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Letter to a Christian Nation: Counter Point Paperback – March 15, 2007
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Except to the extent that a reader wants to chronicle logical fallacies in Christian 'argument', I'd advise you give this one a pass. Metcalf is merely preaching and it holds value only to the already-believers desperate for insulation against the chilly truth of Harris' books. I suggest Metcalf and his publisher change the title to "Sermon To A Christian Nation" for there is zero argumentation here.
I would also question the efficacy of Christian faith if books such as this have become necessary to Christians. Why would truly faithful Christians care what some atheist might think of them?
(Cue the "we are under attack!" responses).
But, like so many others, I coudn't finish the book either. I don't apologize for that. There is neither benefit nor honor in continuing to waste time on something that repeatedly violates reason, misconstrues the other person's words and bases much of its "argument" on the the very premise that is in question: the existence of a biblical-style god. I recall one place where Metcalf said something like, "Of course I realize you don't believe God's exists, but we believe God instructs us thus and so...."
That's no counterpoint, that's just sermonizing. And I think that's the real purpose of this book--to cheer the believers on. All they need, to feel comfortable dismissing Harris, is for someone to tell them, in a religious-sounding way, that it's all okay. "There, there, it'll be all right." They will hear what they want to hear and rationalize away Harris just as they rationalize away the biblical problems he points out. They will pretend Harris' points were "just opinion."
But that's not enough for those of us whose beliefs are subject to reality, rather than the other way around.
I will read other points of view that are at least worthy of a listen--logical, honest, based on reasonably accurate sources--but this work doesn't meet the criteria. For example, like others, I was very put off by Metcalf's response re a moral responsibility to a rock.Read more ›
While Mr. Metcalf claims to be a scientist, his book reads more like the ramblings of Jerry Fallwell rather than the lucid reasoning of an objective, rational intellectual that Metcalf purports himself to be. He is clearly preaching to the choir, doing his best to reassure the flock of sheep that Harris is dead wrong and that everything is OK with the Christian religion.
How does he do this? By anegdotal evidence, multiple fallacies of selective observation, special pleadings, ad hoc, etc... Finally when confronted with an insurmountable logical obstacle, he always falls back on Scripture as a safety net. When all else fails, Scripture and faith always triumph over reason and science in Metcalf's world.
One cannot call oneself a reasonable person and much less a scientist if one abandons all reason and relies on faith when faced with facts and logic that completely obliterate one's long held beliefs. R.C. Metcalf is no scientist. He is an apologetic at best. And a fundamentalist at worst.
I highly recommend reading his book though. It is a great example of the mental gymnastics a person of faith is forced to do in order to stay true to his dogma.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Remarkably weak rebuttal to a rather forceful set of arguments presented by Sam Harris. This book may appeal to some of those who have already rejected Harris but will do nothing... Read morePublished on June 15, 2014 by Robert J. Strobel
Accessible read and great apologetics insights! I thought it was a fair critique of Sam Harris' book. I highly recommend!Published on November 13, 2013 by Mr_Mr_Mario
22-yr old grandson has announced he is an atheist, and requested a list of reading materials on the subject. Read morePublished on January 19, 2013 by Pamela Mortensen
I generally agree with the negative reviews of Counter Point. I'd also like to answer some of the attacks on Sam Harris' us of stats and such. Read morePublished on June 23, 2012 by This Guy
I respect rational argument - you know, logic, reason, critical thinking, evidence - even from those I disagree with. But this book contains nothing of those things. Read morePublished on April 22, 2011 by john1411
Feeling like I should have a open mind to both sides, I was looking forward to the counter points.
However, this read came across as defensive. Read more
I'm usually on the music side of Amazon (some of you will probably tell me to stay there :) at any rate. Read morePublished on October 3, 2008 by Brian W. Ewert
Yes, Dr. Metcalf, as a matter of fact I do see American Chrisians at war with other faiths... every time something comes out of their mouths. Read morePublished on September 23, 2008 by K. A. Lewellyn
Read this work only for amusement, and to remind yourself once again of the raw irrationality of True Believers of any ilk. Read morePublished on September 7, 2008 by Gods' Will Know-It-All