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Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists Paperback – August 3, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Atheism is making a comeback. From bookstores to bus campaigns, the question of God is up for public debate--and well-known atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are leading the charge. While these authors, who have been dubbed "The New Atheists," argue against religion in general, they aim most of their criticisms and complaints at the world's largest religion--Christianity. Why are people reading books that bash God and ridicule faith? And how can Christians respond? The writings of the New Atheists are especially challenging to the emerging generation who are skeptical of authority and have not been given answers to the hows and whys of faith's honest questions. For these readers especially, authors Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow have penned an accessible yet rigorous look at the arguments of the New Atheists. Writing from a distinctively Christian perspective, McDowell and Morrow lay out the facts so that the emerging generation can make up their own mind after considering all the evidence. Divided into two parts--the first addressing the scientific and philosophical challenges to belief in God and the second dealing with the moral and biblical challenges--Is God Just a Human Invention? will respond to each major argument in a way that is balanced, thorough, and easy to understand.

McDowell and Morrow believe that the current religious landscape is both an opportunity and a challenge for people of faith. Now is the time to respond.

About the Author

Jonathan Morrow (MA and MDiv, Talbot School of Theology) is the author of Welcome to College, coauthor of Is God Just a Human Invention?, founder of www.thinkChristianly.org, and contributor to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and Foundations of Spiritual Formation. Currently, he is the equipping pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825436540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825436543
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Is atheism making a comeback? Authors Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow say it is and seek to respond to this very vocal movement in their new book, Is God Just a Human Invention?: And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists. The proliferation of recent books by contemporary atheists with titles like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett, god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris, speak to the reality that atheism is back - with a vengeance. These four vocal atheists have been duly named "The Four Horseman" by Al Mohler. To say that atheism is back in somewhat misleading. Atheism has been around since after the Fall in Genesis 3. Throughout history there have been moments of intense efforts by atheists. This is one of those intense moments in atheistic history. There is no denying that these New Atheists are making a public scene in their quest to rid the world of religion(s) and, in particular, Christianity and its belief in God.

As a result of the atheistic outcry against Christianity in particular, there has been an enormous response among the vast ranks of evangelicals. Notable apologists like Ravi Zacharias (author of The End of Reason) and president of SBTS Al Mohler (Atheism Remix) have written more popular level books in response to the New Atheism. Theologians like Alister McGrath (The Dawkins Delusion) and biblical scholars like Paul Copan (Is God A Moral Monster) have given their noteworthy contributions. Pastors like Doug Wilson (Is Christianity Good for the World) and Tim Keller (The Reason for God) have responded to the New Atheism with theological rigor and pastoral care.
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Format: Paperback
One of the brashest challenges that religious truth has experienced over the past several decades is the remarkable rise of the pugnacious New Atheists. Sean McDowell and Jonathan Marrow, new generation Christian apologists, have undertaken the task of contesting this anti-theistic upsurge. And in "Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists" the authors have pulled together a wide range of research that powerfully critiques the arguments from the combative non-theists.

Worldviews are in dispute: Christian theism vs. modern atheism. There are powerful and compelling arguments for the existence of God, but one wouldn't know it if one only read the works of Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins. They assert numerous fallacious and deceptive arguments as they often erect the frailest of straw men in order to push them down with the greatest of rhetorical ease.

You would think that atheism is a forceful challenger to Christianity. But McDowell and Morrow argue that this view, as amusing as it is, does not reveal the evidential or philosophical actuality. The more important consideration, they advocate, is what worldview has the preeminent rational arguments and historical facts on its side.
They proceed to make the case that Christian theism, categorically, provides the finest evidence and makes the most sense.

The authors deal with the scientific and philosophical challenges to Christian theism in a reasoned and respectful manner.

In "Is God Just a Human Invention?
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For those who want a snack between the larger courses in Christian apologetics, such as in the work of William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga, this fits the bill nicely. But don't let the fact of its size fool you, this book is punching way above its weight class, tackling deep issues with finesse and clarity. Drawing as it does from the minds of a plethora of eminent philosophers and theologians, I believe you will be more than satisfied, maybe even well-nourished by the contents.
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Format: Paperback
I was generally pleased with the book in that it moved relatively quickly and I found it to generally be quite entertaining. I found the breadth of topics covered to also be quite enjoyable, but even so the chapters were a bit terse in dealing with the subject matter. I understand that this is necessary to have broad appeal and reflects the intended audience of the book, but I generally prefer that apologetics books, especially those that appear to be geared towards the home crowd, be thorough in addressing atheist claims. The brevity of the articles undermines the usefulness of the text given that it is supposed to arm the reader with answers to the most common charges of the New Atheists.

That said, I found myself rather annoyed by the way the book wastes time on non-essential issues. I realize that many Christians do not believe in evolution, but, given their statement that if they found the science compelling they would believe it too, wouldn't it have been more worthwhile to philosophically explore why evolution does not automatically preclude the existence of God than fight another uphill battle against it. As someone who finds the question of evolution unimportant, it disappoints me to see such time devoted to it.

I was likewise disappointed by the discussion about the existence of the soul. There are many Christian philosophers who do not believe in a soul. This sounds crazy if you haven't been introduced to the arguments, but it is actually quite reasonable. The Old Testament has no concept of a soul that survives death. Such ideas find their root in Platonic thought. It would have been nice to have a genuine, Christian philosophical approach to the non-existence of the soul rather than an unnecessary defense based on near death experiences of all things.
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