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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing the truth about God through Christ
I should start my review by clearly stating that I am a Christian so I did not have much difficulty with the apologetic arguments put forward by Dr. Zacharias in this book. Still, I was very interested to see how he would go about trying to prove God's existence, and more importantly, explaining how God answers the tough questions of life through His son Jesus Christ...
Published on June 1, 2004 by D. Keating

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the Choir
I personally really enjoyed this book. I found Ravi's arguments compelling and thoughtful. So, I gave a copy of the book to an atheist friend. A few weeks later he returned it with a note that said "You may wish to sow this in more fertile ground."

What's one man's treasure is another man's trash. I believe the best use of this book will be for Christians to...
Published on June 20, 2007 by Maryland Man


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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing the truth about God through Christ, June 1, 2004
By 
D. Keating (Reston VA United States) - See all my reviews
I should start my review by clearly stating that I am a Christian so I did not have much difficulty with the apologetic arguments put forward by Dr. Zacharias in this book. Still, I was very interested to see how he would go about trying to prove God's existence, and more importantly, explaining how God answers the tough questions of life through His son Jesus Christ. Overall, I was very impressed with the book because of the unique blending of materials that Dr. Zacharias uses. He possesses a deep understanding of his material, and is a master at communicating the message - despite recent attempts to kill off the concept of God - He is alive, and still speaks to us today through His Son, His word, and His Holy Spirit.
I read all of the reviews for this book, and I am encouraged that it has received so much attention. Although others may not agree with the author's position, at least, it gets people to talk about things that matter. Real issues that we just don't spend enough time dealing with these days like Does God exist? If so, what does that mean for me? For the world. If not, what does that mean for me, and the world? Is there such a thing as absolut truth? If so, how can we know it (or Him from the Christian perspective). I think that Dr. Zacharias makes an effective attempt at answering these questions, and ultimately, offering the Christian world view.
I especially like the fact that he argues at various levels and brings in numerous stories and illustrations to prove his point. Without these elements, it would be a pretty dry read. Some are bothered by the fact that he does not go into great detail about opposing views, but I think they miss the point. Dr. Zacharias is not writing an academic volume which covers every detail and possible outcome of the various world views. Instead he attempts to show that ideas do have consequences, and we must pay attention to what is possible in the world if we try to make it work without God.
I highly encourage anyone who is interested in this topic to read the book. It may not answer all of your questions, but it will get you thinking. Also, it is not very long, but be warned, it is not light reading. Having said that, I am confident that the average college educated person can handle it. The copy I bought included a CD with the oral presentation that Dr. Zacharias gave upon which the book is based. I recommend listening to the CD before reading the book so that you have an understanding of the framework, and general approach that the author plans to take.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to the God of Logic!, February 14, 2002
By 
Kendal B. Hunter (Provo, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I must congratulate Dr. Zacharias for putting so much into this one small book. I think the two cornerstones to this book are his faith, and his understanding of the basics of logic.
I say faith, because faith is a mode of epistemology, an way of understanding the world around us. It is quite different than what we use in the Academy or in the world, but it is a way of knowing nonetheless. It is a way of knowing by the heart, since the heat oftentimes tells you things that you mind doesn't know.
I say logic, in that he works with the fundamental Three Laws of Logic: Identity, Excluded Middle, and Non-Contradiction. This is where most of the logical confusion and chaos erupts. This is the rock-bottom of all logical discourse. Using these three laws, Dr. Zachairas illustrates the absurdities (using this is the technical sense of an incoherency) of life without God. (In fact, this book is a primer on logic, and clear thinking. We are, after all, commanded to worship God not only with our hearts, but our minds.
This is not a math book, but a book of thought written on the freshman college level. As always, ambitious people will always be rewarded. This book bridges the gap between the mind and the heart. Dr. Zacharias is neither cold Spock nor wild McCoy, but he has channeled the synergy of both.
He nails, quite correctly I might add, that Nietzsche is the greatest modern philosopher. More people believe (and prove it conclusively by their actions) that God is dead than believe that God is alive and active in our live. Most people believe that God exists, but picture him a senile Santa Clause, or a vague historical personage as relevant as Amerigo Vespucci or Ferdinand Magellan. The case the Christians make is that God is alive, active, and guiding us nowadays.
Dr. Zacharias asks the lynchpin question: Why do antitheists believe in ethical codes that are not a direct outworking of their philosophy. In other words, how do you get from "E=mc2" to "Love your Neighbor?" I realize many antitheists have ethical codes, but why do these codes, in many instances, ape the religious ethical codes? Not to mention there is no Atonement and resurrection in antitheistic ethics, which atonement is the Central Christian Doctrine.
The only fault I would have with Dr. Zacharias is that he can be circumlocutious at times, but since he confesses that characteristically Eastern fault, we cannot hold it against him!
The appendices are quite helpful. When is the last time you heard that in a review?
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the Choir, June 20, 2007
By 
I personally really enjoyed this book. I found Ravi's arguments compelling and thoughtful. So, I gave a copy of the book to an atheist friend. A few weeks later he returned it with a note that said "You may wish to sow this in more fertile ground."

