If you have paid attention to the news at all in the last decade you have probably heard the term “New Atheism” tossed around. Usually this is connected to the names of the primary evangelists of New Atheism: Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris. Essentially these men and their disciples in the movement have been attempting to help people see that the only truly rational approach to life is their brand of atheism.
McGrath brings a unique perspective to his argument because he was an atheist before becoming a Christian. His book, “Why God Won’t Go Away” is a great primer to a debate that has been raging among top minds on both sides of the issue. He devotes a good portion of the book to defining to movement which should prove useful to those just jumping into the waters of this debate. His definition is helpful because it helps to distinguish New Atheism from traditional atheism and along the way he makes the point that many “traditional” atheists have a big problem with the militancy of the New Atheists.
McGrath goes on to discuss the core themes of the New Atheism (violence, reason, and science) and the weaknesses of each in their arguments against faith. Finally, McGrath concludes that the New Atheism movement will be continually frustrated because faith has proven to be persistent and likely this is because human nature has been hard wired for faith.
If you are looking for a good but brief overview of the New Atheism and the weaknesses of their argument this is the book for you. It is a well researched and easy read that should help launch the reader into the deep well of literature, websites, and various other media that are consistently coming from both sides of this debate.
Disclaimer- I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.