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Friday, March 7, 2008

Throwing the Book at Them

Last May, Hachette Book Group's imprint Twelve published Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great, and now this June, a different Hachette imprint, FaithWords, will release what looks to be a response: Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists About God by Catholic priest Thomas Williams. The point-counterpoint is indicative of a larger trend, claims the current issue of Publisher's Weekly. In an extensive book roundup, the trade magazine highlights the writers from different faith backgrounds who are lining up to take aim at the "new atheists," a movement led by authors such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, who assert not only that God does not exist, but also that belief in God is outdated, foolish, and even dangerous.
Books by Christian apologists like Chuck Colson and Harold Fickett's The Faith and Ravi Zacharias's The End of Reason seek to respond to the new atheists by proving the intellectual soundness of the Christian faith. Rabbi David Wolpe's Why Faith Matters provides a Jewish response. There's even an atheist response to the new atheists, with some nonbelievers arguing that you can be spiritual without being religious, as André Comte-Sponville does in The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality. —Dan Messier