I’ve attempted on a couple of occasions to write a review of Alicia Britt Chole’s book Finding an Unseen God: Reflections of a Former Atheist without much success. Though I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, it has languished here beside my laptop awaiting my summary evaluation. As I’ve told you several times, reviewing a book I really like, a book as beautifully written and thought provoking as Finding an Unseen God, well, it’s not so easy. Perhaps this will say it best: I read it in one sitting. No, I take that back. I devoured it in one sitting.
The girl’s got writing skillz, no two ways about it. But it wasn’t just the sheer pleasure of reading her writing her that kept me glued to the pages. Finding an Unseen God is Chole’s memoir, a chronicle of her transformation from atheist to born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ—“the encounter” as she refers to the experience. Prior to the “encounter,” Alicia’s worldview could be summarized as
Truth is dead.
God never lived.
Life is filled with pain.
Death is the end of life.
That is, until…
…one day, without warning and without invitation, my Atheistic worldview was shattered like fine glassware on a concrete floor, leaving me bloodied, stunned, and speechless. It was as though something you were absolutely certain existed only as the stuff and fluff of fairy tales knocked loud and clear and then stood there offending all your senses on the doorstep.
But it’s more than a memoir. It is also a philosophical examination of atheism and Christianity alike, an examination that prompts such evaluations as:
Is my belief system…consistent (at its core)?
Is my belief system…livable (and not just quotable)?
Is my belief system…sustainable (through life-size pain)?
Is my belief system…transferable (to others)?
Lest you think apologetics is a dry exercise fitting only for academic types, Chole’s book is anything but dry or academic. Instead, she creatively and seamlessly combines her transparently personal memoir with an honest and rational look at the implications of atheism in comparison to following the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t think she now hates on atheists. Quite the contrary. In fact, she writes with great respect for atheism, admitting it still makes sense to her and confessing her delight in meeting a practicing atheist. Yet her respect for atheism could not hold sway to the overwhelming presence of the Lord God who sought her out and saved her even when she didn’t think she wanted or needed Him.
Chole’s prose is beautiful. Her memoir, creative and intelligent. Her apologetics, intellectual yet compassionate. Her “encounter,” a glorious testimony of the God who seeks and saves the lost.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….