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The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists Hardcover – May 11, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

When you pray, are you talking to a God who exists? Or is God nothing more than your 'imaginary friend, ' like a playmate contrived by a lonely and imaginative child? When author Sam Harris attacked Christianity in Letter to a Christian Nation, reviewers called the book 'marvelous' and a generation of readers---hundreds of thousands of them---were drawn to his message. Deeply troubled, Dr. Ravi Zacharias knew that he had to respond. In The End of Reason, Zacharias underscores the dependability of the Bible along with his belief in the power and goodness of God. He confidently refutes Harris's claims that God is nothing more than a figment of one's imagination and that Christians regularly practice intolerance and hatred around the globe. If you found Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation compelling, the book you are holding is exactly what you need. Dr. Zacharias exposes 'the utter bankruptcy of this worldview.' And if you haven't read Harris' book, Ravi's response remains a powerful, passionate, irrefutably sound set of arguments for Christian thought. The clarity and hope in these pages reach out to readers who know and follow God as well as to those who reject God.

About the Author

Ravi Zacharias is President and Founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).  Their global outreach grew from humble roots in 1984 and includes fielding a team of itinerant speakers who operate from offices located around the world including the U.S., the UK, Romania, the Middle East, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Canada.  The Hallmark of Ravi’s heart is his strong evangelistic and apologetic that manifests itself from a position of compassion.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310282519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310282518
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With The End of Reason, Ravi Zacharias has written a brief but articulate argument responding to "the new atheists." In just under 130 pages--a read of an hour and a half--he refutes many of the claims and charges laid against religion in general and Christianity in particular. But Zacharias's book is not just negative, arguing against atheism, he eloquently argues for belief in God. The result is a well-rounded, thoughtful little book and one of the best apologetic works in recent years.

The End of Reason is primarily a response to Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. Zacharias uses Harris as a starting point, skilfully countering not only Harris's arguments, but also those of other well-known atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

The book is divided into several distinct sections. To begin, Zacharias notes the particular kind of atheist to which he is responding--those that make others "embarassed to be an atheist." He also describes his own past as an atheist and the suicidal hopelessness to which such thought brought him. The second and longest section describes this atheism in philosophical terms. Zacharias outlines this worldview's stance on life's origins, the meaning of life, morality, and hope in a painful world. In the third section, Zacharias sets out to confront and debunk a number of Harris's specific claims, whether of Christianity's inferiority to religions like Buddhism or Jainism or that the Christian doctrine of the virgin birth is erroneously founded on a mistranslation and the root of Christian "anxiety about sex." Zacharias also discusses Pascal's Wager--that the fulfilment brought by Christianity is worthwhile even if the universe turns out to be meaningless--and a number of other major issues.
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Format: Hardcover
I knew before I sat down to write this review that the judgment this book received would be polarizing. You can pretty much bet that the majority of the reviews would be split between one star and five stars. A quick survey of the rating provides just such a result. Atheists hate it and dismiss it out of hand. Christians love it and give it the perfect rating. The truth about the book falls between these two positions.

The book is nothing more than a response to Sam Harris and his anti-religion publications. With a broad brush, Harris outlines what he believes to be the irrationality of religion and calls on people to leave faith behind. Ravi Zacharias penned this book as a response to those assertions. His stated purpose is quite clear. Christianity is not an untenable position for a reasoned person to hold. He works through many of Harris' charges to expose the flawed logic which appear sound on the surface but fail to hold up under scrutiny. Did Zacharias accomplish his goal?

The book succeeds in large part by providing Christians with confidence that the Biblical worldview is not without support. Drawing on the fields of philosphy, science, logic, and history Zacharias shows that there is another side to the argument. While not delving into great depth on any issue, the author does raise important points which are handled in more depth by other authors. This is a general overview rather than a specific point by point dismanteling of Harris. It serves as a good introduction to the subject - not too technical in its language but weighty in its ideas. A good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ravi Zacharias has, as the first reviewer says, done an able job in answering Sam Harris's book length rant against religion (mainly Christianity). Ravi, as always, writes with intelligence, keen logic, grace and aplomb, none of which can be said about the author or book Ravi is refuting. Ravi is perhaps uniquely gifted to apply a sharp slap in the face to the modern hostile atheist authors all the while making it feel like a warning from a concerned wiser, older friend. As Ravi takes Harris's atheistic tenets to their logical conclusion, he shows that atheism always has and always will lead to a world of individualistic license, unrestrained evil, loveless existence and empty despair. Also well done is Ravi's job of showing how whenever Harris makes a morality statement or a pronouncement of the "evils" of religion, he has to import categories (good and evil, right and wrong) that his own worldview has no explanation for and therefore no right to employ. Harris's whole argument against religion has to spend borrowed moral capital from Christianity. Harris can only say and believe the things he does because many of his presuppositions are still all too Christian.

When Ravi systematically unravels Harris's arguments (often merely unfounded assertions), one is left wondering how Harris's book could ever have been taken seriously by a half way intelligent person much less become a best seller. I find it amusing to watch how the "new atheists" argue for a world of pure secular humanism with all the passion of a pack of religious zealots. As the likes of Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens flog their rabid atheism they sound more like wild-eyed desert prophets than anything.
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