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The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths [Mass Market Paperback]

David Robertson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Mar 2007
When Richard Dawkins published 'The God Delusion', David
Robertson wanted there to be an intelligent Christian response. After some
ill thought through interventions in the media it was obvious that no one
was really going to answer the real issues so David Robertson wrote an open
letter to Richard Dawkins on his church website. This has found its way
into Richard Dawkins website, where it generated the largest response of
any posting before or since.

This ferocity of the responses and the shallowness of the thinking that it
exhibited, spurred David to write this book. Christians need to know where
Dawkins is weak and we need to explain things better! It draws upon David's
experience as a debater, letter writer, pastor and author.

This is a very honest book. It agrees with Dawkins where appropiate but
also does not hesitate to point out where some of his thinking does not
hold together - It is written in a gentle spirit of enquiry.

If you want ideas and answers to the challenges of 'The God Delusion' then
Dawkins Letters is the place to find your answers!

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications Ltd; 1st edition (20 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845502612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845502614
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Wow, this is an intelligent and well-crafted view of RD's book."
Anonymous Atheist
-- Richard Dawkins' Website April 2007

No preacher or church leader should be without this remarkable
book. Arch-atheist Professor Richard Dawkins is campaigning to banish
religion in general and Christianity in particular from our schools,
government and all significant areas of public life. Dawkins' big idea is
that Christianity does more harm than good and he's aggressively
campaigning on both sides of the Atlantic. He won't succeed but he will do
a great deal of damage as his poisonous lies permeate Western culture.
David Robertson has written a brief, brilliant and compelling rebuff to
Dawkins' latest book, `The God Delusion'. It is a remarkable apologetic for
the Christian faith and an essential tool in winning the battle of ideas.
I'd give it ten stars if I could! (5 stars out of 5)
-- Richard Morris, Wesley Owen Bookstore

This book is a more than useful contribution to the `Dawkins
Debate' and one which has helped me to understand more about the flawed
arguments contained within `The God Delusion'. The book comprises a series
of ten letters to Dawkins, the first of which was published on Dawkins' own
website, which counter the arguments in Dawkins' book chapter by chapter.
Robertson is clearly well-read and marshals his arguments in a balanced and
intellectually sound way. But this is not an inaccessible academic
treatise; he writes clearly and understandably in such a way that most
people will be able to grasp the arguments easily. He avoids the temptation
to `rubbish' Dawkins, just dismantles and challenges his arguments frankly
and cohesively. The final letter (to the reader) "Why Believe", contains a
very useful and extensive reading list which most will never get to read in
entirety but is helpful to have.
Clem Jackson, Editor -- Christian Marketplace May 2007

From the Publisher

Apologies to anyone having difficulties in getting hold of
this book - we are struggling to keep up with demand at present but a new
print run should be available by early June

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading 15 Mar 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
David Robertson is a Scottish Presbyterian who ministers in Dundee. Having read Dawkins 'God Delusion' he decided to respond with a series of letters addressing the major themes of the book. These include letters addressing: the notion that atheists are the truly enlightened, intelligent ones; the impossibility of true beauty without God; the myth of atheist tolerance and rationality; the myth of a cruel Old Testament God; the false dichotomy Dawkins creates between science and religion; the "who made God?" argument; the nonsense that all religion is inherently evil; the myth of morality within an atheistic worldview; the myth of an immoral bible, and; the charge of child abuse.

