Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Hitchens’

Deeper Waters Podcast 10/11/2014: Graham Veale

October 9, 2014

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast this Saturday? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

First off, some people have asked about where the podcast is showing up on their ITunes feed. We had to switch carriers due to my last one deciding to drop the show after I disagreed with him on a secondary doctrine. We are now working with the Universal Pentecostal Network and had our first show with them last Saturday, but the process is still having kinks worked out of it and such. Bear with us. I want to get things back up on ITunes as soon as possible.

That having been said, let’s discuss what’s going on. The New Atheism has made itself known in the public square for the past decade and longer. The ideas of atheists have really gone public, but unfortunately, the new atheists have put forward a lot of heat but they really haven’t put forward very much light.

There have been many books addressing them. One such book is The New Atheism: A Survival Guide. We’ll be meeting with the author, Graham Veale and chatting with him this Saturday from 2-4 PM EST.

Graham Veale photo

The following is Veale’s information about himself:

Graham Veale is co-founder of saintsandsceptics.org, a web ministry for apologetics. A theology graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, he has been teaching religious education for 15 years in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He and his wife, Nicola, are parents of two children. With a particular interests in the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, and the design and moral arguments for God’s existence, Graham is author of the book New Atheism: A Survival Guide.

On the show, we’ll be discussing everything from science and religion to what to do about pasta. Yes. There is actually a topic discussing the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s quite amusing to realize that atheism has come to such a level where this kind of argument is put forward and it is supposedly seen as a valid one.

Definitely science will be a topic of discussion. Is it true that if you become a scientist, you must reject Christianity? Or on the other hand, if you are a Christian, should you avoid science? It’s my opinion that both of these are highly errant positions and when we present a dichotomy between the two worlds, we do a disservice to both of them. It ends up only feeding the false notion of a warfare going on between science and religion.

The new atheism has arrived of course, but what kind of impact will it have? Too many Christians have been unprepared for this, especially those of our youth who are going off to college. We cannot faithfully serve Christ to the fullest without being aware of the strength of the foundation upon which our worldview is built. That’s why I’m thankful to have books out like those of Graham Veale and I look forward to his appearing on my show this Saturday to talk about it and I hope you will be a part of it as well.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Last Superstition

July 23, 2014

What do I think of this book by Edward Feser? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

TheLastSuperstition

As I finished this book, I must say I was disappointed.

I was thoroughly disappointed since I knew that when I went on Amazon I could only give it five stars. Just five! If only I could have somehow doubled that number!

Now that doesn’t mean I agree with everything Feser says. I don’t think he would even want me to after just a read of his book, but I do think he argues his case very well and quite humorously. As a Protestant Thomist, there are differences, but with much of his philosophy and metaphysics I am right there on his side.

Feser is quite angry in this volume, and he has all right to be. The new atheists are a symptom of the way that our thinking is going downhill. It is not because we are becoming more scientific. No no no. That is all well and good. There is no problem with that. It is because we are becoming more and more anti-philosophical.

This despite the fact that there are some philosophers amongst the new atheists. Yet when they do any philosophy, the results are atrocious. It would have been interesting to see what Feser would have written had “The Grand Design” come out already and there had been a response to Hawking saying “Philosophy is dead.”

With this anti-philosophical bias coming in, we are rapidly losing our ability to think well and becoming a more and more immoral people. Feser also ties this in with the cultural acceptance of redefining marriage and also about how he considers abortion one of the most wicked of all evils.

Feser also brings in some strong polemics to this. Why? He is responding to the new atheists with what they have been dishing out and it adds a nice punch to the work. It’s hard to not be amused when you read that Richard Dawkins would not know metaphysics from Metamucil or that Daniel Dennett should have realized that anyone walking around saying “I’m a bright!” looks like an idiot. Also noteworthy is being told that the sophists are still with us today except they’re called lawyers, professors of literary criticism, and Michael Moore.

Surprising to most atheists will be the bare interaction with Scripture or church tradition that Feser has. The only place I recall Scripture being used is in a section talking about the resurrection. This is really the only place in the book that emphasizes Christ as well. Why is there so little mention of Christ and Scripture? Because Feser is showing that if all you have is just the tools of reason, you still have more than enough reason to hold to the existence of God and deal with the new atheism. It could be that Christianity is false and the new atheists are still wrong after all.

