Al Mohler recently spoke about his excellent book Atheism Remix at the Red Barn on the campus of the University of Louisville. This single message is 80 minutes long. You can find Mohler’s 4 part lecture series by the same title here.
In our culture’s rising interest with the new atheist voices, we have seen a solid Christian response, both philosophically and scientifically. Many of the popular level atheists have lost a lot of credibility, even among fellow atheists. David Bentley Hart addresses this with a lament in his book Atheist Delusions:
We used to produce better atheists, atheists who had a better arsenal of arguments to make. But perhaps…it’s sort of the slap-dash way in which they approach the topic that has made them so marketable.
Hart observes that it’s not the arguments or wisdom of these men that sells their books, but the salacious and rabid manner that they pour upon Christianity.
Philip Pullman is an author of juvenile literature that is designed to undermine Christian faith. The movie The Golden Compass was based on Pullman’s book by the same title.
Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio invites literary critic Alan Jacobs to talk about Pullman’s books, his undermining of Christianity, and how he goes about it. Jacobs walks through numerous examples of how Pullman’s anti-Christian philosophy plays out in his stories.
In February of last year Al Mohler delivered 4 lectures on the New Atheism movement. Later that year those lectures became the basis for a book called Atheism Remix.
This past month I immersed myself in the spit and vinegar arguments of the chiefs of the New Atheists, the four horsemen: Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Dan Dennett, and the Devil’s Chaplain himself, Richard Dawkins (all self-referential titles). I watched them online (YouTube, Vimeo) in interviews, lectures, debates (with Craig, Lennox, Wilson, and McGrath), I’ve been reading their books…all this to say that, in spite of the apparent weaknesses of their arguments, these guys have a huge following and are growing in influence and shaping the way the average person thinks about religion and life.
I just finished reading Mohler’s book (based on these lectures) and I have to say this is probably the best book available to give anyone fresh to this phenomenon a clear picture of what is happening on both sides of the spectrum.
In The End Game of Secularism Mohler looks at this growing phenomenon and explains why we cannot overlook what is happening in western culture. 9/11 changed our worldview, and one of the fallouts is the New Atheism. Mohler also looks at how the intelligentsia has changed from theism, to deism, and now to atheism. We live in a world where it is unthinkable to be an intellectual and believe in God at the same time, particularly the God of Scripture.
In The Assault on Theism Mohler gives us pictures of the prime militant movers of the New Atheism, the four horsemen listed above, and he provides for us a summary of their main arguments and contributions to this battle.
In The Defense of Theism Mohler looks at the main defenders of theism who have directly engaged the New Atheists: Alister McGrath and Alvin Plantinga. I would have liked to have seen Mohler include some other defenders such as John Lennox and David Robertson, but they may have only begun the battle when Al was preparing his messages. I would like to see an updated version of Atheism Remix soon.
Mohler points out a troubling feature to many of the defenders of theism, and that is their embrace of evolutionary theory. Both McGrath and Plantinga have made this mistake, which even Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens have recognized as being problematic and inconsistent with Scripture.
In The Future of Christianity Mohler looks at other voices in the debate such as Tina Beattie and John F. Haught who believe the debate has been too focused on an attack of Christianity as perceived through a conservative theological lens, which, in their view, is outmoded. While many of the arguments of the liberals against the New Atheists are insightful, they hold a position of confusion for the New Atheists. Just as Carl Sagan was confused by Paul Tillich’s theology, the New Atheists see the liberal position as a contradictory non-issue that only makes it harder for them to get to the heart of what they don’t like about Christianity.
Don’t be caught off guard. You should at least be familiar with what is happening in the New Atheism because if you are engaged in evangelism you will see these issues raised. The question is, will you be prepared for a defense. Welcome to the world, post 9/11. You are on the chopping block.
Listen to the lectures. Get the book.
David Robertson has a lot of guts. David Robertson wrote a very sober, fair and critical open series of letters in response to atheist Richard Dawkin’s salacious book ‘The God Delusion’. The letters found their way onto Richard Dawkin’s website, and was the subject of a fiery frenzy of ridicule and hatred by Dawkin’s followers. I remember being shocked at the venom that Dawkin’s followers aimed at this man who attempted to carefully respond to. Certainly, Dawkin’s is not defined by those who comment on his site, yet after reading his book of atheistic ideology, I can see what amounts to clear motivation.
