Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
Author
Publisher
Yale University Press
Release Date
April 21, 2009
Pages
272
Price
$28.00

Upon seeing the title Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (Yale University Press), I confess to having suspected it would follow the formula of other debunkings of the "Bright brigade," decrying the illogic and inaccuracy of the New Atheists' arguments. Instead, I found someone (in this case, theologian David Bentley Hart) taking a step back from the carnage of the current (pop) culture war to ask bigger questions about how we ended up here in the first place.

Hart, a visiting professor of theology at Providence College, begins by looking at the New Atheist phenomenon, lambasting Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett et al. for their carelessness with and rhetorical manipulation of philosophy, theology, and history. But that is quickly left behind; in the book's second half, we begin to see the Orthodox theologian's real intent: to offer a counter-narrative of religion's role in human history.

The New Atheists trade in "fruitless abstractions of religion," Hart writes, and reduce Christianity to its history's "bloodthirsty crusaders and sadistic inquisitors"—in other words, to its worst constituent parts. But far from being an obstacle to human flourishing and fulfilment, Hart asserts, Christianity gave birth to the idea of humanity as we know it. Never before the 2,000-year-old religion were slave and free, man and woman, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile welcomed in equal measure and with immeasurable love.

Much of Atheist Delusions reminds readers of the importance of remembering what Christianity has done for us—not just for the believer in personal salvation, but also for the nonbeliever in human history. Would we have had medieval leper hospitals if not ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Strange Legacy of Theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg
The Strange Legacy of Theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg
He vehemently defended the Resurrection but denied the Virgin Birth. He was hugely influential but leaves few disciples. What you need to know about the German giant who died this month.
TrendingDeconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Deconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Bart Campolo's departure from Christianity–some reflections about faith and (our) families.
Editor's PickThe Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
The Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
Michael Horton's message to restless believers: Stay put, and build the church.
Comments
Christianity Today
Reframing Human History
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.