She went to the University of North Carolina to win her campus for Christ. After just four weeks, she was no longer a believer…
Dear CRI Partner:
She was the top Christian student in her high school.
In fact, she won several scholarships from Christian organizations to use at the college of her choice.
She decided on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because she wanted to win the campus for Christ. Yet after only four weeks, her shocked Marine Corps father received a devastating phone call:
“Dad, I don’t believe in God anymore.”
I wish from the bottom of my heart that I could tell you these phone calls are an exception. But they’re frankly becoming more the norm.
Perhaps that’s not surprising when you realize that American college professors are five times more likely to be atheists than the general public. Or, that more than half of college professors have unfavorable views of evangelical students.
There are as many tragedies here as there are students whose faith is lost. And one of the saddest and most unnecessary is that evangelical students are generally innocent sheep being led to the intellectual slaughterhouse.
As apologist Frank Turek puts it succinctly and disturbingly, “It’s not so much that Christian minds are lost at college — it’s that Christian minds rarely get to college.”
As Frank says in his book, Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case,
“They rarely get to college because many parents and churches emphasize emotion and ignore the biblical commands to develop the mind, which means that most kids skip off to college equipped with little more than feel-good emotionalism. If bands, pizza, and Pepsi could equip church youth with the intellectual firepower to defend Christianity, we wouldn’t have so many kids fleeing the church.”
I hope that hits you as hard as it hits me.
Not only because countless thousands of these students are being lost with
devastating consequences but also because these atheist professors are stealing from God just to make their lame arguments.
In pointing out that atheism is anything but reasonable, Turek says:
“For a worldview that prides itself on reason, a look under the covers reveals that atheism is anything but reasonable. It’s a self-refuting worldview that steals from God in order to work. An atheist is like someone who claims not to believe in guns, but then steals your gun and tries to shoot you with it. The atheist’s hope is that no one will notice.”
Before I say more about Stealing from God and why I think every serious Christian today should have this important book, let me make clear why I’m writing in the first place.
- First, as you’ve no doubt noticed, there’s a war on. It’s not merely a war of opinions and perspectives but a cosmic battle for the hearts and souls of millions: believers and unbelievers. And while, as a lover of truth, I will always lament any battle lost to the forces of intellectual and spiritual darkness, the losses I hate most are those where Christians show up like clueless babes in the woods, utterly ill-equipped to deal with the sinister assaults that are mounting on multiple fronts.
- Second, CRI is passionately committed to leveling the intellectual playing field. The great tragedy is not that we’re fighting these battles and losing to superior arguments or worldviews. Our superior arguments (because they derive from God’s Word) are simply unknown by far too many Christians who have succumbed to “sloppy agape” and missed the memo that we’re to “love God with all our minds” (Luke 10:27).
- Third, I’m writing because your gifts to CRI do “double duty.” They not only provide you with the critical tools and resources needed to stand against increasingly rabid secularism and militant atheism but they do the same for others as well. Sharing critical reasoning from resources like Stealing from God, they help equip fellow believers to reveal just how self-refuting the ideologies and arguments are that are being relentlessly foisted on well intentioned but naïve young people.
Although I’ve included a sheet with select excerpts, let me provide just a few glimpses of why this tool should be in your apologetics toolkit AND why, if you have children or grandchildren of college age or have friends or loved ones at risk of drinking from the poisoned chalice of atheism, this might be the best gift you could give.
It will hopefully come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of acronyms! I like them
because they’re practical. They can distill key truths into a memorable form for handy recall when they’re needed.
Because stealing is a crime (especially stealing from God!), Turek uses CRIMES to show the scope of the intellectual crimes atheists are committing. He shows how each letter in CRIMES represents one or more aspects of reality that simply wouldn’t exist if atheism were true:
C = Causality
R = Reason
I = Information and Intentionality
M = Morality
E = Evil
S = Science
While I can only skim the surface of what you’ll discover in Stealing from God, here are a few sample hors d’oeuvres that begin each chapter of this sumptuous meal:
CAUSALITY: NO ONE CREATED SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING?
To doubt the law of causality is to doubt virtually everything we know about reality, including our ability to reason and do science. All arguments, all thinking, all science, and all aspects of life depend on the law of causality.
REASON: BAD RELIGION OR BAD REASON?
The main point of this chapter is not to show that all arguments for atheism fail. The main point of this chapter is to show that all arguments for anything fail if atheism is true.
INFORMATION AND INTENTIONALITY: IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER
God’s signature is not just in the cell, it’s in all of creation. God is as necessary to the universe as a band is to music. Once the band stops playing, the music is over.
MORALITY: STEALING RIGHTS FROM GOD
You can know what a book says while denying there’s an author. But there would be no book to know unless there was an author. Likewise, atheists can know objective morality while denying God exists, but there would be no objective morality unless God exists.
DOES EVIL DISPROVE ATHEISM?
Good reason provides all the information we need to see that the very existence of evil is a contradiction for atheism. If evil is real, then atheism is false.
SCIENCE DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING, SCIENTISTS DO
To say a scientist can disprove the existence of God is like saying a mechanic can disprove the existence of Henry Ford. While there is certainly evidence from science to support theism, the most important point for this chapter is not that science supports theism but that theism supports science. In other words, theism makes doing science possible. We wouldn’t be able to do science reliably if atheism were true.
Before I unashamedly ask for your help to continue CRI’s work of equipping fellow believers to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have” (1 Peter 3:15), let me encourage you just to glance at the sheet with enclosed excerpts.
My hope is that you’ll devour Stealing from God and keep it handy for occasional review. Its truths and insights will serve you well, and I’m confident it will become a favorite tool in your apologetics toolkit.
Please know that whether your gift today is large or small, ALL GIFTS to CRI do “double duty” by equipping you as well as fellow believers to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Through CRI’s radio broadcasts, website resources, and CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, your support is helping to equip thousands of people daily. Not only here in the United States but also increasingly around the world.
For the difference your partnership makes in so many lives, and for all that your friendship means to me personally, I’m deeply grateful!
…because Life and Truth matter,
P.S. I wish the story I told you earlier about the loss of faith was an isolated case. Sadly, it’s not. In fact, John S. Dickerson, author of The Great Evangelical Recession, shows that the body of Christ is bleeding out:
“Of the 3.7 million United States evangelicals who are eighteen to twenty-nine years old, 2.6 million will leave the faith at some point between their eighteenth and twenty-ninth birthdays.”
Even more alarming is the fact that the vast majority of them never return. Because striving to reverse these trends is at the very heart of our mission and something that drives our sense of urgency, I’ll ask you to do whatever you can to help today. I’ll gladly send your copy of Stealing from God just as soon as I hear from you. And please know that through our work together, we can reduce the phone calls from students to their parents saying, “Dad, I don’t believe in God anymore.”