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The Real Face of Atheism

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  718 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Atheism is a world without God. Its true nature—whether disguised in Eastern mysticism or American cynicism—is despair. In this thought-provoking and witty book, Ravi Zacharias provides Christians a clear apologetic for their faith.

Formerly published as A Shattered Visage, The Real Face of Atheism systematically examines atheistic positions on human nature, the meaning of
Paperback, 185 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Baker Books (first published 1990)
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Nov 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a terrible book. There are so many errors in this book and so many holes in his arguments that I don't even know where to begin. The whole book is basically an ad hominem attack on atheism as the points he attempts to address have no bearing on the validity of atheism as they are not ideas inherent in atheism.

Chapter one is dedicated solely to attacking Nietzsche and erroneously attempting to connect his writings (and of course by extension atheism) with various genocides of the 20th centur
Freerk Jan
Jul 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In an attempt to challenge my intellect I decided to read A Shattered Visage. Although I appreciate the effort, Zacharia shows that he does not grasp the true implications of the most important statements of atheism. He only touches the surface of the main issues he discusses very lightly. When I finished the book I was very dissapointed, for I had hoped that a Christian intellectual like Zacharia would be able to challenge me.

The main point Zacharia is trying to make with this book is that alth
David Natiuk
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: christians,atheists,philosophers,college students
"A Shattered Visage" is an honest, hard look at the Atheist's view of life on Earth and some of the inherent problems and challenges of this mindset. Ravi Zacharias is well-studied in philosophy and brings to light many examples of great minds who have struggled with this very issue. The conclusions and analysis are most intriguing.

Most people might not want to go this deep into philosophy and the meaning of life, but I believe it is imperative to take the time to educate yourself and ask the mo
Winston Jen
May 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Anyone who has read more than one of Ravi's books has likely encountered Ravi's tragic suicide attempt as a teenager. As an adult, Ravi milks this for all he thinks it's worth. It features as a central theme in The Lamb and the Fuhrer, The End of Reason and Has Christianity Failed You?

While an effective emotional tool, it wears thin on many people, myself included. Not only because it is an experience unique to the author, but also because Zacharias, in his dishonesty, attempts to smear all athe
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
scary book for those who want to think there is no God. Some think we have to prove there is a God, but we don't have to do any such thing. God says his works prove He is. You have to explain beyond theory how we came to exist and how that there is good and evil in the world, and if there is a moral code then there is a moral giver of this code. For the believer God explains that. For the unbeliever there is nothing except blind faith. Ravi delves right into the heart of all these debates and un ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an interesting philosophical and apologetic book against atheism. Ravi gives examples and how atheism refutes the presence of God, but does not give a viable option regarding why humans are on earth and the moral ground upon which they should operate.
Also, I should mention that it is not an easy read. Some lines and paragraphs I had to re-read them to comprehend.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy most Ravi Zacharias books, and this was no different. I had to knock it down a star for technical reasons having to do with the ebook. I read this on my kindle, and there were several quotes that were replaced with a note saying that they couldn't be included due to rights restrictions. It seems fairly ridiculous to me that the owners of these various things were fine with including the text in a traditional book, but can't abide by having it in a digital format. One or two, I wou ...more
Jeffrey Romine
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chrisitan, apologetic
"It is far better to debate a question before settling it than to settle a question before debating it."

Ravi Zacharias hones in on moral standards of good and evil to make a strong argument for theism, attempting to get nonbelievers beyond the entrapment of a naturalist's worldview. Even so, he doesn't let believers off the hook either when he says, "The Christian's freedom is not in the liberty to do what one wants, but in finding the strength in God to do what one should."

This is a fast read
"A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the paucity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God."
Kara Neal
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It just doesn't make sense.

