What’s right and wrong about the new #atheism.
I’ve gotta be honest… I was a little surprised by this title (and subtitle) on a Christian book. But Against All Gods presented a refreshingly honest look at what’s important in the debate between the secular atheist and the Biblical Christian world views.
Focused on the controversy around a proposed course at Harvard about ‘faith and reason’, Johnson and Reynolds applaud the New Atheists for bringing discussion about faith in any religion back into the spotlight. While this book is less about the actual apologetic for the Christian faith, it is about how we talk with each other.
Johnson and Reynolds challenge Atheists (and Christians alike) to ask the right questions about what faith in a God really means. They argue that faith is not the opposite of reason, but it’s what allows us to act when we cannot be absolutely certain about what we believe to be true. Ironically, this is the very thing that keeps science moving forward, especially in areas were there is little (or no) actual evidence to immediately prove a hypothesis. In addition, they show how reason is just as important to Christian belief as it is to science. Essentially, the worlds of science and religion are much closer than many choose to realize.
Phillip E. Johnson is often referred to as the father of the intelligent design movement, and has been at the forefront of the public debate over evolution and creation for many years. John Mark Reynolds is the founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute and professor of philosophy at Biola University. Together these men make a great one-two punch in the discussion between atheism and religion.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the Christian mentality of, “Bible good – atheist bad”. I need a good book like this every once in a while to help me better understand the discussion between these two conflicting world views. Against All Gods not only leveled the playing field, but it also outlined the rules of engagement that both sides of the argument should play by. This book sharpened, encouraged, and outraged me all at the same time. But most of all, I’m more prepared to talk… and ask the right questions.
Note: This book was part of my summer reading list.