Everyone told me not to bother with The God Delusion; my Christian friends (“Save youyrself the trouble and just read the McGrath”), my near-as-dammit atheist husband (“Don’t bother with that nonsense, if you are interested in Dawkins, read his science books, which are really good”). Even my have-no-real-idea-what-I-think agnostic teenage son reckoned it was a waste of time.
And you know what, they were right. It is a horrible, ranty book, setting out a position of belief, the polar opposite of my own Christian faith. And all that without any rational argument given as a foundation. Dawkins’ understanding of what Christians actually believe is almost non-existent. The main strategy of the book seems to be to persuade people that God doesn’t exist by ridiculing Him.
All that is kind of what I expected, but I was taken aback by how unpleasant an experience it was just to read the stuff.
Reading Alister McGrath’s reply to Dawkins is very useful, in that it articulates what is so wrong about The God Delusion in a very structured, logical way. After all, if an argumtative atheist were to ask me what I thought of the book, I don’t think a visceral “I just hated it” would cut much ice.
Glad that’s over. Next week it’s the Confessions of Augustine.