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parsed(2023-08-29) - pubdate: 08/23
pub date: 1693285200
today: 1721710800, pubdate > today = false

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Coming to Faith Through Dawkins

12 Essays on the Pathway from New Atheism to Christianity

August 29, 2023 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780825448225
Reader Reward Price: $26.54 info
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Richard Dawkins = Christian evangelist?
Editors Denis Alexander and Alister McGrath gather other intelligent minds from around the world to share their startling commonality: Richard Dawkins and his fellow New Atheists were instrumental in their conversions to Christianity.
Despite a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, all are united in the fact that they were first enthusiasts for the claims and writings of the New Atheists. But each became disillusioned by the arguments and conclusions of Dawkins, causing them to look deeper and with more objectivity at religious faith. The fallacies of Christianity Dawkins warns of simply don't exist.
Spending time in this fascinating and powerful book is like being invited to the most interesting dinner party you've ever attended. Listen as twelve men and women from five different countries across a variety of professions--philosophers, artists, historians, engineers, scientists, and more--explain their journeys from atheism to faith. In the end, you may come away having reached the same conclusion: authentic Christian faith is in fact more intellectually convincing and rational than New Atheism.
"Lucid as well as exhilarating and wide-ranging." --Rupert Shortt, Von Hügel Institute, University of Cambridge, and author of God Is No Thing
"Many people, including nonbelievers like me, have found Dawkins's strident atheism upsetting to the point of offensive. I would never have thought that--as Coming to Faith Through Dawkins shows in wonderful detail--for some, Dawkins's rantings were the spur to Christian faith." --Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Guelph, Ontario
"This is a novel book: real-life stories of people who have actually come to faith, not in spite of but through Richard Dawkins. It must be his own worst nightmare!" --William Lane Craig, Houston Christian University

About this Author

ISBN: 9780825448225
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 272
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: 2023-08-29


New Atheist polemic has backfired in surprising ways. Far from undermining informed Christian belief, Richard Dawkins and his allies have in fact inspired fresh forms of apologetics. A stream of first-class publications has shown belief in God to be far more coherent than even many believers realise. Lucid as well as exhilarating and wide-ranging, Coming to Faith Through Dawkins stands in this line. Highly recommended.

If Richard Dawkins didn't exist, then Christians should have invented him. As this fascinating compilation of personal stories shows, Dawkins' strong opposition to Christianity can spur people on to critically examine their deepest beliefs and even to radically change them. Although the writers come to completely different conclusions on the Christian faith from Dawkins, they all agree with him that what you believe really matters, and that robust no-holds barred intellectual inquiry is the best way to make progress in our thinking. We should be thankful to Richard Dawkins for inspiring this set of interesting thinkers.

This is a truly fascinating book. Many people, including non-believers like me, have found Dawkins' strident atheism upsetting to the point of offensive. I would never have thought that, as Coming to Faith through Dawkins shows in wonderful detail, that for some Dawkins' rantings were the spur to Christian faith. One can be forgiven for feeling a strong element of Schadenfreude.

Difficult to put down once started, these essays wrestle with the inadequacies of scientism, growing up with communism, life in a world of rampant secularism, and shallow thinking. They identify illogicality, arrogance and pseudo-certainty in new atheist thinking not least in the God Delusion. . . . Here is a rich diversity that comes from the humanities, science, drama and business to website development, writing and art; from countries both north and south of the equator; they speak of today's followers of Jesus.

These essays recount the intellectual journeys of people who were initially attracted to what was called the 'New Atheism' of authors like Richard Dawkins, but which today might more descriptively be called 'Antitheism'. A common thread through each of the essays is a gradual realization that, beyond the antitheists' facile rhetoric, their arguments are shallow and often inconsistent, relying on implausible scientism, and knocking down easy straw-man misrepresentations of theism, not the long intellectual tradition of classic Christianity. Even more, though, than the thoughtful retelling of intellectual journeys, my heart was greatly touched and warmed by the personal and deeply human stories in which they are embedded: showing how the Gospel is good news for life as well as mind.

This is a novel book: real-life stories of people who have actually come to faith, not in spite of, but through Richard Dawkins. It must be his own worst nightmare!

An unexpected and wonderful book that I highly recommend. It provides the "intellectual conversion stories" of 12 people of different walks in life, from scientists to artists. Each of them was at some point in their life driven to atheism, or reassured in it, as they were impressed by the "New Atheism" of Dawkins, Hitchens, and similar strong atheist proponents. Yet, each of them converted to Christianity at a later stage of life, as they were getting disappointed by the intellectual persuasiveness of the new atheism, while conversely the appeal of the gospel of Jesus was compelling to them. In reading these life stories, I was struck by the honesty and personal and intellectual integrity of these authors, who, each in their own right, did not stick with an apathetic attitude, but pursued a search for truth with a willingness to follow the evidence wherever it would lead, a road that--much to their own surprise--led them from atheism to Christian faith. These moving personal stories signal the general disillusionment about the 'new atheism' which appears to have faded, and at the same time provide a strong testimony for the intellectual and life-changing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ anno 2023.

The "New Atheist" case against religion has led some to abandon faith, but others, as these spiritual autobiographies illustrate, to discover or recover faith--a faith that respects reason and evidence and that lies between dogmatic fundamentalism and purposeless scientism. Is there a science-respecting faith alternative that makes sense of the universe, gives meaning to life, mandates morality, and offers supportive connections and hope in the face of adversity and death? Read this book and decide.

Coming to Faith through Dawkins contains twelve accounts of people forced to acknowledge that reality is much larger than materialism lets on. This group of hard-headed scholars was committed to the New Atheist agenda. They tell of its woeful inadequacies when they became disconcerted by the larger spiritual reality. They tell of the pivotal role of Jesus Christ in their awakening. I commend this book to my fellow academics and technocrats as a window beyond the present reductionism that puts us in danger of neglecting that much larger reality, and I encourage my students to read about these scholars who learned to look beyond their preconceptions and be inspired to embrace the Christ who delivers life to the full.

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