What's one man's treasure is another man's trash. I believe the best use of this book will be for Christians to read and understand Ravi's arguments, and be prepared to use them in personal discussion with friends and loved ones. Man can't live without God, but men/women who are without God don't realize it.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book., August 17, 2004
As an ill-educated person (I have little more than a public high school education), I admittedly am ignorant in the area of Philosophy. It is for this reason I am very glad Ravi Zacharias did not write this book so only the pedants and PhD's could understand it. It is an intensively interesting book and a pleasure to read.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful, masterful work of philosophy and logic, August 10, 2005
Ravi has probably reached the epitome of his philosophical genius with this monumental work. This is by far one of the most valuable resources and introductions to the Christian worldview in my library. Ravi sets a new course in the field of Christian apologetics by viewing and addressing secular worldviews in a way that really only he could pull off well. Instead of writing a book proving the existence of a God, a task that he has already shown he is well up to, he gives this idea very little ground in this book, really relegating that stream of argument to the Appendices. Instead, he seeks to demonstrate to the reader the consequences of their particular worldviews - he does not try to prove or disprove them (though some of that still shows up occasionally), but instead goes through the philosophies of not only atheists and Christians, but other religions as well, showing where each train of thought leads, both through logic and experience.

Here there are more than a few critics that jump in and take issue with Ravi's treatment of the subject. For example, the issue of Stalin, addressed in earlier reviews on this site. However, I note to the reviewers that Ravi never said that Stalin's path was the only path of an atheist. No, in fact, repeatedly he states that in fact many atheists are just the opposite, people who are good, fair, and kind, who view the world with goodwill, not with hatred like Stalin or Hitler. But here is the ultimate question, then: Are the actions of Stalin and Hitler products of their worldview? The answer can only be yes. There is enormous historical evidence supporting this claim. Hitler did not admire Jesus - if for nothing else, he would have hated him for being a Jew! Hitler used false claims of personal faith in Christianity to advance his own ambition and force the Church to stay out of his affairs. Stalin did not even bother with that. Nothing in these men's worldviews were logical outflowings of the teachings of the Bible. Quite the opposite.

On the other hand, though, there is an undeniable link between the philosophy of Nietzsche and the worldviews of these two evil men, a link that Ravi clearly outlines. The issue is not whether Nietzsche was a homicidal maniac obsessed with power or not; the issue is the fact that the philosophy of Nietzsche logically led to the deadly philosophy of Hitler and Stalin. Nietzsche, in effect, did not live his life in accordance with his philosophy on life - Hitler, on the other hand, did.

The point? Ravi makes a brilliant case that the worldview of the atheist is just as ugly in its ramifications as the worldview of Hitler, whether or not its adherents are living according to the philosophy they hold or not.

