'Atheist Delusions' -
I'm very much enjoying David Bentley Hart's 2009 book 'Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies.' Written just a few years after the publication of Richard Dawkins' influential book 'The God Delusion' Hart, step by step, confronts the slew of authors who from the early 2000s challenged Christianity calling our faith poisonous, irrational and wrong.
Hart is an Orthodox Christian theologian, philosopher, essayist and religious studies scholar and writes in an elegant if not occasionally verbose manner - however there is a least one quotable quote on almost every page!
He engages with many of the atheist writers including Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris and exposes their arguments as weak and their knowledge of history as sorely lacking. One quote of many memorable ones in the book is as follows;
"But atheism that consists entirely in vacuous arguments afloat on oceans of historical ignorance, made turbulent by storms of strident self-righteousness, is as contemptable as any other form of dreary fundamentalism."
In Part One of the book Hart reminds the reader of the historical rise of Christianity and the real benefits that this new way of life endowed upon Western and other cultures. He tackles head-on the popular narrative that the 'Age of Faith' held back progress in the West until the great 'Age of Reason' dawned. Along the way he sets the record straight on the treatment of paganism by Christians, the role of monasteries in the preservation of the great classical tradition, the Universities which without exception were founded by the Church and the rise of science which was nurtured and enabled by a Christian worldview.
In Part Two Hart again reminds his readers of the rise of Christianity and the immeasurable benefits faith in Jesus has endowed upon the world. In Part Three he gives consideration to a world without God - where despair and nihilism reign.
I'm still reading this very interesting book. Actually, I can't put it down and the pages are filled with my underlinings and notes. If you can cope with three sentence pages and some words you've never heard of, this could be a great read for you as well!