Oyetomi, Temitope O. Does God Truly Exist? Why You Should Optimise Your Personal Relationship With God—And How You Can Do So—If He Truly Exists! Akure: Baal Hamon Publishers, 2006. 356 pp. $17.99. Buy from Amazon.com
Temitope is the founder and coordinator of Joy and Truth Christian Ministries which is headquartered in Akure, Nigeria. He devoted his own personal resources and extensive hours daily to the comparative study of religions and beliefs in researching this book. This took more than eleven years of general and academic reading. Temitope believes that knowing God could, and should be, a matter of a personal one-on-one relationship with God. It is evident as you read this book that what is written was rooted in the author’s own personal experience of God.
Summary of Does God Truly Exist?
There is so much in this book that simply summarizing its contents would be an injustice, but for the sake of space, I will do my best. The book is divided into three parts: the root of sin, the kingdom of God, and make a wise choice. The first two parts comprise ninety-eight percent of the book split about even. In other words, you will spend much of your time learning where sin comes from and how God through Christ conquered sin.
Using Scripture as his resource, the author builds an apologetic foundation for the depravity of man in discussing the root of sin in part one. He uses the term “apologetic” because he makes it plain that he is building a defense for the Bible to the non-believer—those people where most of the attention for apologists are focused—as well as the believer—because most who claim to be believers do not believe what the Bible says about sin!
The author begins by examining the different theories of the origin of the universe and shows how the Biblical account is the only one that makes sense of the data. He then show how strange it is that so many disregard what the Bible teaches about humanity (total depravity) and how every day events actually concur with the claims found in the Bible.
After having built this apologetic foundation, the author steps into a sort of systematic theology whereby he answers questions about who Satan is and what exactly demons are. Chapter six will step on some toes (rightfully so!) because he tackles the disunity found in Christianity at large today. From here, he looks into why people leave the faith and what we can do to minimize this backsliding (see chapter six!).
Finally, the author delves into what happens after death. This is an especially poignant chapter since he goes into the doctrine of hell and judgment in a forthright and biblical manner. He concludes with how this belief is reasonable for us today and should drive us as believers.
The second part continues the same scholarly approach rooted in scripture as the first part. The author deals with the unique claims made by the Bible. Attention is given to the spiritual death that man has experienced and how he can be restored to communion with God. Chapter ten takes it one step further and looks deeply at the Christian idea of being born again.
Chapter eleven seeks to understand the doctrine of grace. Here, the author strips away everything we know (and think we know about grace) and pours a biblical foundation so that true, saving grace may be understood. After gaining an understanding of grace, an explanation is then offered as to why Christians put up with so much junk in life in chapter twelve. Chapter thirteen actually gives two tangible reasons as to why Christianity has lasted and thrived as long as it has—prayer and evangelism. (It must be noted that it is understood in the book that God is sovereign and is the Ultimate Reason for everything.)
The final chapter of the second part deals with the hope of Christianity. That is, spending an eternity with the one true God. Here, the author answers questions regarding the existence of heaven and why only a “select few” will get to go and not everyone.
The third, and final, part of the book is properly entitled make a wise choice. The author spends 340 pages showing that the Bible in fact is the only book that offers a solution to man’s problems. All throughout the book, the author has presented the message of grace. Now, after reading the book, the reader is given the choice. All of the unbeliever’s arguments against the Bible fall extremely short of their intended target. All of those who profess faith but do not live according to the principles found in the Bible are shown to be false. It is here that you are confronted with the logical outcome of your fallacy. It is here that you must wrestle with the outcome of your decision to believe or not.
Critique of Does God Truly Exist?
Temitope writes with a conviction that is fresh. He is not writing this book passively. It is abundantly clear that he has wrestled with what he has written and has not left a stone unturned as it were in preparing to write this book. It is also evident that he continues to live out his radical view that what the Bible says is true. This is something many of us should learn to do. Temitope has thought about the logical conclusions of what the Bible claims and offers those up to the reader as an all or nothing, take it or leave it deal. There is no middle ground and he does a wonderful job of showing why that is the case from the Bible.
Obviously, this book will cause some disagreement, but that only goes to show the truthfulness in what Temitope writes—especially in chapter six. However, he does a wonderful job of exegeting Scripture as well as using the Bible as his source for understanding…well…the Bible and what it claims. He allows it to interpret itself as well as do all the talking. So, while we may not all agree with some of his understandings of particular passages, there is nothing this reviewer is willing to call out as bad theology. He is dead on when it comes to the essentials and that is what we should focus our attention on when discussing man and God.
This is the second book I have been privileged to review from the people at Baal Hamon Publishers. In both cases, I have been pleasantly pleased with the scholarly yet practical theological approach to the thesis of each book. I am starting to see that Baal Hamon expects a very high standard from their authors and that anything that comes from their warehouse will be well worth your time reading.
Does God Truly Exist? is one of those hidden gems on a bookshelf that I praise God He allowed me to discover. This book would be a great addition to anyone’s library who wants to know deep, systematic theology and how to apply it to your everyday life—again, something many of us could use.