Reasons for Belief
We have known John Oakes for a long time and have reviewed previous books that he has written. Dr. Oakes is a professor of chemistry from the University of Colorado and has been active in apologetics for many years. His web site (www.evidenceforchristianity.org) is a useful site for apologetics material. This book is identified as "A Handbook of Christian Evidence" and is an apologetic for Jesus Christ as the Son of God, not an apologetic for the existence of God. If someone comes to belief in God, or at least recognizes "there is something out there," a logical follow-up question is: "OK--which God?" In our day of religious pluralism the common notion is that all religious systems are valid and equal--a notion that is not logical, but is popular. Dr. Oakes makes a strong case for the validity of Christ and the Christian system in this book.
The first three chapters of the book deal with the claim of Jesus to be God, and why this claim should be believed. The biblical claims are examined and the evidence to support those claims are presented. Oakes anticipates questions and challenges well in the book, so the question of miracles is examined, including the resurrection of Christ, as well as atheist attempts to discredit those claims. Chapters four and five deal with prophecies and their fulfillment, showing the credibility of biblical prophecy. Chapters six and seven deal with how we know the Bible is true, dealing with manuscript evidence and archeological evidence. Chapter eight deals with science as a supporter of the Bible, and chapter nine extends the discussion of the impact and relevance of the Bible as "the greatest book ever written."
This is a good book. The scope of the subject matter leaves you with other questions and the wish that Oakes had written another 200 pages. However, what is there is useful, encouraging, and will build the faith of believers and give thought material to unbelievers. We recommend this book highly. It fills in a badly-needed gap in the available apologetic materials of today.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun06.