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Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? Paperback – May 16, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The book isn't very complicated, but that in no way takes away from what you can learn from it! I think McGrath is very fair with his analysis and avoids immature jabs against its supporters. I was particularly happy with the attention paid to the online atheist community. This shows me that McGrath is with the times!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in current religious movements. This is a powerful aid to any Christian. Even agnostics (more so those who are on the fence) will definitely find this an interesting read.
I believe the best way to understand someone's point of view is to read what they write. Alister not only reads their books, he challenges them in debate and interacts with them in online communities. He isn't another Christian talking about what he thinks he knows; he truly knows what he thinks. This allowed me confidence in the validity of the book's content matter.
The beauty of the book is the atheists' own words are used against them. Alister exposes the flaws, weaknesses and irony in their logic. For example, Christopher Hitchens believes religion causes fanaticism, thus it needs to be eradicated. Ironically in an interview he proclaims Mother Teresa a fraud and "a shame there is no hell for her to go to". If the lack of religion is supposed to be a higher level of thinking, why would you say something this primitive?
I have read a few apologetic books before and found them condescending; this is not that type of a book. Alister treats the authors with respect. The book does lack scriptural arguments that would make this a truly apologetic resource. However, I don't believe this would be helpful for use in an apologetic setting. In my experience, it's been said "The Bible is a fairy-tale and no amount of scripture I can quote will make a difference".
The book is not an easy read, but it is also not textbook-dry. I ended the book with more questions; which is as it should be. I would recommend this book for high school and college students as well as adults.
I received this book through book blogging program. The opinions are my own.
McGrath begins this book by identifying the key leaders in the New Atheist movement. Then he distinguishes the unique characteristics of the movement, especially in relationship to more traditional forms of atheism. Then McGrath goes in depth about the identifying arguments and attitudes of the New Atheists. He ends the book by questioning the future of New Atheists, and plotting the future of thinking Christianity in light of living in a world where the "New Atheism" has a strong influence.
What I found unique about the New Atheism is the fervor of its leaders. One of the arguments of many of these men is that religion is not just wrong, but in fact religion is destructive and evil. Much of this line of argument, although being around among average people for a long time, gains new steam after the violence of 9-11 by religious Islamic fundamentalists. A traditional atheist believes that Christianity is illogical, and focuses on reason. The "New Atheist" aggressively seeks to evangelize people to be atheists because they believe that religious faith must be destroyed. They believe that religious faith is dangerous. The "New Atheists" tend to attempt to be logical, but in fact much of the "new atheism" is polemical, and calls their disciples to aggressively fight against the wretched religious folks.Read more ›
A better title might be, "New Atheism Won't Run God Off!". I wasn't familiar with McGrath before reading this book but I have since seen his name around several theological volumes. Because of the title, I really looked forward to the opportunity Thomas Nelson gave me to review this book. It reminded me of Francis Schaeffer's book "God Is Hear and He Is Not Silent". Turns out this book is much more about New Atheism than it is a defense for confidence in God.
"The New Atheism is different. It's defined not so much by being white, male and middle class--though it is worth noting that its four leading representatives are all Anglo-Saxon Protestant males from remarkably similar backgrounds of privilege and power -- as by its anti-theism -- an intense anger against religion, which is held to poison everything Christopher Hitches puts it with a commendable conclusion: "I am not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist." This anti-theism is equally evident in the writing of the other "Four Horsemen." But surely this leads to the group defining itself by what it's against rather than what it's for." (McGrath, pg. 36)
McGrath quickly shows the heartbeat of New Atheism is really Anti-Theism. I was excited to learn that I was going to find good research into New Atheism and quickly dug into it. He does a good job of keeping it interesting and covering all the basics in an introductory manner.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
McGrath is a good writer and one of the first people to tackle the "New Atheism" head on. This book, Why God Won't Go Away, basically takes the New Atheists to task for... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Paul Stein
Alister McGrath has given the world an important counter argument to the endless banality of the "Four Horsemen" of New Atheism. Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by John R. Robison
Why God Won't Go Away, written by Alister McGrath, begins by defining the "New Atheism" and who its proponents are. Read morePublished on March 3, 2014 by Baker Mom
Truth seekers on either side of the ideological divide.
A book that challenges current perceptions that the New Atheism of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and others must be... Read more
Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath
In his book, Why God Won't Go Away, Alister McGrath acquaints his reader with "new atheism", a term apparently coined in 2006. Read more
This book works very well as an introduction to the ongoing discussions of the debates initiated by the so-called New Atheists, as well as a concise synopsis of the major related... Read morePublished on October 12, 2013 by david
I have used this book extensively with discussions with an atheist and its arguments are top-notch.
An excellent reference along with McGrath's other books on Dawkins.
This book brought perspective to me about the anti-theists and their mission and now I understand the intensity of the battle for the human soul.Published on June 9, 2013 by CorryZee