Down Memory Lane
I remember well when reading Ian’s “Eve’s Bite” an more specifically the parts about Dawkin’s “God Delusion” how it was so beautiful to see someone so fierce in standing up for his faith. In fact I was jealous a bit actually. At the time I was not a Christian, yes believed that there must be more to the universe that sheer coincidence, random chance. Looking at nature and the universe as a whole and zooming in on the more minute details it seemed to be to absurd for words. The evidence available at the time was inconclusive for either side. On an emotional level rather than a rational level I was sure that there was a creator, that the universe was the product of intelligent design, random chance was just to unsatisfactory an explanation: hence I called myself a rationalist with a twist.
Not long after that I got a hold of a copy of “The Divinity Code” which in a way is the kiwi answer to guys like Lee Strobel. A well researched and passionate apologetic book by Ian Wishart, taking on big names like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Bishop John Spong, and and the nun Karen Armstrong. The book tackles a wide range of subjects in apologetic playing field and I can but say that this book has been part of my journey that led to opening the door for Christ in my life at a time when I was so busy (like Dawkins, Hitchens, Spong and others) to debunk Christianity.
If there is any book nowadays Christian New Zealand may be proud of it is this one. I can’t help but noticing that Wishart is convincing, where other apologists have been involved in distant, passionless, arm chair intellectual exercise Wishart’s style and passion really appealed to me, even though we may have alternative views on some points. ‘ His research is thorough and now years later I have still not managed (admittedly also as a result of being distracted by many other books) to go through all the references and links.
As a relatively young Christian and someone with a passion for apologetics this is definitely a book I’d recommend.
The Good News
But now the book has also been made available as a free downloadable pdf at http://issuu.com/iwishart/docs/thedivinity.
I suggest that you all go and have a look at Issuu.com. All it takes is registering for an account and you can download the book after that.
Personally I am very pleased with the ebook version next to my paper version since it makes it easier to quote from the book in coming posts.
Some Reviews at Amazon
…In the Prologue, Wishart takes up the gauntlet laid down by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, and in fact, uses Dawkins own logic and methodology to launch a counter-attack against unbelief. The prologue closes with a question from Wishart Do I succeed? I struggled with the early chapters, which focus on the Biblical account of creation, and the counter arguments from evolutionists. Perhaps that was due to my perpetual struggles with things scientific; maybe it was due to the after-effects of a long flight however I persevered, and was glad that I did. One comment though Wishart s research is thorough, and his opinions are supported by facts. For me, The Divinity Code comes alive in chapter 9, The Myth of Christ. Over the next eight chapters, Wishart draws together a wealth of evidence supporting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and in the process, makes a compelling case. And despite his disagreements with Dawkins, with Christopher Hitchens and with Lloyd Geering, Wishart reserves his strongest condemnation for Bishop John Shelby Spong. In chapter 14, Resurrection Fact or Fiction, Wishart hoists Spong by his own petard, pointing out the absurdity of the Bishop s claims about the central nugget of Christianity . Having started with a Prologue, Wishart fittingly ends with an Epilogue where he states: I m not here to force anyone to convert……….Rather, my aim has been merely to argue the case for faith the sole task of this book has been to document the hard evidence that actually does exist in favour of the God Hypothesis So, to return to Wishart s question Do I succeed? In my case, he was preaching to the converted, so the answer is irrelevant. Read The Divinity Code for yourself, with an open mind. You ll find it challenging and thought-provoking, and Ian Wishart makes a compelling case against unbelief. –KeepingStock.blogspot<br /><br />I m having a cracking good read of another cracking good read – The Divinity Code by Ian Wishart, his follow-up book to Eve s Bite which was also a cracking good read. I don t know Wishart’s following, other than that he is a Christian and came to Faith from atheism a number of years ago. The Divinity Code is one of the best *Christian* apologetic books I have read. There are a few small details that I think shows that he is not Catholic, but it is an excellent book nevertheless. Don t miss reading it if you can. –“NZ Catholic” newspaper’s blog, “Being Frank”<br /><br /> –KeepingStock
