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Letter from a Christian Citizen - A Response to "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris 1st Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0915815661
ISBN-10: 0915815664
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Editorial Reviews

Review

It's about time an informed, Bible-believing Christian explained to the growing number of skeptics and gnostics and relativists how America, the freest country in the history of the world, could only have been birthed and sustained through a Christian worldview. If you want to bring this great experiment in human liberty to a screeching halt, the fastest way is to eliminate the salt and light contributed by Divine inspiration of our heavenly Father and His Word through His children. --Joseph Farah, Editor and Chief Executive Officer of WorldNetDaily.com Inc.

Douglas Wilson has written a book that can give Christians a place to stand in regard to Sam Harris book Letter to a Christian Nation. The primary usefulness of Wilson's book is that it gives readers a point-by-point response to the arguments advanced by Harris in an engaging and compelling way. --Dr. Leland Ryken, Professor of English at Wheaton College

Douglas Wilson has done the near impossible. He made me glad that Sam Harris wrote his anti-God tract because it provided an occasion for Doug to write such a literate, compelling, and engaging response. I hope Bible study groups and Sunday school classes across the country set aside their normal lessons for a few weeks and gather together to study and discuss Wilson s Letter from a Christian Citizen. --Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D., Director, Master of Arts Program in Christian Apologetics, Biola University, La Mirada, California
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 111 pages
  • Publisher: American Vision; 1st edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915815664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915815661
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This book is basically nothing that it claims to be. It is emphatically NOT a response to Sam Harris' book other than in title. Rather, Wilson essentially ignores all the hard issues that Harris raises, and instead goes on the standard nonsensical CS Lewis "Mere Christianity" line of argumentation, which basically goes that "look at what a wonderful society we have. Only Christianity could have produced this therefore Christianity is true," which, to anybody who bothered to actually be honest would realize that this argument is false on many levels.

One of the other reviewers wrote:

"Pastor Douglas Wilson's book 'Letter from a Christian Citizen' should be

a staple of any apologetics program and is great for Christians learning to defend their faith."

Notice how the reviewer is not interested in TRUTH. What's more important is "defending the faith." Truth is secondary to making sure that their team wins. This is a key distinction between the reasoned discourse that Harris presents, and the would-only-convince-the-choir contortions that this book is made of.

This book has no interest in truth, nor rebuttal, as there simply is no such thing. It makes a generic argument and has packaged it in a title to try to latch on to the sales of Harris' popular book. There's nothing new here but just more preaching the same old tired arguments. Most of the faithful will continue to believe them (and doubtlessly mark my review as 'not helpful', since it's mostly the faithful who find these things on amazon anyway) as they read this book and convince themselves that Harris' devastating critique is somehow rebutted, when nothing of the sort happened.
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Sam Harris's bestseller "Letter to a Christian Nation" compresses into fewer than 100 pages pointed arguments that (1) religion in general and Christianity in particular are false in that they fail to prove claims of god(s), (2) they burden society and retard the pursuit of knowledge by fostering irrationality and immorality, and (3) with the increasing prospect that motivated religionists may employ modern warfare technology to press their views, they pose a danger to civilization. Douglas Wilson's "Letter from a Christian Citizen" offers a thoughtful response of roughly equal length.

Wilson says little about the first point, arguing mainly that the Bible's accounts of historical events/miracles serve as sufficient evidence. Those taking to heart Carl Sagan's admonition that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence will likely find this (well worn) argument wanting.

Wilson offers an interesting counter to Harris's observation that Christians understand "what it is like to be an atheist with respect to the beliefs of Muslims," since "[i]sn't it obvious that Muslims are fooling themselves?" As Harris puts it: "Understand that the way you [i.e., Christians] view Islam is the way devout Muslims view Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions." Wilson argues that this is a false analogy, since both Christians and Muslims at least understand that some god created the universe while atheists don't. He doesn't explain why it matters that Christians disbelieve both what Muslims and atheists think, but for different reasons since they think different things. Wilson seemingly acknowledges Harris's point later in the book, stating that "I believe that Islam is a false religion, and I believe that the people who adhere to it are deluded.
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See the 1st editorial review, which claims this country was "birthed and sustained through a Christian worldview". First of all, this was never set up to be a Christian nation. The founding fathers were deists, and they made sure that the constitution provided for the separation of church and state. And, the review mentions the "Christian worldview". If that means spreading Christianity throughout the entire world, that's certainly not what this country was set up to do. Yet, many Christians think it's okay for the US to invade other countries because we're supposedly on the side of Christ.

Also, read some of the customers' reviews to see how confused some of these people are. You'll see some of the most confused logic, like that the belief in evolutionary science and the belief in non-violence are somehow contradictory.

And notice how they like to label Harris as an atheist (instead of agnostic). If you read the book or listen to Harris's speech (which btw you'll find on YouTube, search "Sam Harris SALT"), you'll know Harris does not claim to have proof that God does not exist. It's not Harris's responsibility to prove that God does not exist. That's not what his book is about. His book is about the very real problem of ignorant people in this country taking on blind faith that there's an all-knowing, all-powerful God guiding our destiny, and using that to justify wars, and the rejection of science (like stem cell research and evolution), and the dumbing down of America to rally support for a President who has broken every virtue written down in the bible, and produce this kind of fascist state that we're living in today, where our rights that our Founding Fathers established have been stripped away one by one, and our constitution has been run through the White House paper shredder.
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