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The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the…

The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the Dreadful Consequences of Bad…

by Andy Bannister

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist
Or: The Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments
Andy Bannister

Andy Bannister is a newly discovered joy for me. I am a big fan of authors who are able to write polemical books in an approachable and humorous manner. My exposure to those who have different views than I do has been through such authors and while I may strongly disagree with them, I enjoy their approach.

Well there is no danger of my disagreeing with Andy Bannister. I think we share the same worldview. His book, however, challenged me to think of better ways to engage those with whom I disagree. Bannister has a talent for self deprecation and wit and can disassemble an argument down to the bare bones of the intent. He does this without falling into the trap of setting up a straw man.

Ultimately though, Bannister is writing a defense of faith, and the Christian faith in particular. He is not so much engaging the enemy as explaining why their arguments fall short. And he does this with a humor that often left me with a smile on my face even while I was trying to look up philosophical terms to better understand the concepts. Not that this book is for academics; on the contrary, it is very clearly for the layperson. With such chapters as The Aardvark in the Artichokes (or: Why Not All Gods are the Same) and The Panini Poisoner of Pimlico (or: Why Everybody Has faith), you can be left in no doubt that while Bannisters goal is to inform and teach, his tools are that humor and with that make it fun to do so.

I very highly recommend this book to anyone: atheist, Christian, agnostic! ( )
  enoch_elijah | Jul 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
loved this book. simple to read and yet deep enough to bring real answers, avoids straw-men arguments, and deals with some of the most common objections to the Christian worldview that are out there. Suggesting to many, not to mention my son...
  ftaylor | Jan 11, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The subtitle of this book is ‘On the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments’ and that sums it up rather well. Andy Bannister explores what could, I suppose, be summed up as the atheist delusion, picking up several points where common arguments against the existence of God run aground. For example, what is the basis for morality if God is banned from the equation? For all the numerous points where religions in general (and Christianity in particular; this is a Christian book and the 'New Atheists' seem particular keen to single out this faith) have been responsible for failings to the point of atrocity, they face stiff competition from the most avowedly atheist states - consider the swathes of innocents murdered in 20th century Soviet Russia and Communist China.

Unlike many of the works of prominent atheist writers (Dawkins, Hitchens, etc), Bannister writes with a certain lack of seriousness to the point where it could, ironically, almost be called irreverent. If you like to take yourself highly seriously, then this may not be the book to win you round or bolster your stock of arguments. However, I feel that it would be a more pleasant prospect to have a chat with Andy Bannister than to meet with Richard Dawkins and others who ardently deny the possibility of God.

It remains to be seen if this will be remembered as a modern classic of Christian apologetics but it raises some challenges to atheistic assumptions and is worth consideration by anyone who enjoys a good humoured discussion of matters that affect the very ground of how we see ourselves and our relationship with and responsibilities to others. ( )
  wulf | Dec 20, 2015 |
This was a great book. Whether you are a believer or not you need to read this book. This book gives the arguments that many in the Atheist movement have stated for years. I think this author hit a home run in his explanations. He does it in such a funny way that I was laughing out loud. Don't get me wrong these are serious issues/questions but he explains things without having you feel like he is pushing things on you.
I would recommend this to everyone who is either a non believer on the fence or a Christian already. I have a few people who are on the fence that I plan to give it as a gift. Thank you and God Bless ( )
  Penny_Burns_Marks | Nov 13, 2015 |
I have set this book aside for awhile knowing that I would have to review it at some point. I volunteered to read and give an honest review. When doing reviews, it is always wise to try to stick to the facts of a book and not give personal opinions. After all, to be fair to the author we review to critique the work, not argue if we believe what the writer puts in their book. I have always tried to be honest in my review and with this book I will continue to abide by my integrity. I will state that I am a Christian and understand that some are offended by that statement. The author is stating his beliefs and giving examples of why he believes God exists. I was told that several people have reviewed this book and many people responded negatively to their review. I know who I am in Christ and will not go to the level of argument just to give a platform to someone who is quick to attack or pass judgment.

The author says that his purpose for this book is simple ,"to clear away some of the weeds of bad arguments so that a more sensible dialogue can be had." He goes on to say , " the God Question is arguably the most important question that anybody can think about." The author states that as an atheist they deserve the right to discuss their belief and give facts as to why they believe there is no God. Non believers ask the question to prove there is a God, so as atheist the same must be stated for them to disprove God exists. Mr. Bannister says that, "if you believe God does not exist , you are highly likely to believe that physics, chemistry , and biology can explain everything"

The book has many examples that prove God does exist. The author uses humor in some areas to get his point across easier and perhaps to open minds to the idea that God is real . He is very outspoken and compassionate about his belief. Through all his examples and facts he says,"If Jesus is who he claimed to be , then because of his history and in spite of ours we can have a future. Perhaps it is time we laid bad arguments aside, even just for a few hours, and gave Jesus a careful, considered look."

I received this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review. ( )
  Harley0326 | Nov 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857216104, Paperback)

An entertaining and enlightening poke at atheism by a popular speaker

Addressing some of the more popular atheist sound bites about the Christian faith, The Atheist Who Didn't Exist clears the space for a deeper and more honest discussion about the big questions of life.

Our culture now assumes that atheism is the default position indeed, the only position for anyone who wishes to be seen as educated, contemporary, and urbane. In the media, atheism is usually portrayed as scientific and rational versus religion, which is seen as stuffy, outdated, and irrational.

Blending humor with serious thought, The Atheist Who Didn't Exist will help readers to think a little deeper about the popular claims of atheism. Whether the reader is a Christian who desires to be able to start a conversation with secular friends or simply an agnostic dissatisfied with some of the arguments that pass for serious thought, Andy Bannister shows that when it comes to the most important questions of life, we need to move beyond simplistic sound bites.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:25:42 -0400)

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