I have just finished reading “Rage Against God” by the British journalist Peter Hitchens. I first noticed his comment about the moral need for God in his BBC TV “Five Minutes With…” appearance this month (10th August).
This moral argument is elaborated in the book with an array of practical examples including first-hand evidence of the failure of the Soviet state to survive without an external source of morals. As he puts it: “for a moral code to be effective, the code must be attributed to, and vested in, a non-human source. It must be beyond the power of humanity to change it to suit itself”(p.104). He makes this point for the benefit of atheists who claim that a societal consensus is all you need to come up with totally sufficient system.
One of those atheists he was addressing was his brother Christopher (yes, that Christopher Hitchens), he of “God is Not Great” fame. Sadly, Christopher has died since Peter’s book was written but you have to be impressed by Peter’s care for his brother’s spiritual welfare. He treats him with respectful dignity while launching an attack on his atheism which can only be described as blistering.
Also this month I noticed in the apologist William Lane Craig’s newsletter that he has just spoken to around 1000 people at a training conference set up to address the issues (basic ones, as it turned out) that arose out of his debate with Christopher Hitchens a couple of years ago.
You could describe Craig’s audience as fairly self-selecting but that can’t be said for readers of the John Waters column in the Irish Times (17th August) “Katie Taylor’s faith makes media throw in the towel“. He chronicles the media embarrassment when Olympic champion Katie Taylor talked openly about her faith in God (indeed, her faith in Jesus). In the first day or so the online version of Water’s column attracted over 700 comments. That’s what I call debate in the public square.
I had saved “Gunning for God” by Armagh man, John Lennox (now of Oxford University), for reading on holiday. The book robustly meets the New Atheists arguments and includes the explanation of appropriate Scriptures. En route he takes the time to demolish Scottish philosopher David Hume’s old argument against miracles. This is a worthy companion to his “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God” which deals Darwin such a serious blow I almost began to be sorry for him.
My birthday is in the summer so a kind relative gave me a copy of the just-published “Atheism’s New Clothes” by David Glass of the University of Ulster. My first surprise was the size of it (over 300 pages). He painstakingly goes through the recent infamous cases of atheism, one by one, and then gives you better things to think about in the form of the arguments for the existence of God, both classical and modern. Amazing.
That’s a lot of theism popping up in one summer don’t you think?!