Alister McGrath's latest book Why God Won't Go Away provides a brief but comprehensive look at the movement known as New Atheism and its leading figures: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. According to McGrath, not only does New Atheism assert that there is no God, but it blames religion for the violence, oppression, and social divisions in the world, claiming that religion is at fault for events like 9/11. Those who profess a belief in God are looked upon as "ignorant" and "lacking reason" and are "worthy of contempt." Rationality and science are the authorities New Atheism relies upon to support and justify these claims, but, as McGrath points out, there are limitations to both that New Atheism fails to acknowledge or address. Ironically, in their zeal to eliminate religion, this contemporary movement has metamorphosed into a fundamentalist group not so unlike those it has set out to destroy. After delineating and debunking each of New Atheism's tenets and revealing serious flaws in its logic, McGrath asserts that the movement's future is fading fast as God simply won't go.
Before reading this book, I had never heard of New Atheism or any of its figureheads, and my knowledge of atheism itself was very limited. That is part of the reason I chose to read this book. As a Christian parent, I believe I have a responsibility to stay informed about any potential threats to my faith in order to defend it at all costs. McGrath's book provides a wealth of information that will help the Christian defend his or her faith against atheists, "New" and old. As a former atheist-turned-Christian, McGrath himself knows the arguments on both sides of the table and presents his thoroughly researched evidence in a clear, concise manner with a witty writing style that renders the somewhat dry subject matter more palatable. Why God Won't Go Away is a must-read for all Christians who intend to defend their faith in God to those who refuse to see Him.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."