Atheism Remix

Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, is coming out with his latest book entitled Atheism Remix due out July 31, 2008. (HT: JT)

Crossway:

A leading Christian intellectual explores the newest strain of atheism, its foremost thinkers, the cultural conditions that have bred it, and how Christians should respond.

Something has changed in American culture. What for years was a little-regarded belief system—atheism—has now gained a large, and increasing, national hearing through the writings of “new atheists” such as Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens.

Wanting to both inform and equip serious-minded Christians regarding this cultural shift, R. Albert Mohler Jr. explores the environment that has bred the “new atheism” while also introducing readers to the movement’s four leading thinkers and the contours of their arguments. Mohler—deemed “the reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the US” by Time magazine—then uses this foundation to pinpoint eight major distinctives that make the new atheism new, and to discuss the future of Christianity in relationship to it.

At school and in the community, Christians are sure to encounter people who have been shaped by this strain of atheism. Here is keen insight that any believer can use to understand and challenge the new atheists.

Endorsements:

Atheism Remix offers a masterful analysis of and timely response to the New Atheism. Thoughtful and insightful, this readable work illuminates for scholars, pastors, and students alike the key issues that must be addressed in order to engage the thinking of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and others. I applaud Albert Mohler for his clarity and conviction in helping us understand that biblical theism is the only true alternative to the new atheism. I gladly recommend this book!”:: David S. Dockery, President, Union University

“The great strength of these lectures-turned-book is the sweep of their coverage. Instead of becoming just one more voice in the rising debate between Christians and the New Atheists, Dr. Mohler has chosen to provide us with masterful coverage of the dominant writers on both sides. Having recently worked through most of this material myself, I happily attest how accurate and penetrating are Mohler’s surveys and assessments. I know of no other introduction to this crucial debate that is as comprehensive and clear in such brief compass. Mohler tells us what’s going on, shows us how much depends on the outcome of this titanic cultural shift, and provides guidance to the resources Christians need to challenge the New Atheism root and branch.”:: D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“The New Atheism needs a clear-headed, straightforward analysis. Atheism Remix does this, and it does it well. Al Mohler is clear and concise in his critique, and the readability of this book makes it accessible to a wide audience. This is a fine introduction and overview of the self-proclaimed “Four Horsemen” of atheism. They are examined and exposed for the vacuous arguments they offer.”:: Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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11 thoughts on “Atheism Remix

  1. In the future people will answer arguments with arguments- not psychoanalysis. But that day has not yet come… “sigh”

    Would honest conversation kill these people?

  2. Samuel only says that because he was abused as a child. 😉 lol!

    Well … heard it first from the great Jonathan Ignacio Blog News Flash; I’ve listened to bits of his lectures, but I’m glad it’s becoming a book. I really wish that Alvin Plantinga would lower himself to address these issues. He’s only written a few articles in critique of these guys (as far as I know). He would be the guy to really turn this new atheism into a pile of ashes philosophically.

    I like what I’m seeing with guys like Keller and Mohler speaking out against Atheism and anti-Christian Hostility. I wonder what tommorrow will bring.

  3. Yes- I was brutally attacked by adjectives. Everything modifies nouns! They are everywhe

    On a more serious note I have yet to hear a competent argument from these guys.

    So far we have the same old “that isn’t the God I believe in”, “faith is trust”, “atheism leads to atrocities”, “how do you explain existence”, “how do you explain reason”, etc… Given that every single one of these has been shot down- in many cases because the argument itself is so flawed- I don’t think they have anything to say.

    Anti-Christian hostility? You do realize that compared to what people think about opposing political parties Christianity has it easy, right?

  4. Skinner,

    1) By “these guys” do you also have in mind Alvin Plantinga? Have you read Alvin Plantinga?

    2) Not sure what you mean by “what people think about opposing political parties,” but what I have in mind is the legal threat of freedom of speech (i.e. if a Christian teaches the traditional view of sexuality will she be fined for hate speech soon?)

    Bradley

  5. 1) Technically by “these guys” I mean any person on the surface of the Earth. Okay- anyone on the net would be more accurate.

    Took a look at one of his papers.
    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/dialogues/Faith-reason/CRS9-91Plantinga1.html
    This guy right?

    In this he is arguing that when the bible and science clash, we obviously were misinterpreting the bible. How he avoids the realization that they have been misinterpreting all the factual stuff (And the fact God would be in that category) escapes me.

