One Heartbeat Away
I recently finished reading One Heartbeat Away by Mark Cahill (see an earlier post on this blog for more info on the author). This is the kind of book I wanted to write. Imagine my surprise when I realized it had already been written! Kudos to Mark for this instructional book. If you are a non-believer, or even an agnostic and you aren't for sure either way about God - you need to read this book. After thinking about the evidence that Cahill presents, then you may make your decision. At least you will have the facts.
This post isn't so much a book review as it is praise. Cahill did a really good job laying out 12 chapters that take the reader from raw evidence for God from nature, onto evidence for believing that the Bible is actually trustworthy, and finally into looking at who Jesus really is. Many of these types of books simply repeat the same information over and over again; not so with this one. Each chapter is important. Another downfall of these kinds of books is that they can be too narrow or biased in presenting the evidence. Aside from over-quoting Charles Spurgeon, Cahill is complete and generous in his presentation of the information. Don't get me wrong, this book is written for 2 kinds of people: 1.) non-believers that know very little of the Bible, and 2.) brand new believers. You won't find a slew of atheistic evidence in order to create a balanced meal here - just the facts as they point to Christianity. But that is okay, since those facts alone are compelling enough I believe to sway most readers, as long as they actually give the book a chance. But that's the trick isn't it? Our culture is busy and so are we. Do we really have time to ready anymore, let alone think?
A pastor once told me that a hundred years ago, the church didn't have to try to convince people that mankind was sinful and needed God. Nowadays the church has to first convince people that there IS a God, then move on to defining sin, and then finally on to the person and divinity of Jesus. The task of evangalization is much more difficult today. People are proud and so is our culture. We probably shouldn't be surprised by this. Bible readers out there know that we are warned about the "immorality of these times" frequently by Christ. In the last 50 years our planet has gradually but surely slipped from a belief in morality to a belief in "anything goes." Christianity is on the front lines of the battle. Famous philosopher Voltaire said that the Bible would be extinct in less than a century. It is still here. Whether it gets passed down to subsequent generations is up to the current generation. Let's not drop the ball on this one!
Cahill finishes the book with a chapter on Reflecting the light of the Son. By this he means that Christians should be an outward gift of Christ to the rest of the world. We can hardly argue that. We will fail from time to time - we are still human. Cahill draws a sharp designation between the religious and those who are actually in Christ. There will be hypocrisy in the church, there always has been. But if you look closely, what about that man or woman who took the time to try to tell you about Jesus? There are good apples mixed in with the bad ones. If we are sincere in our prayers to find God, he will send us a good apple.