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Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084994645X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849946455
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alister E. McGrath holds the chair of theology, ministry, and education at King's College London, having previously held the chair of historical theology at Oxford University. A former atheist, he has a special interest in dialoguing and critiquing the New Atheism, and he has publicly debated Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. He has written many books, including the international bestseller The Dawkins Delusion? He 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

The book is well written and easy to read.
D. Wortham
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.
SSchmidt
I highly recommend this book to those interested in a primer on the subject of New Atheism.
Russell T. Hawkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Maxon A. Bruno on May 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many of Alister McGrath's books and I must say that this is one of my favorites. The book is essentially a 'situation report' of the New Atheism in our society. I actually had the day off when it came in the mail so I walked over to my local dunken donuts and read the entire thing in one sitting (not recommended!).

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.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By T. Richards on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
In Why God Won't Go Away, Alister challenges the beliefs embraced by four main writers: Richard Dawkins, Daniel C Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hutchins. He refers to them as "The Four Horsemen" , the result of an informal discussion among the four in 2007.

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Clint Walker VINE VOICE on December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have often heard about what both people inside and outside of the church have referred to as the "New Atheism", and each time it has been mentioned, I have been foggy about what the term meant. For this reason I picked up Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath. What I discovered was a cogent, clearly written summary of the New Atheism, as well as some simple to understand criticisms and objections to the philosophy that informs the New Atheists.

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.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Noah Arsenault on October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this impressive work very much. This is the first time I've read one of McGrath's works, and I'm sure to be reading more. Why God Won't Go Away was very logical and convincing that New Atheism didn't work. I don't think it would be very useful as a flip-through handguide to refuting New Atheism, as it is very condensed and takes a while to read. It is more for understanding New Atheism as a whole, and I appreciate that approach. It doesn't necessarily try to prove Christianity, but shows that New Atheism fails to debunk it. To anyone interested in current apologetics, this is a really good resource that you should buy.

This book was provided free by Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.
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