This book takes some intellectual effort. It's not for the faint of mind or heart. And yet, the bottom line is that atheism just doesn't make sense. The one reason I wouldn't rate this five stars doesn't have to do with author himself or his writing style. He included some great and very apt quotes. Unfortunately, many of the quotes and lyrics couldn't be included in the Kindle. Erosion of the book due to rights restrictions. That itself irritated me, but even more irr
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians and atheists with questions
As usual for Ravi Zacharias, compassionate but fervent appeal to the reader to understand the issue (atheism) and to accept the solution, Christ. The tone of the book seemed more intense than other books I have read by the same author, perhaps due to the topic. I recommend the book for anyone too caught up in current denials of God, or someone who has questions about why the atheists are wrong, or an atheist looking for answers. ...more
Jun 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a thought-provoking book, challenging atheism from a Christian perspective. Zacharias is well-read and includes thoughts from a variety of philosophers, scientists, authors, and theologians. At his best he puts forth some excellent arguments against the atheistic world view and in favor of theism and Christianity. At his worst he can occasionally be unclear in his reasoning for the conclusions he is drawing. Overall, it was a good, quick read and helpful to my own thinking.
Zen Hess
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Zacharias has made an effort to upend atheism primarily based on the outcome of an atheistic worldview. His challenges are backed with some specific cases. However, his critique is too generalized in nature. Not all atheists are what he says they are. I think his effort is worthwhile, however I would have liked to see a more theological approach -- perhaps that was not his purpose, in which case he may have succeeded in his task. I, unfortunately, did not find it that convincing.
Brent Rosendal
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetics
Ravi is one of my favorite authors/speakers. I enjoyed this book but it was a much more difficult read than the other books of his I read. Ravi not only shows us the problems with the athiestic system of belief but how the thiestic/Christian faith does a better job at answering life's most important questions.
Eric Bjerke
I have read and re-read this one many times. Zacharias is a great thinker.
Chiinhauching Phiamphu
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When we talk about religion most people(I mean, Atheist) thought that it do so much harm to humanity, taking the Crusaders which engendered much violence in the name of Christ ( as their favorite example). What we need to know is that this action is not justified instead it is in serious contradiction with the message of the gospel.
Atheist world does more harm to humanity, say for example 'the holocaust'. We may call it conflict of ideas but the real problem is 'the idea without God, the Creato
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Joe Raybell
We read this book in my small group a while ago. Overall, I think the impression of the group was positive. In classic Zacharias style, he stays on the “big picture” level in an attempt to encourage the reader that they might be able to understand an atheist better and interact with him if s/he tackles the broader questions and assumptions. They are: reason for being (origin), no ethics to espouse (morality), no reason for living (meaning), and no hope beyond the grave (destiny). If you approach ...more
Nathan Ellzey
While I think Ravi's intentions are pure, he very nearly commits the Straw Man fallacy by representing extreme cases of atheism as generally representative. While his intention was to demonstrate atheism's bankruptcy and to show how Christianity brings purpose and fulfilment, he paints with brush strokes that are simply too broad. Ravi also has a tenancy to use rarely-used words that flower-up his points, though they usually only serve to obfuscate any real point he's trying to make (though it d ...more
Sergio Flores
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was really good, many memorial quotes and ideas. I liked this book because it dealt with questions that a lot of people have while or after studying atheism like where does this leave science? Overall this book was good and showed as the title says "The Real Face of Atheism" the last set edition the book has powerful comments throughout the book to remember and use when talking with someone about worldviews.
Pete Foley
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
As usual, Dr. Zacharias does not disappoint. A former atheist himself, Zacharias walks the reader through the evolution of atheistic thought, the major shapers of the movement, and, ultimately, why atheism is a hopeless POV.

Highly recommend this book!
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Zacharias is simply an amazing writer. His insight is genuine and thought-provoking. Any chance to read him is a chance to understand and appreciate your faith all the more.
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Ravi writes with truth, wit, and love while communicating at a level that adults will appreciate. This book points out the many logical and practical flaws that atheism promotes.
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved all of Ravi's books that I read. This one was fantastic!
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although it is a small book so it can only cover so much, he makes some very valid points and has given me a better understanding of the logic that must follow from an atheistic world view.
Mar 16, 2009 marked it as to-read
Great for highly educated readers, but for the majority of North Americans, the concepts are very lofty.
3.5 I think I would have given it a more solid rating if I hadn't heard most of it before from lectures by the author. I guess that isn't very fair for him to have to compete against himself :)
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics, atheism
A great book by my favorite Christian philosopher. I doubt it will change any atheists minds but it sure is an important message to us Christians.
Mark Economou
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding read in philosophy, religion, and good thinking.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
one of the best books i have read!
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this book down.
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Ravi Zacharias was a speaker and an author of over 25 books. He fully believed the truth of Jesus Christ can endure the toughest critiques and spent nearly 50 years addressing life’s great existential questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. He was founder and chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (, headquartered in Atlanta with sixteen offices worldwide. He ...more

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