"WHY GOD WON'T GO AWAY", by Alister McGrath
But there’s a sub-category of Committed atheism: It’s the New Atheism. “New Atheists”, informally led by “The Four Horsemen” – Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, & Christopher Hitchens – do not stop with their profession that “there is no God”. Neither do they tolerate religion. Instead, they are militant about their position. In fact, they think apathetic and committed atheists are cowards. They hate religion, saying it is the sole source for today’s evils. In a word, they are “anti-theists”.
“Why God Won’t Go Away”, by Alister McGrath, is not a tome on the defense of Christianity – or any other religion, for that matter. McGrath writes, “It is not my intention to argue the case for the Christian faith in this short volume…” (p.145). Neither is this title one where the author slings mud at the atheists who sling mud at the religious. It is also like a childhood playground argument: “God is not good”, “Yes He is”, “No he isn’t”, “Yes He is.”
Instead, “Why God Won’t Go Away” is a book that sheds light on the inconsistent positions the New Atheists posit. In the three primary sections of the book, McGrath discusses three core themes of attack New Atheists level against religion: “Violence”, “Reason”, and “Science”. The New Atheists attack on these fronts because “New Atheism is characterized more by its attacks on religion than by its own positive beliefs…” (p.45).
Citing several historical events, McGrath brings injury to the New Atheist positions because “such irrational hatred [is] what the New Atheists want us to believe is characteristic only of religion” (p.50). He does well in pointing out the New Atheist flaws and inconsistencies (something too detailed to describe in this brief review), and he does it without demeaning or belittling those who hold the atheistic position.
“Why God Won’t Go Away” is intelligently written and presented – although the New Atheists will never accept anything that’s not atheist as being remotely intelligent. Reading this book was truly a pleasure, and I highly recommend it if the on-going conversation interests you. You will see that the New Atheism is, in fact, running on empty. I give this one 5 stars out of 5.
I was given this free book by Booksneeze in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are mine. I was not coerced or threatened to provide a positive review of this title.