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The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 25, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 25, 2010
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'The two best-written books [of 2010] were Christopher Hitchens's memoir Hitch 22 and his brother Peter's The Rage Against God.' -- Michael Gove <br><br>

About the Author

Peter Hitchens is a British journalist, author, and broadcaster. He currently writes for the Mail on Sunday, where he is a columnist and occasional foreign correspondent, reporting most recently from Iran, North Korea, Burma, The Congo, and China. A former revolutionary, he attributes his return to faith largely to his experience of socialism in practice, which he witnessed during his many years reporting in Eastern Europe and his nearly three years as a resident correspondent in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He lived and worked in the United States from 1993 to 1995. Hitchens lives in Oxford with his wife, Eve. They have three children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310320313
  • ASIN: B0057D8W1Y
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,645,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By Narut Ujnat VINE VOICE on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was attracted to read this book because of my familiarity with Peter Hitchens and his brother Christopher Hitchens. Both have become public intellectuals of varying degree. And both, as it turns out, have books being released this summer. I was excited when I got the opportunity to read this book, so provocatively titled "The Rage Against God."

This book is very much a testimonial (and an apologetic as well) of a man's life lived in the rapidly changing Britain (and West) of the post-WWII ear through today. Hitchens description of the Britain of his youth is accurate in the narrative of a nation that has slowly ossified and changed from what was a person living in Great Britain would have known prior to WWI. The public confidence in British institutions has greatly changed (witness the wrangling over Princess Diana's death by Queen Elizabeth II, for example) The relevance of Christian life in public life that was common-place and expected, whether at Christmas time or Easter was unquestioned. Hitchens describes how these touchstones have rapidly disappeared to the point where public pronouncements of religious faith are mocked and shunned to the extent that expression becomes an oddity. Witness the Church Of England abandoning so much of the liturgy that was known prior to WWII by almost all Brits. Today, even Biblical history is rapidly disappearing from public life.

Hitchens goes on to make three counterpoints of common lodestars of what non-believers argue as reasons for abandoning faith: religious faith causes conflict, moral relativism and atheism in nation/states. Finally, Hitchens goes on to debate the arguments of how the alternative to the "Christian" state, i.e.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Peter Hitchen's book The Rage Against God wasn't what I expected, namely a blow-by-blow critique of atheism and a listing of reasons for the existence of God. Instead, the brother of noted atheist Christopher Hitchens writes an engaging memoir of his personal journey, followed by his appraisal of atheistic regimes and ideologies, along with a reminder of atrocities carried out in the name (alone) of religions that were, at the core, irreligious--and why. I'm reminded of a quote, "When people act contrary to their religion, you blame them, not their religion." Christianity doesn't escape unscathed, but Hitchens is clear to point out that unchristian acts occur when God's moral will is disregarded. A clever quote: "Faith has often led to cruel violence and intolerant persecution...this is not because they are religious, but because Man is not great" (153). I would still like to know why totalitarian governments feel so threatened by religion. In an enlightened age ought not tolerance prevail? (by tolerance, I mean accepting people who hold views you firmly believe are incorrect) The chapter on moral absolutes was helpful, and (another quote not in the book) I recall Dostoyevsky, "If there is no God, anything is permissible." If there is no God, all we're really left with are arbitrary preferences. This has an appeal to those who covet autonomy and freedom from higher authority...yet atheists probably do not want to be labeled amoral. Hitchen's appraisal of atheism made me wonder if an atheist would claim that the world merely has the "appearance" of purpose. Also, the section on religious instruction could have mentioned that most Christians do not "force-feed" the Bible to children. They want kids to be able to think, and not blindly accept religious teaching. His approach won't appeal to everyone (particularly his famous brother), but is a worthy and readable addition to the ongoing debate.
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Having viewed some of the debates between Peter Hitchens and his now-deceased brother, Christopher Hitchens, I became interested in learning more about why the former converted to Christianity after many years as a militant atheist. The subtitle "How Atheism Led Me to Faith" led me to believe that the author would devote a substantial portion of his narrative to doing just that--explaining the factors that compelled him to convert. As some other reviewers have noted, however, there is very little in the book detailing his actual conversion or his reasoning for making the leap of faith. Basically, the seeds of his conversion were planted one day as Hitchens was in a museum, viewing Rogier van der Weyden's painting The Last Judgment. For the first time in his life, Hitchens saw the sinful state of his soul and realized that he would one day be judged. Over the next couple of years, he gradually became more amenable to religion until eventually making the plunge. He provides little in the way of intellectual argument. This may be because, as the author notes in a few places, many people are brought to faith more through the beauty of poetry than through intellectual debate. Although I agree there is much truth in that, I doubt the author abandoned his disbelief in God merely because of his experience looking at a painting. I would like to have heard the author elaborate on his rationale for embracing Christianity. As other reviewers have also noted, the book contains a disproportionate emphasis on the author's life in the Soviet Union. I know what Hitchens was trying to do: show what can happen to a civilization that abandons its belief in God. I just think he could have accomplished that objective more effectively in a lot less space. I blame the publisher more than the author for these faults. Hitchens is obviously a talented writer, but a good editor would have put the axe to much of the narrative and asked him to redo it.
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