New Zealand journalist Ian Wishart became a Christian after an enthusiastic atheistic stance during which he took part in interventions with Christians to try and turn them from the faith. According to his introduction in his latest book the Divinity code (home, Amazon page), the Lord converted him to Christianity, regardless of his belief in how the world came to be, and now, years down the track he has written a very compelling response to books such as “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. In the book Wishart explores a variety of protests to the existence of God and the authenticity of the Bible, and pulls apart the latest round of atheistic posturing and in the process demonstrates that Christianity stands up to scientific and historical evidence extremely well when it is looked at through an unbiased lense. The concepts that Wishart points to in the first few chapters, which deal with the origin of the world have mostly been overlooked by the atheist community. You can read about these in books such as “The Privileged planet” (also available on DVD in abridged form and posted online here). However, Wishart in his book goes much further than just to look at science. He compares the story of Genesis with the stories of many other ancient cultures and stories, as well as dealing with the unique claims from the Bible about God, Christ and even the Bible itself. He does this in some depth drawing on writings dating back to first century historians (in the case of the New Testament account of Christ). As he does this, he takes the “inaccuracies” of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Spong and others and pulls them apart, looking deep into the facts and issues around them and explaining with clarity the real story that is behind them. The second half of the book deals much more specifically with the Biblical claims (the existence of Christ, His resurrection, miracles and prophecy are all included). Wishart explores the attacks on scripture from recent books and rantings and then proceeds to demonstrate the shortfalls of the opposing arguments and demonstrate clearly from neutral sources that their scholarship simply falls short. If you are someone who is wondering about all the arguments that have been offered and whether Christianity makes any sense at all, this book is remarkably cohesive, presenting clearly that not only do the latest atheistic arguments fall short in a number of ways, but that by starting your world view with the Bible, the world is intelligible and even somewhat predictable. Personally, I enjoyed this book. Ian writes in an easy to understand manner, and while his tone may offend those who he opposes on occasion, (not that they are likely to read the book anyway), his style is engaging and keeps you reading to the end. Unless you are a hard core apologist who who is reading the deeper science and history books yourself, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. – The Bible Geek –The Bible Geek –The Bible Geek
The title of the book is obviously a riposte to the popular and untrustworthy novel The Da Vinci Code . That book was an attack on orthodox Christianity in the form of a novel. It belongs to a whole series of recent books denigrating Christianity.
These books, as Pope Benedict XVI remarked, attack the Christian vision which supplanted that of the pagan world. The world view of that time, which in a different way has become fashionable again today. It is not the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love, i.e. a Person. [Spe Salvi, par.5]
This book is an outright refutation of these modern views, propounded not only by novelists, but by scientists, philosophers and historians. I find this fashionable rash of heresies interesting because they illustrate two fundamental weaknesses of humanity. One weakness is that of hubris , well documented by the ancient Greeks, is the arrogance of a creature, a mammal, that believes he can be as independent as a god. Adam and Eve are the progenitors of this. The second is the inability of human reason to account for all the facts in a discussion on ultimate questions.
The Greeks again refused to accept statements that did not cover all the appearances . Thomas Huxley put his finger on this when he wrote, The great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. It is inability to face the ugly fact that vitiates all these attacks on Christianity.
The genius of this Kiwi author is the ability to discover those ugly facts that slay the hypotheses of scientists, philosophers, historians and novelists that God does not exist and that Jesus Christ was not a person in history but a myth. Its coverage is almost encylopedic. Wishart s skill as an investigative journalist is obvious as he takes hypothesis after hypothesis and demonstrates their inadequacy because the do not preserve all the appearances. He also has a sense of humour that lightens the concentration, such as this quotation from a Chinese palaeontologist: In China we can criticise Darwin but not the government; in America you can criticise the government but not Darwin. How true!
This is a readable, but not simple book that confronts the ultimates that face human destiny. It is, therefore, worth studying despite what seems an occasional overkill.
Bishop Mackey is Bishop Emeritus of Auckland. –NZ Catholic, Feb 2008 edition