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The Dawkins Letters: Revised Edition Paperback – 1 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications; Revised edition edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845505972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845505974
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 388,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The content is excellent. It's a fun, engaging read that seeks to be as charitable as possible (with an obviously virulent opponent) while not shrinking back from pointing out and exposing the fallacious, emotional, and often-childish arguments constantly employed by Dawkins. --Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

Note from the author: The poster, 'richarddawkins.net' (is this an official view?) accuses me of lying and gives the example of the quotes on the cover of the book having been made up. From a Christian perspective this accusation of lying by either myself or CFP is very serious. Lying for Jesus is obviously self contradictory and wrong. The example that the poster gives is just wrong. All the quotes came from the Dawkins website, were seen by many people, and I have copies of them all. However over 300 posts were removed from that particular thread - including many of my own posts and all the ones referred to in the book. Perhaps it was just a coincidence but whatever the case those quotes did exist. If the poster is writing on behalf of richarddawkins.net, they know this and therefore are themselves not telling the truth. It is not the first time that a lie is told in order to accuse others of lying. It is very strange that richarddawkins.net are so keen to accuse me of lying, it indicates a certain level of desperation. They are struggling to answer 'The Dawkins Letters' and so have to revert to attacking the author. --David Robertson, Pastor of St Peter's Free Church of Scotland, Dundee

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. --Christian Marketplace, Resourcing retailers and suppliers

Note from the author: The poster, 'richarddawkins.net' (is this an official view?) accuses me of lying and gives the example of the quotes on the cover of the book having been made up. From a Christian perspective this accusation of lying by either myself or CFP is very serious. Lying for Jesus is obviously self contradictory and wrong. The example that the poster gives is just wrong. All the quotes came from the Dawkins website, were seen by many people, and I have copies of them all. However over 300 posts were removed from that particular thread - including many of my own posts and all the ones referred to in the book. Perhaps it was just a coincidence but whatever the case those quotes did exist. If the poster is writing on behalf of richarddawkins.net, they know this and therefore are themselves not telling the truth. It is not the first time that a lie is told in order to accuse others of lying. It is very strange that richarddawkins.net are so keen to accuse me of lying, it indicates a certain level of desperation. They are struggling to answer 'The Dawkins Letters' and so have to revert to attacking the author. --David Robertson, Pastor of St Peter's Free Church of Scotland, Dundee

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. --Christian Marketplace, Resourcing retailers and suppliers

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3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 98 people found the following review helpful By J. Brown on 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 By K. Haswell on 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 By Andrew on 17 Jan. 2012
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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