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Why God won't go away : engaging with the…
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Why God won't go away : engaging with the New Atheism (edition 2011)

by Alister E. McGrath (Author)

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698173,491 (3.89)3
Member:wyvernfriend
Title:Why God won't go away : engaging with the New Atheism
Authors:Alister E. McGrath (Author)
Info:London : SPCK, 2011.
Collections:Library Loans, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:non-fiction, read, 2012, library, may, pa, religion, athiesm, fundamentalism

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Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister McGrath

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Being a person questioning religion, but being of a religious bent, I dislike findamentalist athiests, much the same as I dislike fundamentalst anything. This book discusses how by being so agressive many athiests are actually sending people back to religion. I found it interesting in light of several discussions I've seen recently about some very prominent athiests and their attitude to women, which doesn't differ much from their religious counterparts. It's not a neutral book, the author is christian, but he does mention buddhist as a religion without a central god, and it is true, many of the polemics are about abrahamic religions from athiests.

It's worth reading for a different voice. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 23, 2012 |
This is a nice short read summarising the New Atheist movement. It is a subject that interests me greatly, but I have no theological training. Nevertheless I found the book straightforward and approachable. Part one compares the four most well known proponents and their different contributions. Part 2 makes it's arguments against the movement. And part 3 looks at what the future might hold. There is a particular emphasis on the role of the internet forum in the movement which I found fascinating. This is less a book of apologetics, more a critique of the movement itself. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and would recommend it to armchair theologians everywhere. ( )
  eclecticdodo | Feb 2, 2012 |
This was a quick and rather enjoyable read. The author describes the New Atheist movement and summarizes some of the views and writings of the 4 men seen to be the most well-known. He also points out the main existence of the movement has been on web-sites, online forums, and blogs. The second section points out some of the weaknesses of the New Atheist arguments in the areas of religion always leads to violence, appeals to reason, and appeals to science.

This is not a book of Christian apologetics, it is a book aimed at showing why the New Atheists are inconsistent and ineffectual in their arguments against Christianity, and even have trouble showing any purpose for their existence outside of the fight against religion.

In some ways the book seems late, as it is describing a movement that began in 2006 and is already waning in many ways. And it was ironic to find myself reading it so shortly after the death of Christopher Hitchens. But I found it useful to help make clear that there is a difference between moderate atheists who are tolerant and respectful of other world views and the New Atheists who are so dogmatically anti-theist. I have seen the effect of these people but did not have knowledge of the history of the structure of this movement to understand that it really was new and not mainstream in any way.

It appears there are more books, more in depth, than this one by Alister McGrath. But this was just enough to cover the topic and give me an idea of what some of these atheists were pushing.

Disclaimer - I received a copy of this book through the BookSneeze program in exchange for a review. It did not have to be a positive review. ( )
  lauranav | Dec 23, 2011 |
When I began this book, I had not even heard of the "new atheist" movement. I knew what an atheist was, but I was not aware of the new direction it had taken. I was amazed with how brazen this movement had become and how hostile to religion it is. I am only familiar with tolerant atheists, and this book showed me that new atheism has gone far beyond that. It is kind of funny that new atheism, in a way, has become a religion or a church group in itself. The very thing they are fighting against is what they have become. Which is why new atheism is not the tour de force it once was.

My favorite section of the book was the section that dealt with science. I really did a lot of thinking about science's role in our everyday lives here on earth. Science answers questions like: How did we get here? and the like. What science does not answer is: Why are we here? I think that when the author pointed out that not everything can be answered by reason, he really struck a chord with me.

I appreciated the way in which the author wrote. His style is academic but quite understandable. I suppose that if you are not a theology student, you might struggle to understand some of what he says, but thankfully he deals with the topic in a simple and abbreviated way. His sense of humor often came out at just the right time, which was a nice change. Some theologians don't understand what humor is.

I would recommend this book to anyone who may be dealing with an atheist--new or not. This is one I plan to keep in my library for a long time to come!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  ruthhill74 | Aug 25, 2011 |
Having read a number of apologetic books on various themes and topics this year, especially on what is called the New Atheism. This book by Alister McGrath is the best one yet concerning the New Atheism espoused by the so called four horsemen who propagate this philosophical system concerning God and religion. The book “Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?” by McGrath and published by Thomas Nelson is not a treatise on the rational of Christianity but more of discourse to provide a report of the current situation with the New Atheistic movement and how bleak and empty it appears with its arguments in the face of the proclaimed title and premise that God won’t go away.