On this note, then, one can refute the counter-argument used in some of the reviews on this site. What about 'Christian' atrocities? The persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages? The horrific and bloody Crusades? The answer, Ravi states firmly, is that the men who ordered and carried out these acts were not living according to the Christian worldview they professed to hold - they simply used the banner of Christianity to advance their own greed and malice. The Bible does not endorse any of these atrocities, neither does a worldview firmly grounded in the Bible allow for these crimes.

In addition to all of this, Ravi outlines a truly outstanding look at how, practically, the worldview of atheism leaves the man without God as without ultimate meaning, significance, hope, love, truth, or even lasting joy. How can there be any of these things when all we are is simply a bundle of skin, bones, muscles, nerves, and a puny brain that breaks down in a pathetic 120 years at the most, with no life after death, with no reason to live for others in a life where the most we can do is have as much fun as we can before its all over. Sure, we can have a fleeting sensation of joy, a passing stab of love, a misguided hope, but in the end, its all gone, and we are no more. How sad! How pointless an existence! Yet, logically, this is the path of atheism. Any atheist who claims otherwise, if his worldview is correct, is simply living under an illusion.

But Ravi points out the alternative - the Christian worldview. In it, we have a logical and incredibly strong foundation for ultimate knowledge, meaning, love, hope, truth, joy, and so many other benefits!

Again, as Ravi indeed reminds us, this is with the assumption that there is a God. If there is not, then Christians are merely fooling ourselves with an illusion, a fantasy land of happiness, when Hitler and Stalin had the right idea all along - live for yourself, and enjoy it while it lasts.

Thankfully, Ravi gives a short, yet very powerful, list of proofs of the existence of God to back up the foundation of his book. Indeed, I found the Appendices one of the richest parts of the book! Take his recommendations and read the books he lists as further reading. Once one has established the existence of God as overwhelmingly true (and believe me, there are arguments out there that I have yet to hear any atheist refute), then this book has all the more power and punch to its message.

In summary, this is a book to read, whether you are a Christian, Moslem, Jew, or atheist, or any other adherent to a belief system. Ravi is a masterful philosopher, an unmatched apologist, a sympathetic and easy-to-understand author, and a humble man. This is definitely one of the classics in its field.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars needs to be read VERY carefully, July 21, 1999
By A Customer
I thought this book hit things right on the mark. Some atheists charge him with attacking a straw man version of atheism, but if you read his book carefully, he deals with those accusations convincingly, both in the book and in the appendices. Yes, an atheist can be moral withoug believing in God, and can also find life enjoyable and meaningful. HOWEVER, they would not be living true to the philosophy they claim to espouse. Atheism is completely unlivable and undefendable. That is one of the reasons why we are seeing some atheists claim "I don't believe in God because I lack evidence." If atheism would take a good look at itself in the mirror, it would see Zacharias' points. One can deny God on the surface and live out life without God on the surface, but no one dares tinker with the foundations of good thinking. I'm not surprised at all that some reviewers are offended at this book--Zacharias is honest and he doesn't pull any punches.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrecting reason from the grave of modern thought!, July 23, 2005
Can Man Live Without God? Mr. Zacharias offers rock solid reasoning to support his conclusions. His elegant style, and enchanting delivery belie the fact that english is not his native tounge. In terms of literary form, he is one of the best Christian authors since C.S. Lewis. As a philosopher, Mr. Zacharias is very good at presenting things in a way that the average reader can easily grasp. Any philosopher can make your head spin. The best ones can present their reasoning in such a way that a broader audiance can benefit from the message. It is refreshing when brilliant minds don't posess bewildering egos! This is the first of Ravi's books that I have read. I guarantee that I will be reading many more. Even a non-believer should be hard pressed not to admire his eloquent, and engaging presentation.

