Title: God Forsaken
Author: Dinesh D’Souza
Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers for review.
The title of this book may lead you to wonder what it is about. Perhaps the subtitle will help as it reads: “Bad things happen. Is there a God who cares? YES. Here’s the proof.” As a Christian, why would I read this? Personally, even when going through trials and painful hardships, there has never been anyone closer than Christ. For me, He is the answer, the hope, the anchor, and His Word speaks and touches my heart. I wanted to read the book so I could see what the author’s purpose was within the pages. Also, it is good to read a book that causes one to think and can help to shore up Biblical beliefs that one may or may not have. Biblical beliefs aren’t those espoused by any particular preacher or denomination, but by the only authority I believe exists, the Word of God.
When I read a book like this, I have the book in one hand and a pen in the other. I note my thoughts, reactions, and questions----basically anything that causes me to think. It is one way to stay focused and it helps me locate, if the need arises, any portion of the book that I read and want to take note of. There are many topics covered in this book that I admit I don’t understand, but is that really what is necessary? I don’t believe it is. Knowing the Word is of utmost importance and that alone will help all of us be able to discern when we are reading if what we are reading has any basis in biblical truth or not. While there may be areas or points in the book not clearly taught in the Word, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind any Scripture to help us understand if we ask Him to show us. Does that mean we always understand or our opinion is always right? No. However, if we are to love God, we must love Him with all our being and that includes our minds.
This is the first book I have read by this author. He debates many of those people who don’t believe Christ is the only way to salvation due to questions they have that go unanswered as far as they are concerned. Yet, I believe that even if all their questions are answered, some will still choose not to believe in Christ. One of the main problems starting out with this book is the author’s attempt to marry Christian beliefs with other ideas of men. Throughout the book, the writer quotes the many papers and books he has read. He shares some of the questions raised and debated, and some questions have caused him to seek to find answers. All of us are looking for answers to many things, but where do we look?
Mr. D’Souza’s book has a few redeeming points he makes about God and suffering. However, most of the book was spent in arguing not for God, but more why God needs to answer us or prove something. I don’t agree. If anyone has reason to answer to anyone, it is we who need to answer to God. While questions of faith arise in all who call upon the name of the Lord, it is of utmost importance to give what answers He has provided and let those questions we cannot answer remain unanswered. Why? Unanswered questions can be a very good opportunity to remember the infinite God and the finite man. We can rest in not knowing all the answers, but knowing He does. In His mercy, when Moses asked to see His face, God told Moses He would allow him to see His back. Why? For man to see God’s face with all our sinfulness exposed would certainly be deadly for man. Read it in the Old Testament.
You see, God made us and He knows what we can and cannot handle. In His mercy, He has placed boundaries on what we can know so we don’t get “blown out of the water” by knowledge too wonderful on this side of heaven for us to know. Plus, He wants us to seek Him and to know He loves us. He wants us to place our faith in Him and not in what we know about Him. Sometimes we miss the simplicity of faith in Him because we think we have to “know” more or have all the answers. We don’t. We just need to believe Him, no more and certainly no less. My personal rating of this book is 1 star.