In the first part of this written work Alister McGrath brings us a concise intro to the New Atheist movement by covering some of the important works by the four main propagators of this movement: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. McGrath is a more than capable scholar to provide commentary on this movement being a theology professor, Christian apologist, and former Atheist. He has debated 3 of the 4 horsemen of the New Atheism Richard Dawkins in Oxford, Christopher Hitchens in Washington, and Daniel Dennett in London. He also discusses the atheist online community networks, how this new form of atheism is characterized by arrogance and hate, and also he comments on the difference between this new form of atheism and the “old” atheism.

The second part of the book discusses the New Atheist objections to faith concerning religious violence and that belief is not compatible with logic, reason and science. McGrath points out some of the inconsistencies in these re-hatched old arguments labeled as new ones. He humbly affirms that they have brought into the conversation some needed attention to some real problems found in religion.

The final section of the book McGrath discusses the New Atheism’s trajectory in the present and near future in the culture and the market ideas. He poses the question found in the subtitle of the book is this movement running on empty. He shows how despite its glamorous attraction it is losing steam and ever growing so dimmer as it progresses in its downward spiral.

McGrath concludes that how much some of the leading voices shout that God is a figment of our imagination God just won’t go away. He states, “There’s something about human nature that makes us want to reach out beyond rational and empirical limits, questing for meaning and significance”. He then shares one of my favorite quotes by Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.” I can’t express how much the Christian needs to read this book as it confesses the failings of atheism and is probably the most accessible book, easy to follow book on the subject. Don’t hesitate find, buy, or grab yourself a copy.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  moses917 | Aug 3, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 084994645X, Paperback)

"A robust defense of the God of the Bible...This is a book for serious thinkers who wish to make God real in a world that has forgotten its Creator and Maker." -- Joni Eareckson Tada

In a decade embroiled in fanaticism and fear, a renewed interest in the age-old debate over the question of God has reignited, giving rise to a new group of media-savvy contenders dubbed the "New Atheists." As expressed in the works of best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the New Atheists have found a foothold in today's cynical society, and have ramped up their efforts to debunk the existence of God.

Renowned historian, theologian, and scholar Alister McGrath is on the frontlines of this conversation,  publicly debating many of these prominent skeptics. In this thoughtful and accessible volume, McGrath gives a spirited rebuttal to the claims of the New Atheists, critiquing the New Atheism on its own merits and exploring the fundamental questions:

Who are the New Atheists, and what do they believe?
Is religion delusional and evil?
Are human beings fundamentally good?
How do reason and science prove or disprove faith?
Is the best hope for humanity a "New Enlightenment"?
Why God Won't Go Away explores how the movement's ideas are defined and propagated, helping us understand the agendas and anxieties of this global movement and its appeal to society as a whole. Why God Won't Go Away explores what is "new" about New Atheism, critiques the movement on its core themes of violence, reason, and science, and asks, where does the New Atheism go from here?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"A robust defense of the God of the Bible...This is a book for serious thinkers who wish to make God real in a world that has forgotten its Creator and Maker." ""-- Joni Eareckson Tada" In a decade embroiled in fanaticism and fear, a renewed interest in the age-old debate over the question of God has reignited, giving rise to a new group of media-savvy contenders dubbed the "New Atheists." As expressed in the works of best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the New Atheists have found a foothold in today's cynical society, and have ramped up their efforts to debunk the existence of God. Renowned historian, theologian, and scholar Alister McGrath is on the frontlines of this conversation, publicly debating many of these prominent skeptics. In this thoughtful and accessible volume, McGrath gives a spirited rebuttal to the claims of the New Atheists, critiquing the New Atheism on its own merits and exploring the fundamental questions: "Who are the New Atheists, and what do they believe?" "Is religion delusional and evil?" "Are human beings fundamentally good?" How do reason and science prove or disprove faith? Is the best hope for humanity a "New Enlightenment"? Why God Won't Go Away explores how the movement's ideas are defined and propagated, helping us understand the agendas and anxieties of this global movement and its appeal to society as a whole. Why God Won't Go Away explores what is "new" about New Atheism, critiques the movement on its core themes of violence, reason, and science, and asks, where does the New Atheism go from here?… (more)

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