Monday, July 18, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath

I must confess that I immediately gravitated towards this particular book due to the fact that it was authored by Alister McGrath. After having read the Dawkins Delusion among other McGrath works, I have a deep appreciation for McGrath's common sense approach to "the God issue" as well as his tongue-in-cheek stabs at the "New Atheist" leaders such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. I find McGrath to be brilliant, but also have a good understanding of fairness and common sense. He has publicly debated Hitchens, Dawkins and several other members of the "New Atheism" movement and has held his own, quite admirably. My favorite part of this book was the way in which McGrath completely exposed the inaccuracies and overstatements that have plagued the "New Atheist" leaders. One of my absolute favorite parts was the description of how the "New Atheists" have decided to name themselves the "Brilliants". This move was an obvious show of intellectual cockiness and turned off many individuals, including those within the movement.

One of the strongest mainstays of the "New Atheism" is the concept that religion is evil. McGrath faces this concept with dignity, and an open-minded understanding. There are alot of things wrong with "religion". "Religion" has caused wars and bloodshed throughout history. This is why the "New Atheist" leaders declare that religion is evil and therefore so is God and both should be done away with. This intolerant view shows no understanding of the true root of Jesus and his ministry. Unfortunately more than a few Christians don't seem to understand the root of Jesus and his ministry, either. Jesus kept company with sinners and the "undesirables" of the time. He would have come across as a radical, preaching that one should forgive those that sin against us and love our enemies as our friends. Perhaps if the "New Atheist" movement bothered to study their Christian Theology more thoroughly they would see a loving, forgiving God that loves us all, including the "New Atheists".

McGrath has done a wonderful job in explaining the "New Atheism" and the inaccuracies that plague its handful of members. I would have liked this book to have been a bit longer, due to the importance of the information that is covered, but it is a very easy read and quite entertaining. I definitely consider it worth the time and it can even be read in a single sitting, although it took me 3 days since I read it sporadically.

This book was provided to me, free of charge, by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through the program. My review was not influenced by the publisher or the author and is completely of my own understanding of the book.

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