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Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are…

Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Target (edition 2011)

by John Lennox

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1642114,196 (3.83)6
Tackling Hawking, Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and a newcomer in the field- the French philosopher Michel Onfray - John Lennox points out some of the most glaring fallacies in the New Atheist approach in this insightful book. Since the twin towers crashed to the ground on September 11, there has been no end to attacks on religion. Claims abound that religion is dangerous, that it kills, and that it poisons everything. And if religion is the problem with the world, say the New Atheists, the answer is simple - get rid of it. Of course, things aren't quite so straightforward. Arguing that the New Athiests' irrational and unscientific methodology leaves them guilty of the very obstinate foolishness they criticize in dogmatic religious folks, this erudite and wide-ranging guide to religion in the modern age packs some debilitating punches and scores big for religious rationalism.… (more)
Title:Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Target
Authors:John Lennox
Info:Lion Hudson (2011), Edition: First Edition 2011, Paperback, 248 pages

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Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Target by John Lennox



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There is much to like about this book. But there are also some significant problems which means it doesn't really pack the 'debilitating punches' that the description on the book suggests. Firstly, I love a fiery debate. And, while GUNNING FOR GOD does not contain contributions by the so-called "New Atheists", John Lennox has been involved in debates with a number of them. And Lennox's rhetoric in the book is fiery and witty. I enjoyed that aspect of the book. Secondly, many of the points the author makes about the arguments of some of the atheists he is responding to are good. Polemicists like Richard Dawkins and (the late) Christopher Hitchens often offer arguments that are not evidence-based and, particularly in Dawkins' case, appear ignorant of some of the nuances, range and complexity of some Christian beliefs.

There are areas, however, where the book is inadequate. One of these is in the chapter entitled "Can we be good without God?". The answer is obviously "yes". Millions of people live ethical lives without believing in the Christian god (which is what Lennox is debating). The problem with Lennox's approach is that he argues over whether it is possible to have ABSOLUTE moral standards without God. The focus on absolute morality is really a straw man argument because no atheist I know of wants to argue for absolute morality. Most atheist arguments around morality promote the idea of a more pragmatic approach to morality, suggesting that ethical guidelines are required for humanity to live together in ways that promote their well being. So, in some ways, Lennox's focus on absolute moral standards misses the point.

The last third or so of the book becomes an apologetic for miracles and Christ's resurrection. The best part of this section is Lennox's critique of Hume's arguments against miracles. Very insightful and worthy of consideration. The chapter on the reliability of the New Testament text, the historical reliability of the New Testament Gospels, and the evidence for the resurrection of Christ are pretty much traditional arguments offered by most Christian apologetics and not entirely convincing.

So GUNNING FOR GOD is uneven in its quality from my perspective. It's worth reading for those interested in the contemporary debates going on between high-profile atheists and high-profile Christian apologetics. But the average reader who is unaware of, or doesn't much care for this debate, probably won't find it of much value. ( )
  spbooks | Aug 13, 2015 |
I found this book satisfying and well-written. Lennox, an Oxford Mathematician, methodically exposes the self-contradictory posturing, the shoddy reasoning, straw-man arguments, and the sweeping generalizations that are all too typical of the "new atheism" (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, et al).

At the same time, he makes a strong case why the Bible and the claims of Christianity should be seriously considered.

He writes with good humor and a charitable spirit.

I would recommend this book to Christians looking for rebuttals to the writings of the new atheists, but also for anyone who finds their writings unsatisfying.

Other books in the same vein are McGrath's The Dawkins Delusion, and Robertson's The Dawkins Letters. ( )
  Bibliophilus | Feb 26, 2014 |
Showing 2 of 2
Peter exhorts us to 'always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you' (1 Peter 3:15, NRSV). Lennox does this very well.
The book ends with a brief 'Final Reflection. It is written at a fairly popular level and many will find it a valuable apologetic tool.
added by sneuper | editBaptist Times, Ernest Lucas (Nov 1, 2012)

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