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Names You Need to Know

October 12, 2008|4:08 pm

You know these names, or at least you know many of them: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens. They’re some of the best known of the “New Atheists,” the group that’s launched a massive public assault against religion over recent years.

Now here are some more names that you need to know: Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, Timothy Paul Jones, and Dinesh D’Souza, among others. These are just some of the outstanding Christian apologists leading the charge against the New Atheists. Each of these distinguished authors has recently published a book targeted at a specific New Atheist, and their arguments are devastating to the atheistic worldview.

First is Ravi Zacharias’s latest book The End of Reason, a response to Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation. Ravi Zacharias is one of the great Christian thinkers of our time, and one of my own favorite apologists.

Just like Harris’s book, Zacharias’s book is written in the form of a letter to the American people. But as Zacharias points out, “By the end of Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation, we don’t know who we are in essence or where we are in the grand scheme of a world without God.”

Zacharias wants to set that situation straight. He knows the atheistic worldview all too well, as he states in the book, because he used to share it. And it drove him to the brink of suicide.

It was not until he was given a Bible and came to Christ that his life was turned around. He spends the rest of the book explaining why atheism is “devastating to our hunger for significance,” while the God of the Bible gives us meaning, purpose, and hope.

Then there’s The Dawkins Delusion? by Oxford scholars Alister and Joanna McGrath, which, as the title suggests, deals with Richard Dawkins’s popular book The God Delusion. The McGraths pull no punches about Dawkins’s book; in fact, they ask, “Is the case for atheism really so weak that it has to be bolstered by such half-baked nonsense?”

Lest you think that’s going a little too far, the atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse actually endorsed the McGraths’ book by saying that Dawkins’s work “makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why.”

Though Alister McGrath respects Dawkins intelligence and used to be an atheist, himself, he says the kind of blistering and abusive rhetoric that Dawkins resorts to isn’t worthy of him and is easy to take apart.

Then we have Misquoting Truth by Timothy Paul Jones, a response to Bart Ehrman’s book Misquoting Jesus. In contrast to Ehrman, who argues that the Bible is full of changes and mistakes, Jones provides a serious, thorough examination of how the Scripture was compiled and passed down to us over the years, and why we can trust it.

Finally, Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity is a very effective answer to Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great.

So don’t forget those names—again, that’s Ravi Zacharias, Alister and Joanna McGrath, Timothy Paul Jones, Dinesh D’Souza—and come visit our website, BreakPoint.org, to find out how you can get copies of their books. You can also order a copy of my book The Faith, which answers many of these same charges. The charges of the New Atheists are all sound bite and no substance. These books will equip you to challenge those baseless assumptions.

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From BreakPoint®, October 10, 2008, Copyright 2008, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. “BreakPoint®” and “Prison Fellowship Ministries®” are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship
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