Michael A. Robinson’s book God Does Exist! stands out in the sea of books on apologetics namely due to its practical nature. Not only does Robinson teach apologetic methods, but he also give examples of how they are to be used. His motivation for doing so is compelling. Why should someone gain knowledge if they aren’t going to use it? Michael makes this convicting remark in the introduction to his book.
I have observed numerous members of the Reformed wing of the church and I have been overwhelmed at the brightness of their wit, the depth of their theological sophistication, and their vivid, vigorous defense of the faith. But I am often grieved at the lack of passion for person evangelism in the lives of many who delight in the intellectual quality, brilliance, and penetration of the books authored by the most orthodox scholars. It breaks my heart to see the believers, who have the best understanding of scripture, leave the work of evangelism to the anti-intellectual churches as the bright and brainy remain holed-up in their compounds of abstract academia.
There are apologetic junkies out there who attend the conferences, read the books, write the reviews, and maybe even leave comments on facebook and youtube, but fail to meet the most basic requirement of a follower of Christ: to go make disciples. This isn’t to say any of the aforementioned activities are negative. In fact, they are extremely helpful and useful for the task of evangelism. If they are separated from this task, they loose their purpose. This is the reason I like Robinson’s book. It’s evangelism focused. There are numerous “man-on-the-street” transcripts of actual encounters with unbelievers that serve as an example for what we should be doing. They not only help us grasp the apologetic concepts, but they force us to envision ourselves using them. I can’t overemphasize enough the reason God Does Exist! was written. It’s not to convince the skeptic, or teach the Christian some new apologetic- though it can do both. Rather it’s meant to show how the Christian should apply his or her apologetic.
Let’s take a look at just a couple apologetic arguments Robinson lays out for us to use. I should mention that Michael is well-versed in Van-Tillian apologetics, and that seems to be his main thrust. The transcendental argument for God’s existence is his favorite- and mine as well- because it gives the unbeliever no room for rejection. It doesn’t deal in probabilities, but absolutes. If the God of the Bible did not exist, nothing could be proven. The universal invariant laws of logic, morality, science, etc. all depend upon the Trinitarian God of Scripture. Robinson gives us the tools necessary to do an “internal critique” of the unbeliever’s worldview with five pages of non-stop examples of “self-refuting” statements. One whole chapter is dedicated the Trinity and how it’s actually an asset in proving God (since it makes unity in diversity possible) not a problem. One of the more amusing proofs the author uses against materialists is seen in this quote:
Rejecting the notion of man having a spirit has applications for our penal system as well. According to the atheist’s worldview, the only thing that exists is the material world. If this is true, the state after seven years, should let all the murderers out of prison.
The reason for this you may ask?
. . . humans physically change every moment, hence under a physical-only worldview, I am not the same person I was a second ago. In seven years time, every atom in a person’s body has been replaced by new ones. Thus the person is a new and completely different being, within the worldview of the materials atheist (faster if you visit the dentist frequently).
The fact is, if all you believe exists is physical material, you have no reason to love your child after one minute let alone seven years. He or she is now a different person. Yet, atheists function as if the spouse they married after seven years is still the same person. They cannot account for this because of their disbelief in the soul.
The book contains many such internal critiques of non-believing worldviews, and shows how you can approach someone who believes in such things. The Bible is coherent and contains no internal contradictions and can make sense of reality and the way in which we actually function. For anyone wanting to know how they can preach the Gospel with more confidence, or wondering how they might go about applying apologetics to witnessing encounters, I suggest picking up a copy of this book.