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Intellectuals Don't Need God and Other Modern Myths Paperback – August 17, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310590914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310590910
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Intellectuals Don't Need God is for people who are not convinced by the arguments of classical, rationalistic apologetics, for people who feel that Christianity must have a broader appeal that to reason alone if it is to be persuasive to non-Christians. Alister McGrath shows convincingly that reason is only one of many possible points of contact between the non-Christian and the gospel. In today's world, nonrational concerns -- such as a sense that life lacks focus, an unconscious fear of death, a deep sense of longing for something unknown we don’t have but know we need -- are much more effective points of contact for apologetics. In this book, Dr. McGrath (who is both a theologian and a scientist with a Ph.D. in microbiology) combines the clarity of a brilliant scientific mind with a deep commitment to Christ and to reaching non-Christians. Intellectuals Don't Need God is for anyone who has questions about the validity of Christianity as well as for students, pastors, and lay leaders. Anyone who works with students and young people especially needs to read this book. As McGrath says, "apologetics is not about winning arguments -- it is about bringing people to Christ."

About the Author

Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. McGrath, a longtime professor at Oxford University, now holds the Chair in theology, ministry, and education at the University of London. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including Christianity’s Dangerous Idea; In the Beginning, and The Twilight of Atheism. He lives in Oxford, England and lectures regularly in the United States.

More About the Author

Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A longtime professor at Oxford University, he now holds the chair in theology, ministry, and education at the University of London. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including Christianity's Dangerous Idea, In the Beginning, and The Twilight of Atheism. He lives in Oxford, England, and lectures regularly in the United States.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By V. Phin on June 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Though faintly dry and reading like a guidebook, McGrath's knowledge of the history of apologetics, coupled with his unique approach, make this short book a good addition to any Christian library.
Possessing both a Ph.D in microbology and theology, Alister McGrath is exactly the sort of person the postmodern apologetic movement needs: someone with an appreciation of science from the inside. Many theologians who write concerning Christianity understand science very little, and their essays betray a hostility that science as a discipline doesn't deserve. In his book, McGrath is able to differentiate between science and scientific rationalism, the philosophy that poses the problems to a Christian worldview.
"Apologetics is not about winning arguments-- it is about winning people," McGrath mentions several times, calling into question the traditional approach (solely through reason) that has dominated apologetics for the past millenium. "Creative apologetics" is what he seeks: the melding of reason and the art of listening, responding, and understanding what brings people to faith. Thus, the first part of the book is about points of contact with the people one wishes to help; the third is about putting apologetics into action.
In-between is the meat of the book: sections on other philosophies and religions, and common reasons people are repulsed by Christianity. He seems to spend a great deal more time on Marxism than is necessary for today; however, given that this book was published in 1992, that is understandable. An updated version with an expanded section on paganism would be excellent.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Here McGrath provides the churh with a resource for entering the arena of idea exchange without coming off as elitist or contentious.
This is not an academic approach, i.e. with all the arguments displayed and chronicled and sorted, but rather a practical, useful tool for even the layperson who wants to dialogue with the various other worldviews.
I've used this book with Adult Bible Studies with great success. Many springboarded from this into more profound and exhaustive apologetics study with the likes of Craig, Geisler, etc.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Alister McGrath is a moderately conservative theologian in the Church of England who has written numerous introductory and advances works. [p. 67.] In this book - based on lectures - McGrath provides a concise discussion of Christian apologetics. This book is neither a history of apologetics nor a comprehensive discussion of various apologetic approaches. Rather, he sets forth arguments in favor of Christianity and against secular ideologies. He doesn't follow any specific method of apologetics, but relies on the strength of different approaches. As he states, "But apologetics is not concerned with this single conclusion. It is concerned with the accumulation of pointers . . . which eventually build up to give a credible, persuasive, and attractive case for God." [p. 41.] So while evidentialism has a role in defeating the most common objections against Christianity - such as that Jesus never lived - it cannot provide all the necessary reasons for faith. [p. 54.] In fact, McGrath maintains (perhaps controversially) that Aquinas's famous "proofs" for the existence of God were never meant as proofs, but rather arguments to show the rationality of belief in God for people who already believe. [p. 35.]
McGrath also has a good discussion of such matters as Darwinism, Marxism, and religious pluralism. Also, his discussion of Calvin is quite interesting. Calvin didn't deny that there was a "point of contact" between Christians and non-Christians. [pp. 212-16.]
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
McGrath's thoroughness makes this the single best apologetics text available today for classroom and personal use. He not only addresses specific issues, he also teaches the reader how to do apologetics by covering apologetic theory: theological basis; points of contact; the nature of faith and commitment; etc. Also, while he addresses philosophical issues, he writes as a theologian and so goes beyond arguments for God's existence and historical evidences to defend doctrinal beliefs as well. He brings in more of the human element.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bad Dogma on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have always told my students that aside from the Bible, every Christian should read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. In fact, I have made it mandatory. Now, I have added to my required list...this fine work by Dr. McGrath. Like Mere Christianity, this work challenges you and educates you in many of the false ideas in world religion, philosophy, etc. It gives you meat instead of the watered down theology we so frequently see being mass produced today in "Christian education". This book was written by a thinking Christian for thinking Christians; however, it can be easily read and appreciated by non-believers as well. I highly recommend this book because it is so good.
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