Book Review: The Godless Delusion

GodlessDelusionOne of the things I want this blog to be is an atheist’s perspective and response to different Christian apologetic books and articles, which I have already started to do on a smaller scale. One of the things that often occurs when talking about religion and atheism with Christians is that they will often say “I have a book you should read.” And I get this. Most assume that we’re only atheists because we haven’t been presented the right information. And part of being a freethinker is actually engaging with ideas one doesn’t automatically agree with. We should always challenge ourselves to learn more, and to always be open to the possibility that we are mistaken in our reasoning.

My first foray into responding to Christian apologetics is going to be The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley. I think this is the perfect place for me to start, and for a couple of reasons. As a former Catholic, one of the aspects of my faith growing up which interested and invigorated me was learning how to defend Catholicism from the different arguments against it from Protestant critics. And one of the books which I found so invaluable during this time of my life was Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy, also by Patrick Madrid. I think it will be interesting to see what I think about another of Madrid’s books now that I am a nonbeliever.

Another reason that this book is appropriate, I think, is that it sort of is one of those books which a believer told me that I “should really read.” I don’t often talk about my atheism with coworkers, although I don’t lie about it when asked directly. A very devout Catholic work friend of mine shared weekly lunches for a couple of months where we discussed different aspects of Christianity, Catholicism, and atheism after I had revealed to him that I no longer accepted the Catholicism of my youth. I happened to notice before going to lunch one day that The Godless Delusion was on his desk. This was not too long after he learned that I was an atheist. I am fairly certain that many of the conversation we shared over those lunches came from ideas about atheists and atheism he learned from this book. So its been one I’ve always wanted to read and respond to. And what better time than now, right? Over the next several weeks, I will begin posting chapter by chapter responses to The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism.

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