have I written?
in 2007 I became aware of Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion,
which had come out in 2006, and which was getting a lot of coverage
in the media. A number of books came out by Christian authors countering
the things in The God Delusion, but none of them went through
it paragraph by paragraph. I determined to remedy that. While I was
in the process of writing an Appraisal of that book, Christopher Hitchens'
God is Not Great came out in the States, and similarly received
a lot of coverage in the media.
I completed the appraisal of The God Delusion, it was natural
to move on to God is Not Great. I have similarly been through
this page by page. If you want my credentials you will find them in
the former 'Appraisal' on this site.
to Read these Pages
been through this book in detail, I recommend that before commencing
with chapter 1, the reader goes through Appendix 1 first of all, so
that you may be on the alert to the errors of the book. If you aren't
completely sure of the Christian Faith and want to understand some
of the key issues behind this book, then I also recommend you read
Appendix 7 as well before you get into the book.
is primarily for those who are about to read or have read God
is Not Great but if you haven't or don't intend to read it, you
may still find some significant value in reading through the Appendices
which provide resources of understanding generally.
the same way that I acknowledged those areas where I believe Dawkins
was right, so I believe it is important to accept that the Church
in the latter half of the second millennium has given him plenty to
criticise. Yes, there have been a lot of people, under the flag of
Christianity who have said and done things that simply embarrass those
of us who are modern Christians. However, I think a further comment
or two is worth making but I have made them in Appendix 2 – Church
so that you will be clear from the outset I believe this book is utterly
deceptive and utterly wrong and again, as with The God Delusion,
I have created an Appendix that highlights the primary ways I believe
this book is wrong. As I have said above you may find it helpful to
read that Appendix before you read the book or before you read my
notes, so you understand fully my complaint.
some senses I believe this book is far more deceptive than Dawkins'
God Delusion because the author writes so fast and fires
in lots of direction at once. He also tends to drop snide negative
comments all along the way, which have a habit of undermining the
reader emotionally. In some ways it is less clear than The God
Delusion and the content often isn't anything to do with the
chapter titles given. I suspect a certain haste in putting it together
so it came out on the wave of The God Delusion. Some of the
arguments are remarkably similar suggesting a certain togetherness
in the atheists' camp. Dawkins wrote a glowing review of this book
but that merely reveals Dawkins' lacks that we have covered previously.
the media to applaud this book merely shows the appalling ignorance
of those journalists who support this one. It is a sad thing but we
Christians have not done a good job in recent decades in educating
the world to Christian beliefs.
going to say it once here in this Introduction and I'll no doubt have
to repeat it again and again as we go along, but the central flaw
of atheists, such as this author, is to lump together all religious
faiths and practices. I speak for Christianity alone, which
has a number of staggering claims to uniqueness and which mark it
out from any other so-called world religion. I wish such writers as
this author would have the integrity to not make sweeping statements
that apparently wish to include Christianity, when the truth is that
those statements should be made in respect of other world religions
who need to stand under the intellectual microscope on their own.
If you want to fire on other world religions, fine! But please don't
lump unique Christianity in with the rest; it only displays ignorance!
source for this writing has been Christopher Hitchens' hardback copy
of God is Not Great published in 2007 by Atlantic Books of
will find in numerous places links to other parts of our two sites
for those who with to check out or think further on specific issues.
To return to the page in this book, please simply use your system's
may be some Christians who would prefer me to be far more antagonistic
in my rebuttals of the things Christopher says. As I commented in
The God Delusion - An Appraisal, I would prefer to
respect the author and not demean him. To that end I have sought to
curtail my feelings and limit what I say to more objective responses
free from high emotional fervour. This has been, at some times, incredibly
difficult, for the very title of the book is exactly the opposite
of what I believe - that God IS Great. In some ways the title is very
offensive but I would simply point out to my more upbeat friends that
it is born out of lack of knowing. Feel sad, feel sorry for Christopher,
pray for him by all means, but don't join in his derogatory style.
It's not worthy of the One you say you love.
have written this book, firstly, to help Christians be clear as to
their faith, particularly in the face of the deceptive attacks that
come, and then, secondly, for those who are about to read or have
read God is Not Great, with the hope that you may read the
book intelligently and with discernment. The truth is out there somewhere
- maybe not in God is Not Great - but it is worth searching
for and if anything written here can help you in that search, these
pages will have been worth while. Enjoy!