Thursday, March 3, 2011

"The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine": A Book Review

I must confess I anxiously awaited the arrival of this book.  It was on my "gift wish list" for a couple of years.  Finally it arrived this past Christmas, a gift from some of my family. 

After plodding my way through its brief 118 pages, I have no idea why I was so excited to read it.  The authors, Alister E. McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath, take well known atheist Richard Dawkins to task on his denial of the existence of God and his mockery of religion.  As they note:

"Every one of Dawkins's misrepresentations and overstatements can be challenged and corrected."

Sure they can.  But these authors do so in such a cumbersome way, it is difficult to follow their argument and make it through the book, at least it was for me.  They seem to jump from point A to point B without explaining the path they took, leaving the reader (i.e., ME) confused. 

Another problem I have with the text is how they show possession.  Perhaps this is acceptable in today's world of literature but it sure isn't how I was taught to write a possessive.  If I want to show something belonging to Mr. Dawkins, I write Dawkins', NOT Dawkins's (see quote above).  Maybe this is a minor thing, but everytime I read Dawkins's I wanted to scream!

Also there were moments when I wondered from where the authors learned orthodox Christianity.  For example, on page 86 they write:

"Yes--contrary to what Dawkins assumes, orthodox Christianity understands Jesus to have been fully human and not omniscient."

Well, the Bible teaches Jesus was God in the flesh so certainly His divine nature was omniscient!  I will concede that his human nature was not but the authors need to be a bit more careful when sharing orthodox Christianity's understanding on the person of Christ.

As you can tell, I was disappointed in the book.  Maybe I had my hopes on what I would learn from reading this work set too high.  But I really can not recommend this book to anyone UNLESS they really do believe Richard Dawkins is correct.  In that case, the book may have some value.

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