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McGrath’s objective is two-pronged. First, he wants to remind Christians that an intellectually vibrant theology is not inimical to Christian life, worship, and faith. He spends the first half describing theology as a discipline that informs and sustains the Christian vision of reality and as a passion of the mind to understand God’s nature and ways. Second, McGrath wants to point out the benefits of a theology that includes an enrichment of faith and a deeper engagement with the culture and concerns of the modern world. It is this latter benefit that he hopes will help combat the contemporary critiques of religion from Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and others. Indeed, the second half of the book is a counter to some of the claims of those he calls the New Atheists, though none of them will be convinced by any of McGrath’s arguments. This will serve as a good introduction for Christians who may be uncertain about, or have been unwilling to engage in, theological reflection, and to reassure them that rebuttals to the claims of those who deride religious belief can be made. --Christopher McConnell
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ISBN-10:  0830838430
ISBN-13:  978-0830838431
Author:  Alister McGrath
Publisher:  IVP Books
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review by . November 23, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
Recently, so-called "new atheists" have been making loud noises about how stupid and wicked religion is. Richard Dawkins thinks belief in God is a "delusion" to be replaced by scientific thinking. Daniel Dennett views religion as a "spell" that needs to be broken. Sam Harris longs for "the end of faith," whose absolutism he thinks leads only to violence. And Christopher Hitchens argues that "religion poisons everything."      …
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