Review: Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?

Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? by Alister E. McGrath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I picked up The God Delusion a few years ago, I have to say I was intimated.  Richard Dawkins is well-known and well-established as not only an atheist and intellectual, but he is also a sort of crusader for the cause of New Atheism.  While I do not doubt his intellect, his arguments against there being a God (we can’t explain Him, we can’t ascertain His origin, we can’t locate Him) and against religion in general (all religion leads to violence) are laughable at best.

 In extremely accessible language, Alister McGrath finds these and other gaping holes in the New Atheist rhetoric.  These are not your typical atheists.  While classic atheism simply argued against any sort of “higher power” and practiced religious tolerance, often even embracing it for its propagation of morality and community, the New Atheists see religion as only leading us off a cliff.

Taking steam from the rising worries after 9/11, the New Atheist rhetoric argues that the violence committed on that day was the means that all religious people would ultimately resort to if not stopped.  In fact, some even go as far as to call the killing of religious people as moral and ethical because it prevents such carnage.  Where, may I ask, is the logic in that?

McGrath rightly, I believe, sees the movement losing ground as we move into the new century and as members of the movement are excommunicated or displaced from powerful influence.  Regardless, this is an excellent resource to get a taste of the illogical logic of the New Atheist movement and its impact on both atheist and religious thought.

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About Aaron Gardner

Aaron is a counselor and student of the Bible, passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He lives in central Indiana with his wife, one-year-old son and their two dogs. View all posts by Aaron Gardner

3 responses to “Review: Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?

  • NotAScientist

    “McGrath rightly, I believe, sees the movement losing ground as we move into the new century and as members of the movement are excommunicated or displaced from powerful influence. ”

    He would be right, if there was any real ‘movement’ that had the power to displace or excommunicate anyone.

    The atheist community is a very loosely knit group of individuals, not an organized group.

    If, one day, we do organize, then McGrath can write about how we’re losing ground. But as atheists have yet to gain much ground, his book is far off the mark.

  • Aaron Gardner

    Loosely knit as Christians who do not go to church, but there are definitely organized groups, especially in terms of the New Atheists. You may disagree with much of what McGrath (a former atheist himself) says in his book, but I am sure you may also be surprised at some of his findings.

  • NotAScientist

    “You may disagree with much of what McGrath (a former atheist himself) says in his book, but I am sure you may also be surprised at some of his findings.”

    I doubt it.

    But then again, I also doubt that McGrath was ever an atheist, at least not in the way I understand the word.

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