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A Sceptics Guide to Atheism

Author: Peter S Williams
Published By: Paternoster (Milton Keynes)
Pages: 299
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 84227 617 4

Reviewed by Philip Clements-Jewery.

We can thank the new atheists like Christopher Hitchen, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, A C Grayling and Sam Harris for stimulating a number of robust replies from Christian thinkers. I have read few others, so was grateful for this one, which, in the end, I think is very good.

Peter Williams is a Christian philosopher who works for the Damaris Trust, and he has written a book that deserves to be on the shelves of every minister who has not yet sought to grapple with the issues that the new atheists raise. The particular merit of this book is that it is not a reply to a single work, such as Dawkins' The God Delusion, but deals thematically with the objections to Christian faith that all these writers raise.

However, I would not have reached this conclusion about the value of Williams' book if I had not read beyond the first two chapters (I nearly didn't!). These introductory chapters are a survey of the present scene written in a rather tiresomely journalistic style, with extensive use of quotes introduced by phrases like 'As (so and so) observes...' 'In (such and such a work, so and so) comments...’ But I was glad I persisted, because the rest of the book amounts to a devastating demolition.

Philip Clements-Jewery

Baptist Minister

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You are reading Issue 46 of Ministry Today, published in July 2009.

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