    Honestly his method doesn’t work. Why? Because how do you know you are understanding it any better the next time? Because it isn’t currently contradicted? Isn’t this nothing more than God of the Gaps.

    2) Well, some people consider the Repulican party blatantly treasonous (and vice versa). Torturing people does that.

    If I advocated x, were x would require the deaths of thousands, I would probably be tried for hate speech. Religion isn’t exempt from the same laws that bind me… hopefully.

    For example traditional views of sexuality imply that a women is her husbands property… you want to go to the fifties before you get “traditional values”. I wouldn’t want to include the Victorians (read The Great Train Robbery- they believed that verneal disease was caused by too much sex and its cure was sex with a virgin. The age of consent was 12 btw.).

    Any way the fifties was when we got the mom at home, dad the bread winner, everyone married, and no funny stuff outside that. It lasted, what- 10, 20 years? Not very stable.

    Unless you are refering to gays. Because I find it extremely stupid. The only reason people can ome up with is 1) The bible says so or 2) You aren’t plopping out kids.

    1 is odd given that no society on earth has ever lived by the new testament- for the same reason utopian communism hasn’t (hint- have you given away your possessions to the poor yet?). More consistant religions hate it for reason number 2- the tribe owns you.However, we don’t live in tribal socities anymore, so that point is moot- unless you live in a totalitarian society.

  6. Skinner,

    Thanks for rambling on so long about your strong convictions; you would make a great fundamentalist preacher i think, just with a different dogma. 😉 You make a good point when you ask how Plantinga would know for sure that the “next” hermeneutic was right. I think there is an answer to your question, but your raise a good question nonetheless.

    1) I didn’t have in mind Plantinga’s arguments about how to think about Scritpure. Your simply “taking a look” at one of Plantinga’s papers on how to think about scripture is one thing, I had in mind your actually reading and considering carefully his more complex arguments on epistimology and how belief in God can fit into a foundationalist rational belief system. It’s not a “the Bible says so” type of argument. It’s thoroughly philosophical. To these issues, you do not demonstrate awareness. Before you say “these guys” don’t have substantial arguments to make for the existence of God, I would encourage you to actually read the best that’s “out there,” and not pick on Mohler. Mohler is a Seminary President, not a Scholar or Philosopher. In my opinion, he’s a lot easier to pick on than guy’s like Plantinga (and Plantinga is not the only one of “these guys” that you should read before you make up your mind, but he’s the one I’m most familiar with).

    2) Sounds like you are working with a very steriotype view of Christianity: they beleive women are property, women can’t/should not have careers, that being Christian means being Republican, etc. Christians were around way before the 50’s. It’s not some 50’s-70’s trend or something. It’s way bigger than that. You should read more about the history of Christianity so that you can better distinguish it from cultural trends and appreciate it’s diversity. Especially before you make generalizations about what “wrong” with it. You may be clotheslining scarecrows and punching at smoke.

    3) My point wasn’t to argue about the relative ethcial validity of the homosexual lifestyle. You seem to have somehow missed my point. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. My point is that freedom of speech laws in America may soon change so that people who hold conservative views on sexuality get fined for hate speech when they say that the Bible’s ethic (which their tradition follows as authoritative) teaches that such expressions of sexuality are wrong.

    But I think such Christians should be just as protected by America’s laws of speech freedom as a guy like yourself who wants the freedom to criticize Christianity and belief in God and argue that Christianity (or, at least, your 50’s understanding of fundamentalist Christianity, one small stream of North American Christianity) is “wrong.” I would argue similarly about Muslims who say Christians are “wrong,” or the Buddhist’s who argue that Christians are “wrong,” or feminists who say that conservative views on sexuality are bigoted and degrading (“wrong”), and philosophers who want to say that all of life is some big illusion, and anyone who believes it’s real is “wrong,” etc.

    Freedom of speech. Christians deserve it just as much as anyone else. That’s my point. You can disagree if you want and argue that we should re-think freedom of speech and fine or imprison people who say “hateful” (who’s to define “hateful” anyway?) things that seem to lead to violence and murder (or other “bad” things–who’s to say what “bad” is eitehr?). But at least don’t confuse my point with arguing that War is good, Republican is the way to go, homosexuality is bad, or something like that.

    It would be cool if you lived in Louisville; we could grab some coffee and I could perhaps see better where your coming from, and you me. Things are always more transparent face to face. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. Hey- conviction in what is right and important is a good thing. And truth and logic certainly fit the bill.