There are, of course, still hard-hearted scoffers. Their logic only seeks to strip bare lifes meaning, in pursuit of the liberation of a greater nothing. Of these Antithiestic naysayers, I ask: Where would a critic be without an Author? It is by God's grace that we can take each new day for granted. By the grace of God alone, an individual can choose to live a life without Him. Without the Author of life, skeptics would have nothing to pick apart. If this is what gives your life meaning, fine. But what have you gained if your life were to end today? I choose to live and die in the fullness of hope and meaning, rather than living a life in the emptiness and hopelessness of mere chance. There is no loss or consequence in hope. There is no gain or victory in an endless quest for more. If from nothing we came, and to nothing we shall return, then what, pray tell, is the point?

Brilliant book!

(Clarification: An Athiest is one who does not believe in God. An 'Antithiest' is one who is compulsively obsessed with picking apart Christianity, and Christian writings. See negative reviews for examples of 'Antithiests'.)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Objecitve review., October 27, 1999
By A Customer
Ravi makes some good points. Not intended for philosophy majors, but for the regular person. The simplicity of his arguements are none the less important arguements. Unfortunatly is easy for atheists to miss the point, and all too easy for christians to get it.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not the next Schaeffer . ., May 22, 1999
By A Customer
I was about 15 when I read this the first time, and was mightily impressed by it. Since then I have had six years of life experience to add, and two years of Philosophy at Bristol University - and looking back on the book I can see weaknesses I was not aware of before. As stated by other reviewers, Zacharias does an awful lot of "argument from authority" and often little to back it up. He does make some good points, but they are often repeated and bulked out with numerous illustrations (which are helpful, but tend to just pad it out some of the time). If you only want to scratch the surface of philosophy then this is probably what you want - if you want to dig deep then try 'Christian Apologetics' by Norman Geisler. Habermas and Geivett's "In Defense of Miracles" provides a staunch refutation of Hume's (and by extension, Flew's) arguments against the possibility of miracles.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ideas have consequences, December 21, 1999
If it is one thing that I have learned from Ravi in his works, it is that ideas have consequences. All the smut that is being paraded as true these days, that we are nothing but physical reflexes, there is no evil, it is all just DNA, even the "truth" that there is no truth, is destroying us. Ravi points not only this out, but he points out where the above (and other often ill-thought through beliefs) are weak and go wrong. As to the reviewer below, sorry bud, but your whole review can be summarized in four little words: attacking the person fallacy. I don't think that Ravi is as stuck up as you make him out to be, but even if he were, that has nothing to do with the strength of his argument. Your review is a textbook case of that fallacy. One more thing too; many here are really perturbed by Ravi's use of others' quotes. Some try to make it look like he says "so and so agrees with me, so you should too," or something of that nature. But I don't even see that within a thousand miles of his book. Sure, he uses a lot of quotes and anecdotes from others, but that serves 3 functions: 1) keeping the writing interesting, 2)illustrating the point, 3)attaching a historical relevance with some of his points. 4)someone makes an observance in a masterful way, in a way that no other, especially the author himself, cannot seem to capture in his own words, so he puts it in the book to retain its original punch. If he did not quote others and use anecdotes,if it was just all propositions and such, that would make for quite a boring book. The anecdotes and quotes from others also make us sit up and take notice, ala function number three. Some people are just able to illustrate points much better than the author,and he recognizes this and uses them in his book. And lets recognize one more thing on this issue: using significant authorities to strengthen your case is quite different from arguing from an ill-qualified authority. The former, as long as one doesn't make it a band-wagon approach (which Ravi doesn't), serves to strengthen an argument, while the latter is a logical fallacy (kind of like saying, "well, the pope said that Goodyear tires are the best tires to put on a car, so I'm going with Goodyear"). We all use authorities to bolster our arguments to a certain extent; we are not authoratative on some issues, while others are, and we recognize this. It is a perfectly legit thing to do. Ravi does not use authority in an illogical or wrong way.
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Can Man Live Without God
Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias (Hardcover - Sept. 1994)
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