Sunday, August 19, 2012

Apologia: I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist - Schoolhouse Review

Unless you are new to homeschooling, or have been out of touch with the homeschool world, you have probably heard of Apologia. They are one of my favorite curriculum resources.  I love that they produce quality, christian, educational materials to support Christian Homeschoolers.

Many of my readers know of the situation with my 16 year old son, who for at least the last year has been an unbeliever.  He is a professed atheist.  It's very upsetting, and sometimes causes tension in our household. I love my son with all my heart, I support his goals and ambitions, and I pray for his salvation.  I don't press him on much or directly challenge him anymore because it always leads to an argument that leaves us both upset.  I do however email him links sometimes.

When I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist came up for review, I really wanted it, and was glad to receive it.  It is Apologia's first Apologetics curriculum for high schoolers and up.  I gave it to Bear to read, but I realized too late that I should have probably used it myself to witness to him. 

As a believer, this book makes a lot of sense to me, most of the time.  However, my son had a somewhat hostile response. I was hoping the book was written to the Atheist, but it is more of a manual on how to witness to them. As an Atheist, my son felt insulted by several things.  He felt the tone was condescending, much how I feel about Dawkins and Coyne, and he also took offense to one implication that Atheists aren't good people, perhaps more inclined to be criminals. As a Christian, even I find that offensive.

Bear's biggest bones of contention were the Evolution chapters.  While I am firmly in the creation camp, and believe that evolution is junk science, Bear believes everything put forth by science.  He can refute every point (whether true or not he has a comeback for everything) and wasn't even challenged by any points.  A chapter title like New Life Forms: From the Goo to You via the Zoo? are not appealing to people like Bear, and certainly aren't going to help sway him.  Basically, he considers himself intellectual, and he didn't think this book was very intellectual.

Unfortunately, there is nothing new in this book that he hasn't heard before. It's preaching to the Christian choir and there isn't any argument or comeback in this book that makes my son doubt his Atheism.  The workbook asks some thoughtful, and thought provoking questions, but they really don't make sense to unbelievers. Atheists tend to be arrogant, and they think the same of Christians.  It is very frustrating to SEE something so clearly, that others aren't able to see. I can only hope that by reading this book, that some seeds were at least planted for Bear.

While I really like the book, the workbook is a little overkill, but definitely thorough! I do like that there are "profiles" of  skeptic scientists, and philosophers throughout. 

One thought I have, and it may seem ridiculous coming from a believer, but I wish I could find a source for "debating" Atheists that doesn't mention the Bible. Atheists don't believe the Bible, so pointing to what it says is futile, and like spinning wheels. Many of the workbook questions (for the first two segments - which are the ones Bear completed) weren't applicable to him because they are questions for believers.

This is the first Apologia product that I don't 100% love.  I will admit, that if my son wasn't a non-believer, and we hadn't had the year like we have had, I likely would have thought this book was wonderful.  I would have thought so because I wouldn't have had any available non-believers to "try it out on."  If one is a Christian on the fence or just confused, I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist would likely sway them back to the right side of the fence.  So, for those folks I highly suggest this study.  Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to move any Atheists, but you never know, God can make anything happen!

The workbook has a study section for each chapter of the book.  It is quite extensive.  Each workbook chapter has four sections: Hook (reminds you of the textbook info), Book (goes deeper into specific issues from the chapter), Look (encourages you to look for other sources) and Took (summarizes the chapter advises how to apply concepts).  Additionally, each workbook chapter has key terms and ends with a "Don't Forget" section.

Click to see a sample of the book and the  workbook.  The book retails for $16 and the workbook is $33

To see what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, click on the banner below.

Disclaimer: I received the I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist book and workbook for free, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

1 comment:

Discovering Montessori said...

Very interesting! You and Bear were able to look at this book from different point of views. Thank you for sharing your honesty!! I know some young adults who are Atheist as well, now I know this book may not be helpful to them. Like you I wouldn't want to upset anyone God sure knows better than I how to change non believers to believers.

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