Readers of this book will also see a sustained argument that gives you a brief history of philosophy and why people like Parmenides, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas matter. Feser throughout the work shows that the arguments of the new atheism do not hold water and also lack explanatory scope.

Feser also argues that the teleology that Aristotle says exists in reality is inescapable and the more we deny it, the more and more absurd that we become, including describing a couple known as the Churchlands. This is a pair of philosophers who are husband and wife and wish to speak of us as material beings entirely and I mean entirely.

““She said, ‘Paul, don’t speak to me, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, and if it weren’t for my endogenous opiates I’d have driven the car into a tree on the way home. My dopamine levels need lifting. Pour me a Chardonnay, and I’ll be down in a minute.’ ”

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/02/12/two-heads

Feser does point out that as the article says, the Churchlands claim to have shared a lot of Oxytocin over the years, yet I’m guessing this is a claim that doesn’t exactly scream romance. Although, it is humorous to imagine being in a singles bar and going up to a lady and saying “Hey babe. How would you like to have a little Oxytocin tonight?

Feser says that this will be the end result of the thinking of the new atheists. In the end, we will lose morality, we will lose free-will, and in fact, we will lose science itself.

If the new atheists have been looking for a powerful opponent, they have found one in Feser and one who can roll with the punches just as good as they do, if not better. Feser’s sharp wit and powerful argumentation provide a powerful counter to the new atheist movement.

If you want to read the best response I have seen to the new atheists, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. You won’t regret it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: True Reason

February 28, 2014

What do I think of Tom Gilson and Carson Weitnauer’s book? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

TrueReason

True Reason is being released today as a response to several of the new atheists. Why? Because the new atheists have championed themselves as the heroes of reason and as a result of reason, they’re atheists, and those who are reasonable will also be atheists.

Yet as I have observed, those same atheists making that claim are usually guilty of the greatest crimes against reason. This was best exemplified to me recently when a street epistemologist on Peter Boghossian’s Facebook page was asked if she’d read any books on logic and she replied by naming the new atheists that she had read.

This also consists in what I call “The Jesus Allergy” where atheists are afraid to admit anything whatsoever could be true in Scripture or that there could be anything good about religion or that intelligent people can be within their epistemic rights while being Christians. Want to see this best shown? Look at how many atheists are Christ-mythers. Even those who aren’t can often say that a reasonable case can be made that Jesus never existed.

No. No it can’t.

True Reason is meant to expose this. Now to be sure, this is a volume that I think is meant to be an introduction to people who are not familiar with the apologetics world. For those of us who have been in it for years, there won’t be much new here, but there will be a new formatting of it and a new presentation.

The book certainly has its range of excellent authors. William Lane Craig, David Wood, Sean McDowell, David Marshall, Matthew Flannagan, and Tim McGrew, for instance, each have their own say in it. There are also several chapters by people that you might not have heard of, which is fine to me because I think the apologetics community does need to promote from within.

Many of the chapters do cover subjects that I am pleased are being discussed. Slavery in the OT, for instance, is not often addressed in apologetics books. Flannagan’s chapter on the genocides of the OT will be extremely helpful as well. I enjoyed as well Tim McGrew and David Marshall’s chapter on the history of reason in Christianity and I appreciated that Marshall had a chapter devoted entirely to John Loftus’s “Outsider Test for Faith.”

There are areas I would like to see some more on for another edition of the book.

I think despite it being absolutely bunk, there needs to be a section on Christ-myth thinking and why historians and scholars view it as a joke. That could be a good focus on Richard Carrier and Robert Price. The Christ-myth idea is I think one of the greatest examples of the lack of reason in the new atheist movement.

I also think that since the new atheists target Christianity, we need a chapter on the central claim, the resurrection. There is one on the reliability of the NT overall, but we need something that is devoted to solely defending the resurrection and answering criticisms of it.

Yet since this one is also engaging several apologists together and some of them being new, I think that gives readers plenty of places to go to and I encourage that. We need to be building up others and it’s excellent to see noted names in the field working with names that haven’t been as well established yet, but are well on their way.

