By Alister McGrath.
In this short book Alister McGrath compares and contrasts two popular communicators, C.S. Lewis, Christian apologist and Richard Dawkins, apologist for New Atheism. Under the four headings, Big Picture, Reasoned Belief, Is There a God? and Human Nature, McGrath analyses key arguments from each. Since both McGrath himself and Lewis began as atheists before becoming convinced by the claims of Christianity it isn't surprising McGrath tackles Dawkins' easy dismissal of God. This was one of my main issues with Dawkins when I read The Blind Watchmaker some time ago. Unlike Lewis, who tried to convince the sceptic, Dawkins seems to preach to the choir with no evidence of anything other than a superficial knowledge of what he so comprehensively criticises in remarkably offensive terms. McGrath also considers Dawkins' vision for human nature. Yes, Dawkins believes we are slaves to our selfish genes but, surprisingly, he believes that with the knowledge we have we can fight against our nature. What I find so difficult to understand about Dawkins is that he believes the universe has "no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference" and yet he passionately cares ... why, what does it matter? This is only an introduction to the key writings of Dawkins and Lewis which are listed at the end for further study. I brought my own feelings about Lewis and Dawkins to this book and had them confirmed, no doubt others will have their own responses.