Robertson is interviewed by Christ the Center about the book that developed out of this series of open letters. There is also a second radio interview included that offers a variety of new information.
David Robertson is pastor of St. Peters Free Church in Dundee Scotland. Thank God for men like Robertson who are willing to carefully and articulately engage the culture that we live in.
John Lennox is a mathematician and philosopher of science at Oxford, and he is a staunch defender of Christianity from the attacks of the new atheists. He has debated the likes of Richard Dawkins. Lennox brings sound reasoning and powerful arguments to the table as he considers the assaults new atheism has erected in the public eye. There is quite a bit of audio material online that is very helpful and interesting. John’s site includes a number of interviews and debates, as well as a host of short 2 to 6 minute video clips that address a particular issue relevant to the criticisms of atheists.
Dawkins Lennox Debate (the “God Delusion Debate”) hosted at the University of Alabama.
The Feed Trust.org. A resource of mulit-lingual Bible resources that Lennox is involved with.
BBC Interview with John Lennox, interviewer Tim Bearder.
Fixed Point Foundation. Organization that has organized the debates between Lennox and Dawkins.
Alistair Begg, John Piper and John Lennox come together in a conference that is a real treat to listen to. This trio is a uniquely fitted group of men that shine with distinctive voices, backgrounds and convictions that resonate with combined power. The Q&A session is testimony to this.
Each one of these men and their messages are equally marvelous and helpful. Begg with his down to earth wisdom and pastoral insight; Piper with his rational theological power and motivation; and Lennox with his sharp discerning mind and articulate clarity.
I must point out that this conference was my introduction to John Lennox. Lennox is a mathematician and philosopher of science at Oxford, and a Christian. He is one of the most formidable opponents to the new atheism crowd. The man is a wealth of wisdom.
This certainly was a great conference and I commend it highly.
John Lennox delivered a fascinating and very informative seminar at the European Leadership Forum which examines the arguments and influence of the modern atheists in the camp of Richard Dawkins.
Lennox identifies a foundational flaw in most arguments for or against evolution, and that is that most arguments are rooted in the miniscule details while avoiding the larger questions that must provide the proper framework for such discussions and debates. He spends a great deal of time aquainting us with those larger issues while using many contemporary arguments of evolutionists and showing their flaws.
One thing I was suprised to hear is that today’s evolutionary scientists don’t believe in chance as they once did. They recognize the sheer incalculation of such luck. As one said, evolution requires luck, but not that much luck. So they turn to a mechanism of design, which ends up being natural selection, to help massage the odds, so to speak.
Lennox examines the main arguments of Dawkin’s ‘The Blind Watchmaker’ at some length. He also relates how he has seen a small, but noticable change in the scientific community away from embracing evolution as a process that adds or creates information in the process. And he suggests Christian’s should not dismiss Darwin so readily, because Darwin’s observations in micro-evolution (in other word’s adaptation) is good science, and demonstrates a certain flexibility in organisms to adapt to their environment. But Darwin’s hypothesis to extend that into macro-evolution is unsustainable.
The audio file is a massive 2 hours long. The lecture being about 1 hour, and a lengthy Q&A taking up the rest. This is a very helpful lecture, and I hope to find more lectures by Lennox.
Ben Stein’s forthcoming movie ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ is a documentary look at how scientists and teachers are being persecuted for questioning Darwinism — and that in a country that upholds freedom of speech.
Sproul and Stein engage in a fascinating and enlightening look at the inconsistencies of the educational system and current scientific philosophy — which Stein calls the ‘Church of Darwin.’
The interview is on video only (until Ligonier converts it to mp3), so you may have to watch it online. Not sure if it can be downloaded. A copy can be purchased through Ligonier.
Al Mohler recently gave 4 incredible lectures on the face of the new atheism that we are seeing attack the Christian faith on a daily basis, and at a very popular and successful publishing level. These were given at the W. H. Thomas Griffith Memorial Lectureship at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Mohler brings his vast, wealth of knowledge and his incredible mind to clearly present to us a the dangerous nature of the new atheism, and the specific challenges we must be willing to embrace.
The lectures are on the Endgame of Secularism, the Assault on Theism, The Defense of Theism, and the Future of Christianity.