If there is someone out there who is wanting a good case against the new atheists claim to be the bearers of reason, I recommend this one. It will be a good start to demonstrating that the emperor truly has no clothes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Atheist Delusions

June 10, 2013

What’s my review of David Bentley Hart’s “Atheist Delusions?” Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Psalm 11:3 “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Indeed. What can the righteous do? When picking up Hart’s book, one might expect a lengthy reply to various new atheist arguments and criticisms of their approach. One will certainly find that, but not where one would expect. It will be in the first section of the book and the last section. The majority of the book does not even mention them at all. Do not come here if you are expecting a critique of Dawkins’s bogus 747 argument for instance.

Yet Hart does not hide his opinion of modern writing. The first chapter, “The Gospel of Unbelief”, has a number of great statements. The Da Vinci Code on page 4 is described as the most lucrative novel ever written by a borderline illiterate. On the same page, we are told Christopher Hitchens’s “talent for intellectual caricature somewhat exceeds his mastery of consecutive logic.” There’s Richard Dawkins who “despite his embarrassing incapacity for philosophical reasoning–never fails to entrance his eager readers with his rhetorical recklessness.” Describing Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith” on page 8, Hart says “It is little more than a concatenation of shrill, petulant assertions, a few of which are true, but none of which betrays any great degree of philosophical or historical sophistication. In his remarks on Christian belief, Harris displays an abysmal ignorance of almost every topic he addresses.”

Yes. Hart does not hold back and he gives more of the same in the end, but there is no need for Hart to waste time on those of the new atheists who have just as much faith if nor more than the fundamentalist preachers and believers that they are so quick to condemn. There is a sharp dichotomy with them. No goodness can be attributed to religion and no evil can be attributed to non-religion. If something works religiously, it has a “scientific basis.” If something goes wrong with a system of non-belief, that is because the part that went wrong has a “religious basis.”

What Hart wants to deal with is the foundations. These beliefs are being removed by the new atheists from their position of faith. It is a system of materialism that cannot allow anything contrary to its unproven presuppositions. If something seems outside of the material universe, it’s either just wrong or we’ll find an explanation for it someday.

It is a position that upholds the value of science but then takes that and turns it into a deity. Science is the new priesthood with its own standards of canonicity (No religious belief allowed) and its own statement of faith (No gods allowed) and built on a number of creedal statements (Religion poisons everything. Faith is believing something without evidence) and bad evangelistic slogans. (I just believe in one less god than you do.)

Keep in mind the very term “There is no God”, while it could be true for the sake of argument, cannot be determined by science, any more than the claim “Love is the highest virtue” cannot be proven by science. This is not because science is wrong. It is because science is the wrong tool. It is no more an insult to science to say this than it is an insult to hammers to say they are not recommended for treating a toothache.

While it might be said that a Christian will hide from a scientific discovery, and no doubt many do, it is just as true that the modern atheist tends to hide from anything that indicates any truth of a religious claim. Such can be found in how many even make it a mantra that Jesus never even existed. What is accepted as thoroughly proven amongst NT scholars and ancient historians and is practically a universal consensus, is disregarded, while the new atheists mock the Christians who do not accept the scientific consensus on evolution, held even by some Christians. Once again, which conclusion should be accepted depends on the presupposition. All of science is good and all of religion is wrong and biased.

Hart goes to great lengths to show that the problem is not really with science or religion. Men have a great proclivity to do evil and will accept any reason to do so. That reason can be religious or scientific. We must simply ask which one has had a greater power to curtail that evil within human beings. His argument is that Christianity has had that power.

To show this, he deals largely with myths of history and shows how Christianity changed the world through the building up of moral character based on the example of Christ. Hart contends that today, we accept many moral truths, but would we have accepted them if Christianity never came into the world? Probably not, except for perhaps Jewish people. Just look at the Greco-Roman world. Men and women weren’t equal. Some were by nature slaves. Unwanted children were to be left in the wild to die at the hands of wild animals. People watched other real human beings fight and die in the Coliseum for entertainment purposes. Did Christianity erase all of this immediately? No. But Christianity did set the seeds in place that eventually did so.

