WHY GOD WON’T GO AWAY – Alistair McGrath (2011)

Alister McGrath has an uncanny ability to analyze trends and synthesize core beliefs that emerge as worldviews or ideologies.  He continues to utilize his gift in his latest book, Why God Won’t Go Away.

McGrath’s book, The Twilight of Atheism was foundational in unpacking the history of unbelieving thought.  He picks up on that theme here but narrows the scope significantly.  Here he is chiefly concerned with the so-called New Atheism and their most vocal representatives – or the “Four Horsemen”, namely, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett.

In section one, the New Atheism is outlined and carefully described.  The author graciously introduces each of the Four Horsemen and their respective writings.  But McGrath is quick to point out weaknesses and inconsistencies in each writer.

In section two, McGrath spends time interacting with three themes that emerge in the New Atheism – violence, reason, and science.  Again, he is quick to point out the doublespeak and inconsistencies that are part of the warp and woof of this philosophically flawed and anti-religious worldview.

Finally, McGrath summarizes his argument in part three.  The essence of the argument is found in the title of the book – “God won’t go away.”  McGrath does not set out to defend the historic Christian faith in this work.  He has done that remarkable well in other published works.  Rather, he is merely introducing the New Atheism and responding in broad strokes.

Given the vitriolic nature of the fodder coming out of the New Atheist camp, I found Why God Won’t Go Away distinctively gracious and thoughtful.  McGrath never lets the new atheists off the hook.  But he challenges their arguments with humility and intellectual credibility.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program.

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