Free Ebook: Ian Wishart’s The Divinity Code

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

The book is available internationally through Amazon US and Amazon UK.

But now the book has also been made available as a free downloadable pdf at

I suggest that you all go and have a look at 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

Have you had your Easter yet? Reflections on my first Easter as a Christian

Easter this year was different. As outlined on other occasions: I cannot look back on a religious upbringing. For me Easter was, actually similar to Christmas, a holiday related to the Christian traditions. Actually, very similarly to Christmas, Easter seemed more of a burden than a blessing.

I had been wondering what would happen to Easter this year, the first as a Christian and by now understanding that this is actually the celebration it all boils down to for the church. It seems strange how Christmas gets all the attention while in actual fact Easter is the most important period in the Christian calendar. This is the period of the death and resurrection of Jesus-Christ! The most important series of events in a foundational sense took place in the period leading up to the resurrection of Christ. It turned out that I was in for more than I anticipated.

Resurrection: the Main Event

The difference between this Easter and all the previous ones is that for the first time the resurrection story is the historic truth where in previous years I would have considered it all in a symbolic sense. My old Jesus is no longer there: the teacher, the healer, the advocate for the poor, the feeder of the hungry, the symbolic story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Easter, previously a badly timed holiday to break the year between two Christmases is now the main event. I realize now how without the resurrection, I would not have been in church celebrating Easter: there would not have been a church. The past weeks leading up to this first real Christian Easter have at the same time been restless, more than ever since my conversion. Not only did I come to realize how actually Easter is the main event; this is also the first time that Easter had become a personal matter. One of the most important realizations for me personally was that Christ did not just die for us; he died for each and every one of us. With that realization all of a sudden Easter, the crucifixion and resurrection get a completely different meaning; they become something personal. Without a doubt the resurrection is the foundational event for all the ways in which we may know God and  be known to Him; the crystallization of His reconciliation with His creation through a series of events that all form part of the price that had to be paid. When the penny drops as it did for me that this is all not just in a general sense but in a personal sense, the equation changes dramatically. You can’t help but standing back and be marvelled.

Have you had your Easter yet?

While we may want to stay on the surface, Easter is also a celebration that is preceded by a series of actually horrible events that form an integral part of the story. The events preceding the resurrection show like nowhere else the workings of evil in the world. They include betrayal, denial, trial, death, burial. Where Jesus’ death and resurrection become personal so do these less pleasurable events. This inevitably leads to the very important question: have you had your Easter yet, personally that is?

It’s actually very easy to say “yahoo, Christ is resurrected.” But, if Easter is something personal, the question becomes: “Ok he is raised from the death but is he alive in me?

The restlessness made sense. Almost as without realizing it, I went deep inside to seek those places where there are crosses, crucifixion, denial, betrayal, lies and other evil, buried so carefully in tombs with heavy stones covering the entry so as to avoid them opening up again. Finding so many opened and empty tombs, personal deaths conquered was a great experience. Christ’s resurrection as my own. Just imagine: Easter all of a sudden became about Christ at the door: wanting to be let in completely and fully, not settling for me trying to keep some of those tombs closed and hidden. You can run but you cannot hide from God.  And that same God seeks to love me in any way he can, invited or not. Just imagine!

The Easter celebration is all about the most foundational event for all the ways in which we may know God and be known by God. Without the resurrection there would not have been Christianity, a church. Christ would have been what he used to be for me: the ultimate guru, with his teachings as the ultimate guide for humanism. I doubt if we’d remembered it in the way we do at Easter. It is the moment of the paradigm shift, the moment where relation was placed before religion, since that is what Christ’s death and resurrection seems really about to me.
I have been celebrating a series of events that made God’s law the promise; the Kingdom of the Father for each and every one of us if we let it.

Burdensome and painful as it may be – in a sense I was walking the road to Calvary time and time again – facing my own hidden places of buried darkness and death for the sake of resurrection; it now seems to me like the required way to grow as a Christian. And while I have plenty of cause for celebration there is also still plenty of work to be done; plenty of deaths to be conquered, plenty of tombstones to be shifted. It’s quite something to realize I had my personal Easter. It’s even more stimulating to realize to know that I do not have to wait for the next one to come, I can have an Easter any day. With God by my side, Jesus as my Lord and saviour and the Holy Spirit to guide me, every day could become another Easter celebration: a personal celebration of conquering another cross of death inside. Praise the Lord.


Book Review: Timothy J Keller, The Reason For God. Belief in an Age of Scepticism

Most recently I had the pleasure to read the book The Reason for God, by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan New York.

The Reason for God is written for sceptics as well as believers alike. It responds to the the writings of popular authors like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.  What I thought was especially attractive about the book was the currency. Many introductions to Christian belief were written longer ago and do not address what today’s skeptics are concerned about. The timing of the book is impeccable as it arrived in a time frame where both skepticism and conversion appear to be on the rise. More importantly the discussion is being polarized by popular fundamentalists of both camps.

Going over some apologetic notes that will probably be part of another post I noted that perhaps a lot of these books (and similar to what happens with many Christians in general) are focusing on fellow believers and not so much on the group that really deserves serious and respectful attention: the skeptics.All too often other (apologetic) books merely gloss over the important questions or come up with answers that may be convincing to the average believer but do not seriously address the questions by skeptics.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>

Keller does not distinguish between believers and unbelievers. Instead he talks of believers and skeptics. His theory: we all believe something. And rightfully so I guess as the questions or concerns discussed by Keller are more than once similarly difficult for people that do consider themselves to be a Christian.

“If you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs—you will discover that your doubts are not so solid as they first appeared.”

The first seven chapters of the book cover seven of the most common objections and doubts about Christianity and discerns the alternate beliefs underlying each of them. This section is titled “The Leap of Doubt” and answers these seven common critiques:

  1. There can’t be just one true religion
  2. A good God could not allow suffering
  3. Christianity is a straitjacket
  4. The church is responsible for so much injustice
  5. A loving God would not send people to hell
  6. Science has disproved Christianity
  7. You can’t take the Bible literally

In the second half of the book, titled “The Reasons for Faith,” he discusses seven reasons to believe in the claims of the Christian faith.

  1. The clues of God
  2. The knowledge of God
  3. The problem of sin
  4. Religion and the gospel
  5. The (true) story of the cross
  6. The reality of the resurrection
  7. The Dance of God

This book places Keller’s apparent influence C.S. Lewis into this day and age and I could not help but thinking how in some respects the experience of reading Keller’s book was similar to reading for instance Mere Christianity.
Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity,
buy here>>>

Publishers Weekly has advises that this is a book for “skeptics and the believers who love them.” Believers will rejoice in this book that carefully and patiently answers the most important objections of their skeptical friends with integrity and grace and Biblically consistent way. Skeptics will see that even their skepticism may well be based on some kind of faith. They are challenged to discern those underlying beliefs. A GREAT READ. It is most certainly one of the most compelling and at the same time highly accessible apologetic books I have read so far, and one that mist certainly addresses the right crowd.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>

But perhaps even better: why not let the author explain about the book himself.

An extensive chapter by chapter summary of the book can be found at the Set ‘n’ Service blog here >>>

Also highly recommended is the next video in which Keller visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book. This event took place on March 5, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series.

I think that by now you should have enough reason to get the book for yourself. Follow the link below to order online. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>