What happens then when these ideas that are rooted in Christian beliefs lose their Christian foundations? Will the belief itself live on? It could be a nice dream to think that it would, but where is the evidence? The 20th century has been the most secular century of all, and at the same time the most bloody century of all. If we are people to go by the evidence, then the evidence is in. At this point, when Christianity is removed, people have a greater propensity to return to their base desires.

Consider for instance the idea of what to do with the least of ours. The Romans and Greeks would leave their children to die in the wild if they weren’t wanted. Are we that barbaric? It could be, we’re worse. Peter Singer and others argue today that we should have the right to kill our own disabled children up to a certain time. As someone who is an Aspie, as is my wife, I take this claim quite seriously. Christianity, on the other hand, would hold that this one that is said to be useless in the sight of the world and holding us back from genetic success, fully bears the image of God and is worth more than the entire universe. Indeed, one could argue that in their weakness, many disabled people reveal the nature of God, the God who in Christianity took on human weakness in the incarnation, than many of us “healthy” ones do.

Hart does not hold out much hope for our society as he does not see how such a revival can take place. Perhaps it is just for me that hope springs eternal, but I think it is possible. I think we are on the verge of a golden age in apologetics. If the apostles could change the Greco-Roman empire, why not think that we all today can do the same in our own world? The question is not the ability. We have the means to reach the world. The question is not the knowledge. We have the information that we need to do so. The question is the will. Are we willing?

Ultimately then, it comes down to a question of obedience. Christ has given us our marching orders in the Great Commission. There is no plan B. We have been told what to do. The question could then be said to be “How much do we believe in Christ? How much are we truly Christian?”

If we claim Christ is Lord of all and He has the power to change the culture, then let us go out there and do so. If we do not do so, it could be because parts of us don’t really believe that the Christ can do so through the proclamation of His message. This would be, as I’ve argued before, due to a lack of instilling of the importance of having a total Christian worldview to our churches rather than just teaching that we should be good people. Christians are to be good people, but we are to be not just good people. We are to be Christian people.

If I had a criticism of Hart’s work, it would be I would like to have seen more claims properly noted. There are many notes, but there are many claims I would have liked to have seen more noted. I also disagree with him that both Arians and Trinitarians could make a case from the Scriptures. They speak with one voice and they say “Trinity.”

Despite this, I do overall highly recommend the work to deal with a number of atheist statements of faith. The style is witty and engaging, yet it is certainly not simplistic, and one will learn plenty from reading a volume like this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Atheism’s New Clothes By David Glass

November 12, 2012

What do I think about David Glass’s new book “Atheism’s New Clothes” by David Glass? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

When Brian Auten said he was giving away a book from David Glass about Atheism’s New Clothes at the price of a review, I was eager to do so, especially since the book came with a high recommendation from Tim McGrew, someone who I take extremely seriously in the apologetics world. My copy of Glass’s book came in recently and within a week of starting it, I had had it read and on the first day was messaging a friend of mine saying “You must get this.”

The title of the book comes from what is known as the Courtier’s reply from that great beacon of philosophical learning that goes by the name of P.Z. Myers at his blog “Pharyngula.” The reply goes as follows:

” I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots, nor does he give a moment’s consideration to Bellini’s masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor’s Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor’s raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.

Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his clothes, and this Dawkins fellow is such a rude upstart who lacks the wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very bad form.

Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor’s taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.”

The basis behind this is that it’s ridiculous to say you have not read on it. Glass correctly says it is a wonderful piece of rhetoric (p. 27), but does not count as a response. The whole idea behind it is as that it is obvious that there is no God just as much as it was obvious to the little boy that the emperor was naked. It’s a wonder that something that is so obvious has been passed over by the majority world. It doesn’t matter if the new atheists think this is the case. The question they need to ask is why I should think this is the case.

Glass points to the emphasis on science that the new atheists make on page 20. He correctly shows that it has taken the place of religion. This is a criticism I have often raised where it has become the new priesthood. Glass also says on page 21 that the problem with the new atheists basing their atheism on science is that the question of if science leads to atheism is a question of philosophy and not of science.

