THE AUTHENTIC LIFE by Victor Shane

THE AUTHENTIC LIFE

A Guidebook for Millennials
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Christian cosmology focuses on millennials.

Shane (Millennial Economics, 2013) begins his wide-ranging new book by asking some of the oldest questions humans regularly pose: Why is there so much evil in the world? Why can’t we replace it with good? Aiming his discussion squarely at millennials, who will constitute almost a third of the globe’s population by 2020, he asks: “Do you millennials want to change the world?” The main obstacle to this goal, according to the author, is the “matrix,” a concept he adapts from the 1999 cult film. Shane’s idea of the matrix aligns closely with the Pythagorean concept of the cosmos—the totality of the universe as it connects organically with humans. The author draws comparisons between complex life and dust, linking “fallen” humanity to the “stability” of dust rather than the divine “instability” of life. He asserts that the matrix favors dust and draws human nature to violence and destruction. Shane emphasizes that millennials face a choice between being authentic and being counterfeit, with the former lining up with a faith in Jesus. Recognizing that evangelizing to millennials must involve science, the author then spends the bulk of the book attempting to find that discipline in Christian Scriptures, talking about the laws of thermodynamics and the allegedly anthropological predilection of the universe. Continually preaching that God is in a position to refresh the language of modern-day science, Shane ultimately urges millennials to humble themselves before their Creator.

Encouraging millennials to embrace greater authenticity in their lives is a worthwhile pursuit, and the author takes an invitingly lively tone throughout. But he frequently misleads his readers by smuggling Christian presuppositions and standard straw-man apologetics into his attempts to link science and faith. “The probability of finding dust in the universe is orders of magnitude higher than the probability of finding complex life,” Shane writes, even though scientists cannot precisely calculate the probability of discovering complex alien life in the cosmos. “Who was it who input the cascades of quantum events that rearranged patterns of atoms into complex molecules?” he asks, presupposing that such a being exists. Solomon may have written the book of Ecclesiastes, Shane asserts without evidence, “but we know its true Author to be the Triune God.” Atheists, the author sweepingly argues, “have a jaundiced view of truth in general.” Are scientists really willing, he illogically asks, to continue “lending their support” to the idea that the universe has no God? Shane writes clearly and intelligently about the various classical treatises on these subjects by such writers as St. Augustine. But he also comes out with absurdities, including his observation that miracles do not violate natural laws. The result is a guide that millennials should recognize for what it is: straight-up fundamentalist preaching.

A manual for millennials that functions mainly as an apologetics playbook.

Pub Date: March 29th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5127-7840-3
Page count: 212pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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