Monday, March 3, 2014

Why God Won't Go Away (Book Review)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  All opinions in this post are my own.

Publisher's synopsis:
In a decade embroiled in fanaticism and fear, a renewed interest in the age-old debate over the question of God has reignited, giving rise to a new group of media-savvy contenders dubbed the "New Atheists." As expressed in the works of best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the New Atheists have found a foothold in today's cynical society, and have ramped up their efforts to debunk the existence of God. ... 
Why God Won't Go Away explores how the movement's ideas are defined and propagated, helping us understand the agendas and anxieties of this global movement and its appeal to society as a whole. Why God Won't Go Away explores what is "new" about New Atheism, critiques the movement on its core themes of violence, reason, and science, and asks, where does the New Atheism go from here?
Why God Won't Go Away, written by Alister McGrath, begins by defining the "New Atheism" and who its proponents are.  You'll recognize some of the names:  Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris.  McGrath goes on to differentiate New Atheism from the atheism that has been around for many years.  In the next section, McGrath addresses three core themes--violence, reason, and science--and where the logic of New Atheism is flawed.  Part Three covers the current place and possible future status of New Atheism.

My take:

Why God Won't Go Away took me a long time to read.  While the content is very interesting, I set it aside because it's so deep that each section took me a little while to absorb.  (That plus the fact that my house is often noisy and I couldn't read this with all the background noise.)  This is definitely not a light, fluffy book.  Once I started reading it in earnest, though, I kept going back to it.  I read quite a few passages to my husband, because the ideas are so compelling.

I tried to find a paragraph or two to share with you, but I couldn't.  Each thought is intertwined with the last, so each paragraph needs the context of the page or section to be complete.

From an apologetics point of view, Why God Won't Go Away is terrific.  It equips Christians to see the flaws in New Atheism and counter them with logical arguments.  In fact, I plan to give my copy of the book to a friend who regularly debates atheists.  If you are interested in Christian apologetics, I highly recommend this book.

For more information, visit the publisher's page for Why God Won't Go Away.

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