I’ve just finished one of the best books on apologetics I’ve read in a little while. “Gunning for God” is John Lennox’s response to some of the arguments put forward by the “new atheists” such as Richard Dawkins. I have no doubt that some will find the book utterly unconvincing but to my mind the arguments are both logical and compelling.
What is particularly welcome is not only a good exposing of poor arguments but also an excellent explanation of the core issues of the gospel. All of this is done with a calm tone which is a pleasure to read.
A few insights I picked up as I read through:
True atheism not only has no answer to the problem of evil and suffering it also has no hope. It robs us of what the gospel gives us in suffering.
Studies conducted by experts in the field show that religion rather than harming has massive benefits for those who follow it.
Atheism logically leads to a philosophical position that is truly awful: no good or evil.
I was left with the impression that Richard Dawkins’ materialism makes him look like a goldfish swimming around in his bowl shouting “there is nothing outside, there is nothing outside”
The last chapter of the book ends with a wonderful little section worth quoting in full.
As this book comes to its conclusion I should like to point out that Dawkins gives the game away in the Dedication at very beginning of his book The God Delusion. He cites Douglas Adams (of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame): “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” Some may think that Dawkins does a great job of getting rid of the fairies; although it must be said that most of us have never believed in them anyway – and if we did we soon grew out of it. But when he sees the beauty of a garden, does Dawkins really believe that there is no gardener? Will he hold that its sublime beauty has come about from raw nature by pure chance? Of course not – for gardens are distinguished from raw nature precisely by the operation of intelligence. And that is just the point. Dawkins has a deserved reputation for describing, in enviable prose, the breathtaking beauty of the garden that is this universe. I find it incomprehensible and rather sad that he presents us with such an obviously false set of alternatives: the garden on its own, or the garden plus fairies. Real gardens do not produce themselves: they have gardeners and owners. Similarly with the universe: it did not generate itself. It has a creator – and an owner.