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The Real Face of Atheism Paperback – September 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"If you are looking for an answer to the greatest question of our time, here is a book that faces it head on." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Atheism is a world without God. Its true nature-whether disguised in Eastern mysticism or American cynicism-is despair. In this thought-provoking and insightful book, Ravi Zacharias exposes the hopelessness of atheism and explains how a worldview based on belief in God is the key to fulfillment. The Real Face of Atheism systematically examines atheistic positions on human nature, the meaning of life, morality, the "First Cause," death, and more.

"If you are looking for an answer to the greatest question of our time, here is a book that faces it head on. Ravi has intellectual integrity and spiritual perception. His illustrations bring profound concepts within reach and touch both the heart and mind."-Billy Graham

"Ravi Zacharias has a profound understanding of the intellectual struggles a person has in relating to God. I consider Dr. Zacharias one of the great Christian apologists of our time."-Josh McDowell

"Ravi Zacharias is a man singularly gifted to speak to these matters."-R. C. Sproul

"Ravi Zacharias brings with him considerable intellectual strength and theological depth. His background brings him and understanding of cultures and personal acquaintance with other religions."-Jay Kesler

"Ravi Zacharias has a keen mind, a warm heart, a fervent spirit, and a compelling style. In short, he is a great apologist."-D. Stuart Briscoe

Ravi Zacharias is president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and is heard worldwide on his radio program, Let My People Think. A former visiting scholar at Cambridge, he has lectured at the world's most prestigious universities and in more than fifty countries. His numerous books include Jesus Among Other Gods and Can Man Live Without God?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801065119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801065118
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For over thirty-five years, Ravi Zacharias has spoken all over the world in great halls and universities, notably Harvard, Princeton, and numerous universities internationally. He is listed as a Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford university. He has appeared on CNN and other international broadcasts. The author of several books for adults and children, he powerfully mixes biblical teaching and Christian apologetics. His most recent works include Walking from East to West, a memoir; The Grand Weaver, an exploration of God's intention in both the ordinary and the startling elements of life; and The End of Reason, a rebuttal of the claims of the so-called New Atheists. His weekly radio program, Let My People Think, is broadcast on 1,692 stations worldwide, and his weekday program, Just Thinking, is on 412. He is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have three grown children and reside in Atlanta.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 65 people found the following review helpful By D. Ward on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Many critics have attacked the work of Ravi Zacharias found here. This book "The Real Face of Atheism" is actually a slightly updated version of his 1990 book titled "A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism".

I do not consider this to be Ravi's crowning work but he did not write it to be an "exhaustive" argument against Atheism.

In his original introduction he explains his intention for this book---

It was born from a presentation to a group of scientists from Bell Labs. He addressed the topic of "Why I am not an Atheist" as a response to Bertrand Russel's "Why I am not a Christian".

Zacharias goes on to say that the questions that followed were not technical or scientific but rather were "heart-searching questions of men and women in pursuit of meaning in life." He wrote from a perspective dealing with his lecture and the questions of life that followed.

Many reviewers have said that Ravi has not argued effectively against Atheism and for Theism.

He gives a reason for that for those who care to read it---- "Others, who love the process of dialogue, might wish that the arguments were weightier than they are. My hope is that they will not fall into the trap of intellectualism and forget the splendor and power of simplicity. We are neither just brains floating around or hearts bouncing about."

Ravi Zacharias tends to dwell in the realm of bringing the highly philosophical down to the level of the more common reader. This is not always easy. A few here have pointed out that Ravi is not an effective debater. If you will listen to any of his question and answer sessions from various colleges and universities around the world and his lectures from the Harvard Veritas sessions you might think differently. His answers correlate well with his intended audience.

Other works such as "Can Man Live With God" address this topic as well.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Susan Livingstone on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I confess up front that I have not read this book. In the process of deciding whether or not I should, I do what I always do - read the reviews, from 5 stars to 1, and decide if my interest has been piqued enough to purchase.

I can't resist commenting here. I haven't yet read all the reviews, but so far I have not encountered a single 1 star review of this book without mentally recoiling from the vituperation of the reviewer. Had already confirmed Christians given the book 1 star, for reasons of poor readability, sloppy organization, badly researched facts, etc., I would have concluded that perhaps my money would be better spent elsewhere. If those who honestly disagreed with the author's point of view had suggested that better books were available to start a productive dialogue about this important topic, I would have listened with respect. But the reality seems to be that those who are sniping against the book do so because they have an entrenched atheistic world-view that prevents them from honestly considering whether the information in this book is valid or worth genuinely debating. They do not present counter-arguments against the author's logic, or intelligently explain the reasons they believe the book is uninteresting or incorrect; they simply want to bash the author himself, along with his conclusions, because it runs counter to their own cherished dislike of any religious belief.

All of you reviewers who have made your bias painfully evident in your poorly thought out comments do more to convince the potential buyer to get this book, if only to hope it teaches them how to skewer the hate-addled logic of people just like you. If we can truly know a man by his enemies, then Ravi Zacharias is an author with whom I should probably become more familiar. This may be the only case when I was persuaded to purchase a book with so many 1 star reviews due predominantly to that fact alone.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Mabry on October 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be rather helpful. I appreciate the author's flow of thought in making his case from the point of origins, morality, meaning, and destiny. That line of thought flowed nicely. Of course this book isn't exhaustive, but it was a great introduction to the philosophical problems of atheism, its contradictions, and its uphill struggle for real unifying meaing as a worldview. For me it made me hungry to read the footnoted authors and develop a greater understanding of both sides of the fence.

I appreciate the author for this book. Job well done.
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123 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Michael Erisman on September 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ravi Zacharias has done an excellent job of tackling a huge subject in a manner which creates an enthusiasm for further reading. This book is very well written, with a huge index of quotes and citations from a wide variety of sources. The inclusion of countless viewpoints from across the philosophical spectrum makes for a very engaging and enjoyable read.

The book is segmented into several areas of focus including values, morality, meaning, and more. In each chapter Ravi opens with some contrasting viewpoints that start a dialog about how the logical conclusions of atheism lead to some rather interesting and unavoidable realizations. Nietzsche, who is among the few to truly embrace the full conclusion of his beliefs, suffered tremendously as a result as his worldview neither answered nor solved the dilemma of a world without God. (Page 30). Aldous Huxley, another renowned atheist concluded "science has "explained" nothing". Darwin himself warned against "the presumption of believing that one could, by contemplating nature, be in possession of final truths, either in divinity or philosophy." (Page 38). Yet with atheism, the natural determinism is all that is available to examine such meaning.

Quite often, as Ravi discusses, an atheist often finds him or herself denouncing, yet embracing, a value system that they cannot uphold within their naturalistic worldview. Nietzsche understood this well and stated "When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet". Another famous atheist Bertrand Russell when in a debate on morality confessed the Achilles heel of atheism when he had to respond to the question of how one differentiates between good and bad, by stating he did so on the basis of his feelings.
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