    I picked a paper AT RANDOM and it was highly flawed. Why should I assume the rest are better? However, I am a fair man. I looked at some more.

    http://philofreligion.homestead.com/files/alspaper.htm
    Fails- our senses are reliable because individuals with poor senses die. How do we know reliability is correlated with survival? All of technology is based on the idea that understanding the world gives us the ability to take advantage of it… and it works.

    http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth10.html
    Most people- when confronted with the fact that the WHOLE BODY OF SCIENCE contradicts their beliefs would come to the conclusion their beliefs are wrong. He tries to make a Christian alternative system!

    http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth02.html
    In this one he appears not to understand that for beliefs to be supported they have to have evidence. Otherwise there is no way of knowing they are true!

    These are cursory glances and they reveal large flaws.

    Actually I was working on the 300 AD to 1800 AD trend. Not to mention what the bible and the church actually says or does…

    That is because their speech IS hate speech. “Traditional views” ARE hate speech. Why? Well for starters it calls for the stoning and putting to death of people who do things you don’t like. Criticizing a religion, calling something patriarchial or even saying yours is the true religion don’t do the same thing.

    A comparison would be a Nazi or Marxist calling for the extermination of all the homosexuals… wait- they do.

    I don’t live in Loisville- I live in San Jose. Sorry. Never can convince people over the blasted net…

  8. Skinner,

    “Our senses are reliable because individuals with poor senses die.” – Skinner
    implied: The reliability of human faculties is “correlated” with (determined by?) survival
    apparent assumption: truth is determined based on what or what does not help us survive
    “…SCIENCE contradicts [Christian] beliefs …” – Skinner
    “…for beliefs to be supported they have to have evidence …” – Skinner

    @
    You have every right to believe that, but inasmuch as Plantinga gives a lengthy critique of these ideas and your response merely reasserts them without a cross examination of the substance of his critique, you demonstrate that indeed, you have merely given “cursory glances” at his writing rather than a thoughtful read. You should allow yourself be more open-minded. You seem to operate on outdated Enlightenment assumptions of epistimology that have long been under serious revision by a wide variety of non-Christian philosophers and scientists (as well as some Christians, like Plantinga).
    @

    ” … “Traditional views” ARE hate speech [because the traditional viewpoint] calls for the stoning and putting to death of people who do things you don’t like” – Skinner

    @
    This statement is still subject to my previous critique that you are operating with uninformed stereotype of Christianity that makes your claim to be operating with a broadly informed definition of Christianity (300AD to 1800AD) seriously questionable.
    @

    You can respond if you want, but unless there is an open-mindedness about your next response, I will remain convinced that your just looking for a place to vent rather than an honest exchange of viewpoints, and I will be inclined not to respond.

  9. ?

    I really can’t respond to what you are saying- it has no substance!

    First you accuse me off following an outdated view without saying what it is and then you fail to understand that traditional speech, by DEFINITION would have to be about things that are tradition. When we are talking about that we mean something that is 100 years old right? How is my example bad? In the 1920s alcohol was banned because the Proabition movement found it sinful.

    You confuse following down and accepting other people’s arguments with open mindedness. You can be as polite as you want and talk about an honest exchange of world views, but you have to rememeber 3 things
    1) One is right one is wrong (applies about things that rely on certain things existing aka God).
    2) You have to present a world view.
    3) You have to actually use it.

    You have failed all three.

    You have also fallen prey to the idea that politeness is all. If there is one thing to take away from this it isn’t that polieness is irrelevant- it is that that there are more important things than politeness. Like listening for starters. How?

    For example actually paying attention to their points.
    You failed to say how relying on your senses is even possible, much less more reliable than using them.

    You failed to show how it would be wrong to count traditional values as traditional values. Slavery, mass murder, torture may be appaling, but they are traditional. In Christianity you’d also get other nice things. It may not be what Christians do today, but when they call for traditional values they are pulling things from those dark times.

    Never accuse your opponents of being close minded. Ever. Why? Because it is irrelevant. All that matters are the arguments, the evidence, the logic and the conclusions. Nothing else. If they can’t see it, it is their loss.

  10. Sorry Skinner, but this isn’t going anywhere. For whatever reason, your misunderstanding me at almost every point. I’m sure you don’t think you are, but that’s the nature of misunderstanding. Thanks for trying. 🙂

    Bradley

    P.S. – Ricky, STOP EVE’S DROPPIN’ FOO!!!!! 😀

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