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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating overview of the theistic viewpoint, 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Surprised by Meaning (Kindle Edition)
I found this an interesting and reflective summary of some of the arguments and themes covered in McGrath's earlier works on New Atheism. The first chapter was rather woolly and almost failed to hold my interest to continue, instead I followed up McGrath's reference to Terry Eagleton's marvellous book Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (The Terry Lectures Series) cited at the start of chapter two. Invigorated by Eagleton, I returned to this book which I have to say improved markedly in subsequent chapters.

I am left to ponder how many more rebuttals of New Atheism it is necessary to read however; the driving force of New Atheism seems to have demonstrably lost the intellectual credentials it aspired to portray that would set it apart from religious thinking. There are perhaps other writers to engage with now, not least other more incisive atheist writers.

This book provides some nice short overviews of areas of the philosophy of science and in particular the anthropic principle. For me it provides a good summary and a pointer to other books for further study.

I am perplexed about the emphasis on Christianity however. In the book McGrath makes numerous statements about this or that aspect supporting the Trinitarian viewpoint contained in Christian theology. I could not see that however; he appeared to be making pro-theist arguments or more specifically those consistent with the Abrahamic faiths, but rarely until the very end of the book was Christ specifically mentioned to support this pro-Christian argument.

I am not a Christian, but seek out serious pro-theist perspectives in the science/ philosophy and religion area. Since many writers in English are Christian a certain Christian bias is inevitable; but such arguments rarely depend on Christian theology to the exclusion of other viewpoints. If I was not familiar with McGrath's previous work, this over-emphasis (in my view) on Christianity in the book reviews would have made me dismiss this book as a simple apologetic. As a single example, even the quotes from CS Lewis in the book are pro-theist in outlook rather than pro-Christian!
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