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McGrath has extensively debated supporters of New Atheism such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and his experience dealing with New Atheism can clearly be observed throughout the text. This book is well written providing the reader with a understandable summary that should prove enlightening to both scholar and layman alike. Moreover, McGrath's engaging writing style is scholarly yet approachable, a quality often missing from works on this topic. This book is replete with valuable information yet does not get bogged down with over argumentation or extensive interludes into philosophical discussions.

While arguably not as an extensive work on the subject as provided by others such as Ravi Zacharias or William Lane Craig, McGrath nevertheless extensively engages the subject matter with a deft, logical, reasoned approach thoroughly demolishing the arguments against biblical truth by those who seek to push New Atheism. Ultimately, McGrath proves quite clearly that despite repeated attempts throughout history to shut God out of society, God Won't Go Away!

I highly recommend this book as it provided me with a number of solid arguments to utilize in further discussions with those who have been duped into believing Biblical faith is irrational. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This was an excellent book which is well titled. This was not the case. This book my McGrath does not seek to answer the questions of the new Atheism or to provide any apologetic for Christianity. Then he proceeds to first outline their main lines of argu This was an excellent book which is well titled. Then he proceeds to first outline their main lines of argument and to show that the arguments are typically contradictory, overly simplistic or in the case of Dawkins especially, mostly just wrong due to a lack of scholarship.

McGrath then continues his history of the new atheism demonstrating how the groups that are being spawned are looking more and more like militaristic fundamentalists, and as a result are causing academic atheists to distance themselves from this now embarrassing movement.

The book winds down with McGrath describing why he believes the movement is already dwindling, and that God just will not go away the title.

The Aging of New Atheism

McGrath is an interesting author, and his books range from brilliant to horribly dull. From my perspective, I find that his essays are generally outstanding, while I have found many of his larger books nearly impossible to get through I get bored. This tiny volume reads like a series of interconnecting essays, and as a result is an outstanding read.

Jan 15, David rated it liked it. This is a fairly good exposition of the weaknesses of the "new atheism". He drives home the point that thorough-going atheism just does not sit well with the human psyche. He also makes a good point, however, that persons of religious faith need to at least consider some of these challenges -- that only by analyzing one's faith can it ever advance beyond naivety. In this book McGrath introduces the reader to the characters of the New Atheism movement as well as their ideas.

He does a good job showing that the movement is much more bark than bite. Those who are well-versed with New Atheism will probably discover little new here. The book, however, would serve a great introduction. Jun 28, Gary rated it liked it Shelves: apologetic-mind.

The Dawkins Delusion?

An interesting little read. McGrath gives far too much away to his opponents and starts his debate with them assuming too many enlightenment myths.

The Dawkins Delusion?

But he makes a number of very valuable factual statements and shows up the intolerance of the New Atheists brilliantly. Liked it. Aug 10, Thomas Freeman rated it really liked it. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze. I wasn't familiar with McGrath before readi I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze. I wasn't familiar with McGrath before reading this book but I have since seen his name around several theological volumes.

Because of the title, I really looked forward to the opportunity Thomas Nelson gave me to review this book. Turns out this book is much more about New Atheism than it is a defense for confidence in God. It's defined not so much by being white, male and middle class--though it is worth noting that its four leading representatives are all Anglo-Saxon Protestant males from remarkably similar backgrounds of privilege and power -- as by its anti-theism -- an intense anger against religion, which is held to poison everything Christopher Hitches puts it with a commendable conclusion: "I am not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist.

I was excited to learn that I was going to find good research into New Atheism and quickly dug into it. He does a good job of keeping it interesting and covering all the basics in an introductory manner. I will keep this book around for whenever I want to "brush up" on this topic, the primary proponents and some basic weaknesses to explore. McGrath breaks the book into three parts: 1. What is the New Atheism? His approach is to first introduce us to the four men who have done the most to encourage this so called "new" form of atheism.

