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Is Christianity Good for the World? by…

Is Christianity Good for the World?

by Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Wilson

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was admittedly, for me anyway, a bit hard to read, being a transcript of a debate between a creationist and an atheist. I found it to be less of an intellectual debate than a cock fight between two men who are each sure of their position and use personal attacks and nonsense to make their points. I wasn't impressed by either side, although I still think the atheist "won" because his arguments seemed to at least be based in the reality I'm familiar with. In answer to the book's title question, I would say no, unless you happen to be a Christian. In other words, inconclusive. ( )
  nonobadkitty | Mar 6, 2014 |
To be brief here I will refrain from any attempt to analyse this debate in any detail, I will simply state that I was somewhat disappointed. Coming from the antitheist side myself it will come as no surprise to find that I agree with Hitchens in this debate, yet I was more than prepared to be convinced to the contrary. But I wasn't; I found Wilson's argument not only weak but downright silly at times, with his persistent (yet erroneous) claim that Hitchens was dodging his question quickly becoming rather irritating. That said, and in order to provide a little 'balance' to my review, Hitchens must also be criticised for a very un-Hitchens-like fault: holding back! He could so easily have pounced at more that one point, but for some reason unknown to me he chose not to.

In summary this is certainly not the best 'Religion vs. Atheism' debate I have either read or seen; I am not familiar with Wilson's debating history but as far as Hitchens is concerned, a quick search on YouTube will offer a selection of many far superior encounters. This may not satisfy the ardent bibliophile but unfortunately, so far as Hitchens is concerned, there are few other options available.
  PickledOnion42 | Mar 1, 2013 |
A disappointing debate between a christian and an atheist. Douglas Wilson provides an easy target for the scatching with of Hitchens's poison pen, and Hitchens disappoints. He writes as though phoning it in, with a lot less of his usual wit and style, and fails to address a number of the obvious holes in his opponent's argument. Overall, there are many better debates on the topic. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 16, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is an interesting read but it lacks a few things. From Hitchens' arguments he doesn't seem to have the correct experiences to be arguing against Wilson. Wilson seems to have a better grasp of Hitchens' views and experiences. Wilson is fully immersed in both Christianity and atheism from a Christian's view. Wilson seems overly concerned with finding a line that everyone must toe. The idea that having a fixed line which everyone can be measured against is in itself a problem. It isn't a good argument for if Christianity is good for the world or not. He is just arguing why it is easy to decide if you are a Christian or living to God's word. In this he is assuming that since God said he is good that God must be good for the world.

Hitchens seems more concerned with why Christianity is bad, where at first that idea seems to be in line with the point of the book. The problem with that idea is that just because something itself is bad, that doesn't mean its outcome isn't good. I wonder if Hitchens' should have spent more time reading Wilson's arguments and his published work? It almost seems like Hitchens hit reply as soon as he got Wilson's reply without first spending enough time concerned with what Wilson's argument was. WIlson seems like he chose his words much more carefully and spent more time fulling trying to answer Hitchens and giving him a run for his money.

Overall I would say this book at least deserves a read but it seems like it needs some revision to make the arguments better. I like the laid back feeling from this book but that makes it not as good of a debate. By good I mean an enjoyable read which makes me see the points and better understand their counter arguments. This book kinda feels like a conversation with run-on sentences and random derailed train of thoughts. I do as always enjoy reading about two people who have a wealth of knowledge and try to use a debate to compare that knowledge. ( )
  phoenixfire | Dec 27, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If you have never witnessed this debate live or on paper, this would be quite a good place to start. It's not terribly long, and is a perfectly good demonstration of how this debate often goes.

It's helpful to remember the original audience was a Christian publication when reading this, because Douglas Wilson uses specific theological language when he gets to the crux of his point, which was a bit disappointing. Christopher Hitchens, on the other hand, makes his point in language calculated to reach everyman, regardles of how much theological training a person has had. As a result, I think the reader ends up unavoidably biased toward one or the other based on his own level of theological education.

The most amusing and perhaps mind-opening part of the entire book was the introductory words by Douglas Wilson, where he eloquently expresses toward Christopher Hitchens exactly my feelings about Ann Coulter.

This isn't the world's best book on this topic - but it's extraordinarily interesting and does that without being long enough to get horribly tiresome or irritating. It's worthwhile. I'd be very happy if a lot of people read it. ( )
  carolstone | Jul 9, 2009 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Hitchensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wilson, Douglasmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldberg, JonahForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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