On the same page, Glass points out that in the past, atheists have looked at the arguments for God’s existence in great detail. The new atheists do not. To make matters even worse for them, they don’t even really look at the arguments from philosophical atheists for atheism. Glass points out that Dawkins does attempt to deal with theistic arguments in chapter 3, and as critics have pointed out, this is the weakest part of the book. (Yes. Anyone who quotes Dawkins as an authority on say, the Thomistic arguments, does not know what they’re talking about.)

All of this is in the first chapter describing the new atheists, and I personally think this is the best chapter in the book.

Glass goes on to deal with the definition of faith that the new atheists put forward. He argues persuasively that the new atheists have redefined faith as belief without evidence, and then shown how silly this is, which is in fact something any Christian philosopher or scholar would agree with, and yet in thinking that they have shown how silly this concept is, the new atheists think they have destroyed the notion of faith.

On page 39, Glass shows how Sam Harris briefly points out that Paul Tillich has a different definition of faith, but says that anyone is free to redefine faith as they want and bring it into conformity with some ideal. As Glass points out, this is in fact what Harris himself has done, as well as the rest of the new atheists! Nowhere do you see any NT lexicons cited that will say that this is what the biblical writers meant by faith. It is something they believe without evidence. Perhaps we should remember what Hitchens could say. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

An amusing example on page 40 is Glass citing Harris who says:

“Of Hebrews 11:1, Harris claims that ‘read in the right way, this passage seems to render faith entirely self-justifying: perhaps the very fact that one believes in something which has not yet come to pass (‘things hoped for’) or for which one has no evidence (‘things not seen’) constitutes evidence for its actuality (‘assurance’)’ ” He then goes on to set up a scenario where he thinks Nicole Kidman has a love for him and that this must be the case. How else does one explain the feeling?

As Glass points out, this is probably the clearest example of someone making the text say what they want it to say. Absent is any real exegesis of the text, yet this does not stop the new atheists! If one approached a science experiment the way they approach the Bible, the new atheists would be outraged, and rightfully so. It is because of their presupposition in advance that religion is ipso facto nonsense that they think the text does not deserve any real study.

After this chapter, Glass goes on to talk about science and faith. Is there really a conflict?

Glass does a fine job of showing there is no ultimate conflict. Of course, there are times the fields overlap and can seem to be contradict, but this has not been established. This situation also exists with science and history or science and philosophy. The idea that there is a major conflict came from people like Draper and Andrew Dickson White in the 19th century. A better look could be found in a work edited by the agnostic Ronald Numbers called “Galileo Goes To Jail.”

Glass on page 84 shows that this is readily apparent in their problem with miracles, something scientists like Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, etc. never had a problem with. The new atheists claim that belief in miracles means one rejects science presupposes that all events are brought about by natural laws. Of course, this would follow if there was no God, but that is the question being raised. It is saying “It is irrational to believe in miracles if there is no God.” Is anyone seriously disagreeing with that?

In fact, Dawkins says the last word was written on this by Hume. (It’s strange that for the new atheists who claim to want to use the latest research, that they look at the 18th century and don’t look to see if any interaction has taken place since then.) I refer the reader to my review of “Miracles” by Craig Keener that can be found here.

The next two chapters deal with the origin of the universe and fine-tuning respectively. This is not my area of expertise as the arguments are scientific rather than metaphysical. I leave that to the reader who has an interest in that area. The next chapter we will look at deals with the Boeing 747 argument of Dawkins.

Glass points out that Dawkins has said that science has set us free from religion, but instead his Boeing 747 argument is a philosophical argument, one that comes from Hume in fact. If it is science that deals the death knell, why is it that Dawkins wanders into philosophy? If Dawkins is allowed to give a philosophical argument against God’s existence, shouldn’t he consider more seriously the philosophical arguments for God’s existence? Before someone says that he has done that in chapter 3 of The God Delusion, I suggest you realize that his understanding of the arguments is incredibly shallow, even of the ones I don’t agree with, such as the ontological argument.