By following simply biographies on these men we begin to see the personal character that is propelling them to such angry and cynical rhetoric. It is easy to then begin to understand the definition quoted earlier. Who are these "Four Horseman"?


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Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith" Harris argues that Faith provides an age of "weapons of mass destruction" to do truly evil things. Ideas that should be regarded as symptoms of mental illness--such as praying--are tolerated in Western culture simply because we've gotten used to them. Religious moderates blind society to the danger of religious extremists. The problem is not extremism or fanaticism as such but religion, which engenders such attitudes in the first place. Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion" Dawkins is a British writer who has taken great lengths to carve a niche out of carving up Biblical Theism.

There's no evidence for the existence of God. Those who believe in God are therefore running away from reality, seeking consolation in a make-believe, fairy-tale world Faith is "blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence. Daniel Dennett, author of "Darwins Dangerous Idea" Dennett is not nearly as abusive in his language and is thus less recognized.

But his primary contribution to New Atheism lies in his efforts to explain belief in God as a result of evolution. He sees natural selection as the cause of man's desire to believe in a God that does not really exist. He chooses to start from this proposition rather than discovering that God does not exist empirically and then determining to explain why man persists belief in God.

But it reveals a deeper anxiety, which I believe underlies the work of other New Atheist writers as well--namely the obstinate refusal to die out as predicted by secular theorists since the s.

Alister McGrath on the New Atheism - Pt 1 of 6

God just won't go away. He does a good job of showing the inconsistency and ridiculous notions of Hitchens. His primary points are: A. Religion is a false universal. The new atheist go to great lengths to talk about religion as if it is a universal concept.


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McGrath argues that individual religions exist but not a universal concept. They refuse any rationality to religious faith. The default position of New Atheism, in the proponents minds, does not need to be defended but is just accepted. Sounds like blind faith. Instead, they work from the position that there is no intelligent rationale for religious faith.

McGrath engages this and just be exposing the often unspoken platform reveals the weaknesses of these arguments. Science is based on evidence. Finally, McGrath shows the fallacy of depending on science as arguments against faith when the New Atheist begins from a position of faith. Their faith is that God and faith are irrational. But they have no empirical evidence to conclude this. To be agnostic and doubt God is very different than to claim there is no God for with that claim you are claiming to have proof.


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Without proof, you simply have faith. We can argue how reasonable the faith is but that is all. The experimental method is universally valid and blind to the culture, race, religion, or gender of its researchers. But while science may use rational methods of investigation, most notably the careful accumulation of evidence through observation and experiment, it does from time to time witness developments that are deeply counter intuitive and seem completely irrational quantum theory providing many choice examples.

Social inequality in/and religious studies

Yet the question a scientist will ask is not, "is this reasonable" but, "What are the reasons for thinking this is true? Where does the New Atheism go from here? In this concluding section McGrath shows that "New Atheism" will not be widely accepted and is already on a steady decline. They gain a lot of attention with their angst and ridicule but have no long term arguments. Instead, God is not gone and is not in danger of going away anytime soon!

The facts are: New Atheism is a flash of anger and cynicism.

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

It finds it greatest attention in the flamboyance of it's proponents. God and religious faith are not in danger from it. This is a very good book and I do recommend it.

It will provide both a good introduction and a good resource for further engagement with the "New Atheism" movement. Of course, it is a short criticism of pages. Well researched and presented in an accessible manner that might change minds towards both theism and deism.

A great read, even if short and simple!

Why God Won't Go Away - Engaging with the New Atheism New Paperback Book Alister

Mar 18, Becky rated it really liked it. The author explores the New Atheism movement, exposing the elitism and arrogance of many of it's adherents. He outlines its history and quotes their spokesmen "the Four Horsemen", as he calls them. The language of this book is erudite, which may be difficult to digest for some readers I had to lookup a few words at times.

We have a homing instinct precisely because there's a home for us to return to.