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The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments Paperback – July 17, 2015
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"This is a must-read. Recommend this book to high school and campus ministry leaders, pastors, higher education faculty, and Ravi Zacharias fans." (CBA Retailers+Resources 2015-07-15)
About the Author
Dr. Andy Bannister is the Canadian Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Andy speaks frequently across Canada, America and Europe, in settings ranging from universities to business forums and churches. Before joining RZIM, he had a background in youthwork before gaining a PhD in Qur'anic Studies.
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Andy Bannister's book is new and different - and good.
First of all, it's the funniest apologetics book I have ever read. There is some laugh-out-loud funny writing. It's a Christian version of British humor (if you like Monty Python...)
Secondly, it shows the ridiculousness of the arguments of the new atheists. It is cogently written.
Thirdly, it uses humorous examples to make the points. There is great power in parable as Jesus demonstrated in the gospels. he opens every chapter with a story that illustrates the point of the chapter. For example, idea that atheism is not a belief in anything, just a lack of belief that there is a god. His friend says "sweden does not exist" and when asked for evidence of such a claim, the a-swedenist replies "I don't have to prove anything. I just don't believe in Sweden. my belief is not a belief" (I'm paraphrasing here)
well written, fun to read - highly recommended.
Quotes of some parts I really liked, either for the humour or the picture:
"It often comes as a shock to many atheists to know that there is surprisingly good evidence for God, not least because many religious folks, in between the book burnings, inquisitions, and causing plague, pestilence, and war that occupy the daylight hours for most of us, have actually spent time thinking."
"The problem is the woefully naïve idea that there is such a thing as neutrality, a kind of educational Switzerland of the mind, a sterilized, value-free homogenous zone from which everything but pure Reason(TM) has been expunged"
"But, of course, such a bite-sized god, whatever he might be, certainly would not be worthy of anything other than our pity and disdain. Why not just go the easier route and invest in a dachshund rather than a deity."
"But what about “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”? “Well, now, hang on a moment, that’s going perhaps a bit too far. Have you seen my enemies? (Come to think of it, have you seen some of my friends?) If you knew the people at my workplace, you’d understand..."
"Arguments are thus needed, any arguments, no matter how bad, provided we can hammer them like planks across any possible opening."
Of course the stories aren't full-proof, but that didn't seem to be the point.
For me it offers a space of good natured common ground for people of differing worldviews to have a more productive discussion.
By presenting arguments in a common sense manner with light hearted stories, the author invites people to discuss serious issues in a more affable tone.
My highest compliment would be that I could read this book with an atheist friend and while we probably wouldn’t agree on every point, I think we would be closer to understanding the position of the other...and our friendship might actually stay intact :)
I also think that if Mystery Science Theater is ever rebooted and looking for a fill-in host, Andy might be the person for the job.
While the book certainly offers critique of arguments offered by those in the New Atheism movement, it gratefully does so in a way that is generally gracious and helpful for real-life conversations…something that many academic efforts by other authors usually fall-short of.
Worth getting a copy of for your library.