Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister E. McGrath

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister E. McGrath

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was keen to read this book because I have enjoyed reading some of Alistair McGrath's previous work and have found his online articles regarding science, evidence and reasoning to be quite good. On finishing this book I was left a little disappointed, probably because I would have liked him to go into some of the points in more depth. He does point you in the right direction to do further reading, so as an introduction to the issues this is a good start but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who wants to delve more deeply.

The first part of the book introduces who the New Atheists are, some of their main ideas and how 9/11 produced the type of climate in which their ideas could flourish. The second part deals with three of the main themes of the New Atheism and the major weaknesses in some of the arguments offered. Most of the arguments put forward by the New Atheism are so weak that it surprises me that they can trumpet their supposed intellectual superiority with a straight face, McGrath makes a decent effort pointing out the most obvious flaws without being too harsh. One section that I think should have been cut was "human reason and the invention of God." The argumentation in this section was weak and distracts the reader from the stronger points in other sections. The book finishes with a look towards the future and a short chapter entitled why God won't go away.

I received this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program in return for an honest review.

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