It would have been good for Glass to give more arguments on how a doctrine like the simplicity of God can deal with much of this. The argument is metaphysical and it is my contention that much of our problem in the debates we have today in many areas is that we have neglected the area of metaphysics. Interestingly, most people who I debate with don’t even know what it is, but they know that it is nonsense!

The next chapter is on evolution and the origins of religion. Glass is correct in showing that the origin of an idea does not go against the truth of the idea. Suppose that God exists. Could it not be the case that He would wire our brains through an evolutionary process in such a way that we would come to realize that He exists? (This could be expanded later on with Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism that Glass gets into later on.)

Glass points out on page 188 that Dawkins brings up cargo cults and says that it seems that Christianity almost certainly began the same way and spread with the same speed. Any evidence of this? Nope. It is amazing how far one can get without evidence! All you need is a theory that you think is plausible. Dawkins, of course, does not bother reading something like Rodney Stark’s “The Rise of Christianity.”

Chapter 8 deals with morality and the problem of evil, an area the new atheists lack in, especially since we have something like “The Moral Landscape” by Harris. In fact, Glass points out that if goodness is well-being, then if religion promotes goodness for people and their well-being, then it would seem that Harris should be in favor of religion. Dennett has even shown some beneficial aspects of religious belief.

Glass shows that the new atheists have this idea that for the Christian, the only place they get moral guidance is from the Bible. I have argued against this position for some time. It is my contention that something is not moral because the Bible says so, but the Bible says something is or is not moral because it is. Glass also points out that the new atheists when looking at tyrannical societies like Stalin’s, say that Stalin’s behavior was the kind of behavior religious people have (Even though Stalin was staunchly anti-religious) and so their reigns of terror are the fault of religion anyway!

Glass also shows that the new atheists do not spend much time with the problem of evil which is usually the best argument used against theism. The new atheists have not on their own established any metaphysical basis for morality. When it comes to looking at the claims, the new atheists once again ignore evidence. For the new atheists, evidence is only something a Christian has to provide. The new atheist doesn’t have to.

The ninth chapter is about the Bible. The reason many chapter reviews are getting sparse now for me is that many of these arguments are dealt with by other authors. This is not to say Glass does a bad job of that. He does a great job. Taking care of the new atheists today is like shooting fish in a barrel. As I have said before, we should thank God for the new atheists. They are injuring their own side and helping to wake up ours.

One amusing point in here is that the new atheists argue that the Bible was written by ignorant men. Glass responds that this is in fact the case. The writers were ignorant and we’ve never said otherwise. As can be expected, the new atheists do not deal with evidence. When the new atheists make a claim about the Bible, it is obvious who they go to. It will be a writer like Bart Ehrman, John Loftus, Robert Price, or Dan Barker. Interacting with any Christian scholarship that opposes is out of the question. After all, such people are ipso facto deluded and why waste time with people who are deluded?

Much of this continues with the tenth chapter on Jesus and the resurrection. Glass amusingly tells of how Dawkins says the Da Vinci Code is fiction, and rightfully so, but when Dawkins talks about the formation of the canon, one would be hard-pressed to really show the difference between the two views. Again, it is another case where the new atheists ignore evidence. In fact, Dawkins and Hitchens even say it can be questioned if Jesus existed at all. To say that is a serious question in NT studies would be like questioning descent with modification to biologists.

Fortunately, Glass does give the positive case for the resurrection of Jesus and how NT historians do take the claim seriously. It is the central question of Christianity and it is one that is historical and it is a wonder that the new atheists do not spend more time on it. Well, it would be if it wasn’t for the fact that the new atheists have reached a verdict beforehand so why bother with evidence?

The final chapter is on the question of if life has meaning. This is not an argument I use so I will not be critiquing on it.

The person who is highly familiar with Christian apologetics will get some out of this book and is thus worth reading, but there will also be much that has been seen before. This is not the fault of Glass of course. It’s just that there is so little in the new atheists that there is not much that needs to be said. Still, the book comes with great recommendations from people like Paul Copan and John Lennox and for good reason. The first chapter I still think is the best and I’m pleased to see chapter two is there as I do think Glass is pioneering some in this field.

In conclusion, I do recommend this book and I look forward to seeing what else Glass comes out with.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

David Glass’s web site can be found here.