The past few years saw a noticeable rise in ‘new atheists’ with people such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens writing books like The God Delusion and God is Not Great.  Two Christian authors wrote important books that provide an alternative worldview to Dawkins and Hitchens.  The Eastern Orthodox thinker David Bently Hart wrote Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies.  Hart is most famous for his column regarding the problem of evil in the Wall Street Journal after the tsunami of 2004 killed over 200,000 people.  The column eventually was transformed into the book, The Doors of the Sea - Where was God in the Tsunami?  God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition is the other excellent book written by Alasdair MacIntyre which counters the ideas of modern atheism.

Recently, I read another book challenging the ‘new atheists’ but this book comes from a different perspective.  Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate attacks the presuppositions of Dawkins and Hitchens, but Eagleton is not a religious believer.  Despite him not believing in God, he thinks that Christian believers have more going for them than Dawkins and Hitchens recognize.  Eagleton says, “We find ourselves, then, in a most curious situation.  In a world in which theology is increasingly part of the problem, as Ditchkins” - Eagleton’s term for Dawkins and Hitchens - “rightly considers, it is also fostering the kind of critical reflection which might contribute to some of the answers.  There are lessons which the secular left can learn from religion, for all its atrocities and absurdities, and the left is not so flush with ideas that it can afford to look such a gift horse in the mouth” (pg. 168).

There are many reasons why people do not believe in God in today’s world.  Atheists can pose many intellectual challenges to our faith and most of us cannot answer them.  We should read up on the issues, but most importantly, we should live our faith in a convincing manner.  

 


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