Where to start? The first half of the book is definitely less persuasive than the latter. One might conjecture that Robertson's understandable irritation with Dawkins slides off into sarcasm and thus dents the force of his presentation. Seriously critiquing Dawkins view of "multiverses" could have been achieved without mockery. Even if, especially at this point, one does think that Dawkins might deserve a dose of his own medicine. Further, the brevity he must deal with each topic to fit his chosen format (short letters), inevitably leads to some shortcuts in his arguments. For example, Robertson doesn't really address some of the real moral problems from reading the Old Testament. This is an area he really should have spent considerably more time on, as it's something one hears more and more often. His letter on this, frankly, comes across as assertion rather than explanation for how Christians view this problematic material. It lacks substance and wanders off into preaching/proclamation rather than tackling the difficulties. This was the most disappointing chapter in the book.
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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Through a Glass Darkly 21 Dec 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like the previous reviewer (S.Gerhard) I came to this book because I'd read The God Delusion (which I enjoyed, although it's not without its weak points) and wanted to read a Christian response. I'd already listened to a recording of a lecture given by Robertson at Queens College, Belfast and although unconvinced by the content, wasn't totally discouraged and thought that I'd read the book anyway, thinking it might have more to offer. Unfortunately, I can't really say that it does. Like the lecture, the book relies heavily on rhetoric and the substitution faith-based assertion in place of argument - something already pointed out by previous (non-Chrisitan) reviewers. Robertson also does all the things he accuses Dawkins of doing, e.g. preaching to the choir and taking statements out of context/misrepresenting them. His 'atheist myths' are a mixture of exaggerated caricatures of Dawkins' position and `Christian myths' turned on their head. The whole first chapter, for example, is built around a misconstrual of Dawkins' term "consciousness raising". In chapter ten, he seizes on Dawkins' rhetoric comparing the religious indoctrination of children with child sexual abuse and runs with it to create a paranoid 1984 scenario where Stalinist-atheist thought-police come around to take Christians' children away from them (p.115). Surely neither he nor anyone else can seriously believe that this is what Dawkins is advocating? Although his taking offence at the comparison with paedophiles is understandable, it's worth pointing out that Robertson himself is happy to employ rhetoric equating loving relationships between consenting adults with the sexual abuse of children, when those adults happen to be of the same sex (p.38). Read more ›
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How very dare you, Dr Dawkins! 17 Jan 2012
By Andrew
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was about to add some fulsome comments about this book when I saw that Mr Haswell had done it before me and very well, too. My copy of David's book has pencil notes down most pages and Mr Haswell has covered most of them and most articulately. I must add: I too was annoyed at the slur on anyone asking about the origin of God. This is a common response to this fundamental question.('Treat it with disdain or we may have to consider it seriously'!) David fails to understand that by asserting that the universe is so wonderful that it requires a creator, Christians have invoked a specific principle, viz, anything wonderful requires a creator. The 'Who created God?' question is merely to apply the self-same principle to justify the existence of God! If you don't like the principle, don't use it! David's attempt to ridicule the question as worthy of a six(teen?) year old is not only regrettable but also displays a shallowness of thinking born of his dependence on the existence of God.

And that is the problem really. Someone who feels that their life would be meaningless without God is hardly likely to be able to discuss evidence about his existence objectively. This is evident in the many books written to challenge Dawkins or atheism generally. It becomes clear that the writers have a common starting point - two immovable assumptions: a) God exists b) he is all those things that Christians believe him to be. One could have more sympathy with those who say 'I can't answer that'. There is also a tendency to try to paint atheism as a belief system diametrically opposite Theism, rather like devil-worship because it's then easier to counter-attack. But atheism is not a belief system, any more than belief in a round earth. It's simple disbelief! Atheism is based on evidence, theism on need.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!
What a great wee book! It is simply outstanding! It is a must read for anyone who read Dawkins book 'The God Delusion'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookman
4.0 out of 5 stars Generally good
I liked it and it dealt with the subject very well but I found some of the style at times a bit agressive.
Published 3 months ago by Malcolm S Hindmarsh
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense
Is this a proper rebuttal?!What a childish book...
I've been trying to think about a useful review but after reading the book I think I became a bit stupider. Read more
Published 7 months ago by PVilarinho
5.0 out of 5 stars A balanced view
If you are a fundamentalist atheist - don't read this book. If you are an agnostic or have found Richard Dawkins strident, critical, rude and belittling of his opponents then read... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr. J. R. Pilling
1.0 out of 5 stars Promoting Theist Myths
There is nothing in this book which begins to challenge Dawkins' scientific rigour. It singularly fails to deliver what it says in the title: rather than "challenging atheist... Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by NuFsEd
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
As a devout athiest I thought I'd risk reading this book. An intelligent response to the God Delusion. Sounds fantastic. Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2011 by pas1970
3.0 out of 5 stars The church takes a step towards freedom of information
This 2010 revised edition is mostly the same as the 2007 except for the addition of an extra chapter placed after 'The final letter to Dawkins' of the 2007. Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2011 by A.
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking response
I finished this book last week and I want to thank David for his response and for giving me a lot to think about. I found the book engaging, thought-provoking and even-tempered. Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by K Rigg
5.0 out of 5 stars The script of the Life of Anti-Brian it is not.
At times lighthearted, sometimes very witty, nevertheless the whole book manages to keep its feet well and truly cemented to intellectually solid ground as far as the all important... Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2010 by P. W. Charnley
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Just finished this book a couple of hours ago and what a breath of fresh air. It's a collection of letters (if you hadn't already guessed from the title) that expose the myths of... Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2010 by H
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