Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's So Great about Christianity?

What's So Great about Christianity? by Dinesh D'Souza was the first book on my reading list for this year.

Mr. D'Souza states his purpose clearly in the preface:

"Taking as my foil the anti-religious arguments of prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and the others, in this book I will demonstrate the following:

1. Christianity is the main foundation of Western civilization, the root of our most cherished values.
2. The latest discoveries of modern science support the Christian claim that there is a divine being who created the universe.
3. Darwin's theory of evolution, far from undermining the evidence for supernatural design, actually strengthens it.
4. There is nothing in science that makes miracles impossible.
5. It is reasonable to have faith.
6. Atheism, not religion, is responsible for the mass murders of history.
7. Atheism is motivated not by reason but by a kind of cowardly moral escapism.

I end this book by showing what is unique about Christianity and how our lives change if we become Christians."

And here are a couple of paragraphs that stood out for me:

"The aversion to religion and the embrace of atheism becomes especially baffling when you consider that, on the face of it, atheism is a dismal ideology. Many atheists like to portray themselves as noble figures venturing into the cold night, raging against the dying of the light, and facing the pointlessness of it all. This strikes me as a bit of a pose, and an inauthentic and slightly comic one at that. As Michael Novak observes, if there is no God, what is there to rage at? Is it brave to spit in the face of a volcano or a tidal wave? Natural forces are neither good not evil; they just are. So where does heroism come in if atheists are merely taking the world as it is?"

"My conclusion is that contrary to popular belief, atheism is not primarily an intellectual revolt, it is a moral revolt. Atheists don't find God invisible so much as objectionable. They aren't adjusting their desires to the truth, but rather the truth to fit their desires. This is something we can all identify with. It is a temptation even for believers. We want to be saved as long as we are not saved from our sins. We are quite willing to be saved from a whole host of social evils, from poverty to disease to war. But we want to leave untouched the personal evils, such as selfishness and lechery and pride. We need spiritual healing, but we do not want it. Like a supervisory parent, God gets in our way. This is the perennial appeal of atheism: it gets rid of the stern fellow with the long beard and liberates us for the pleasures of sin and depravity. The atheist seeks to get rid of moral judgement by getting rid of the judge."

This is an excellent book for any Christian wanting to marshal his arguments before conversing with skeptics. I think this is also good reading for high school students, especially those preparing for college.

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Blogger BubblesandMoney said...

I just ordered Murder in Miniature and now I may have to order this one too. Thanks for the reviews.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I think my mom has this book. I might have to borrow it from her sometime.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

This book looks FABULOUS! Hmmmm.....thanks for the recommendation!

10:24 AM  

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