Friday, July 10, 2009


'Evangelicals Now' Review of 'A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism'

My book A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism (Paternoster, 2009) - which is now available from and from - is reviewed in this month's edition of Evangelicals Now.

Here's the review in full:

By Peter S. Williams Paternoster. 300 pages. £12.99 ISBN 978-1-84227-617-4

In this book the author aims to apply ‘rigorous critical judgment to contemporary popular defences of … atheism, especially the so called “New Atheism”’.

Many readers of EN will be aware of the bestselling titles by some of the most ardent atheists of the modern era. Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Christopher Hitchins (God is not Great), Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation), A.C. Grayling (Against all Gods) and Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell) are the most well known evangelists of this atheology. Williams surveys the claims made by these authors such as: ‘Belief in God causes more harm than good’; ‘Religion is only about blind faith and science is the only way to know things’; ‘Science can explain away religion’; ‘There is not enough evidence for the existence of God and the traditional proofs of natural theology are inadequate’.

The strength of Williams’s book comes in his careful and considered analysis of these views and his convincing demonstration of their intellectual inadequacy. His case is strengthened by the judicious use of equally critical comments by atheist and agnostic reviewers, for example, from Jeremy Stangroom (p.95) and Michael Ruse (pp.212-213). This book does use some technical philosophical terms and, in its presentation of some of the material, readers unfamiliar with philosophical arguments and literature may find comprehension difficult. However, for students and teachers in higher education, together with church leaders and others who may have colleagues at work who have been influenced by these polemical atheists, this book is highly commended.

At the end of each chapter there are numerous recommended articles, books, audio-materials and on-line resources to explore this subject further. £12.99 is a bargain price for this strongly recommended book.

- The Rev. Dr. Brian Talbot, minister, Broughty Ferry Baptist Church, Dundee

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