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An Atheist’s Letter to the Christian Church, Barney Adler pleads with Christians to be more like the Jesus they claim to believe in. He begs the church to convince him that God is real, because this atheist wants more than anything to believe.
It was approximately a month ago when I received an email from Barney Adler requesting if I would be willing to review An Atheist’s Letter to the Christian Church. Initially, I was going to respond that I could not, based on the fact that I am inundated with review commitments, but something compelled me to read this short e-book.
I’m glad I did because this was one of the most thought provoking and convicting books I have read in a long time.
Besides which, this book completely baffled me. Barney Adler is a self-proclaimed atheist after being a believer, attending seminary and having a love for the Bible.
I found myself agreeing with many points he made in his book. However, I was also left feeling deeply saddened.
Barney Adler makes a plea at the end of his book, which left me reeling. I still haven’t fully recovered from An Atheist’s Letter to the Christian Church.
What I realized is that as much as I want to save Barney Adler, I can’t. I can’t save Barney Adler, nor can I save myself or anyone else for that matter. Only God can. Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate, unlock and reveal Jesus to a lost and broken world.
There is only one difference between a believer and an unbeliever, one believes in Jesus’ sacrifice/salvation and the other does not.
After reading this book, I am convinced the Lord is who pursues us and changes our hearts of stone to love Him. It goes beyond our logical and finite minds, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, not our own wills.
I spent years chasing after the truth. I believe the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to me in such a way, that I couldn’t deny His existence. It was nothing of my own doing.
There is no convincing in one’s flesh, no striving, the work is done only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Not by reading and memorizing a ton of Scripture. I know tons of people who read the Bible and they are no closer to God for it because it’s only a bunch of head knowledge.
Faith is birthed from the heart of God by the Word and quickened in the hearts of man by His Spirit.
If I was going to give a response to Barney Adler’s plea, it would be this… it’s all the work of the Holy Spirit and perfection only comes when we leave this earth, not while we are on it. If we keep our eyes on man, we will always be disappointed.
Barney Adler is a Christian enthusiast and lover of the Bible—despite his atheism. He graduated from an evangelical bible college in 2008 with a focus in pastoral theology and can be found frequenting the churches of Jacksonville, FL. To talk about religion or anything else, send him an email at Barney.Adler@yahoo.com.