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The Rage against God

The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith by Peter Hitchens (Zondervan 2010).

Peter Hitchens is the brother of well-known anti-theist, Christopher Hitchens.

I had expected more of a book that worked systematically through arguments for God’s existence and against the points that Christopher Hitchens makes. Instead, in this relatively short book, there is a lot of autobiography. Peter Hitchens describes his early atheism, including burning the Bible as a child. He then goes on to recount how he came to faith in God. It is a fascinating story, explaining much of the context that many English-speakers find themselves in. Along the way I think he also has the weakest part of this book: a rant against contemporary liturgical language and biblical translations.

He addresses three arguments of anti-theists: religion as a source of war and violence; ethics without God; atheist states.

The final part of the book expands that third focus and examines anti-theist regimes.

Along the way there is discussion about bringing up children with a particular religion, as if a couple with a healthy spirituality could keep that hermetically sealed away from their children! As I regularly say, as if we would not speak to our children, but at age 18 allow them the choice of which language they would like to learn. Page 202 highlights the extremeness of the anti-theists when Dawkins says, “horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.”

This is a good book, interesting in giving a picture of the anti-theist’s context and background and providing some good responses. If you are looking for a book that humbly works through arguments for God showing their strengths and weaknesses I suggest you start with The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

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3 thoughts on “The Rage against God”

    1. Thanks (please use your ordinary name – as you do in the email address). I found nothing too much to disagree with in the clip you provide, but nor did I find either of these in the short clip intellectually rigorous. It seemed more a collection of sound bites.

  1. Such an interesting take on Britain and contemporary life. Well worth the read. I was attracted to read this book because of my familiarity with Peter Hitchens and his brother Christopher Hitchens. Both have become public intellectuals of varying degree.

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