeline established in the book of Genesis (from the Bible Metaxas has demonstrated to be trustworthy). This theory and Genesis do not agree on the time line for Creation.
Many scholars have done the math connecting the Bible’s historical records of family trees, kingdoms and events, and have estimated that Adam and Eve were created around 4,000 BC. Count back five more days and you have the start of Creation described in Genesis 1:1.
For example, read Luke 3:23-38. You’ll see about 40 generations listed from Adam to Jesus. At first (the patriarchs) some children were born to parents well over 200 years old. But after Abraham, lifespans and child-bearing-years dropped to be much closer to our current patterns. If the average generation for the entire Old Testament period is estimated to have been about 100 years, then 40 x 100 = 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus. The record is clear that Jesus was born about 2,000 years ago. And 4,000 + 2,000 = 6,000, not 13,000,000,000.
Perhaps God will facilitate further scientific discoveries that will bring updated scientific estimates for the start of the universe to be something closer to 6,000 years. More likely, this is a mystery that He will not answer for us- He wants us to believe through faith, not just by the works of science. His amazing Creation is just one reason we should have faith.
The 13-billion-year theory does not factor in the completeness of Creation. God didn’t create Adam and Eve as zygotes or embryos. He created a mature man and a mature woman and placed them in the exact spot that He had in mind on the day that He had planned. He created mature animals that reproduced after their kind. Likewise, God created everything else in the universe in the mature and complete state that He intended it to be and positioned everything where and when He wanted it to be. He created the materials of the universe, formed them as He wanted, and brought energy, life, time and all the other “laws of science” into being. All in a perfect sequencing and relationship. Remember, Genesis says that God created both the Earth and light on Day 1. Then He configured the Earth and established its environment on Days 2 and 3. It was not until Day 4 (when light already existed) that He created the sun, moon and all of the stars. And on Days 5 and 6, God created all animal life including man.
Conclusions. “Is Atheism Dead?” does a great job proving there is a God and that He is all powerful and good. That is the book’s objective (see “Introduction- The Grand Counter-Narrative”). But just believing there is a God isn’t enough. As the Bible says (James 2:19) “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder.” Beyond that belief, it is essential that you also understand that there is only one way to be reconciled with God, and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Hopefully, Eric Metaxas is already working on another book, where he will fill in these blanks. “Is Atheism Dead?” is well-worth reading and continues his track record for interesting, inspiring and informational books.