Is Atheism Dead?
Conservative radio host Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer
) attempts to put a new spin on Nietzsche’s classic question—“Is God dead?”—by suggesting the answer is an emphatic “No.” Metaxas’s argument boils down to three components: the “fine tuning” theory (a glorified rehashing of intelligent design), archaeological facts as proof of the Christian Bible, and a consideration of what he believes to be the failings of atheism as a whole. Metaxas does employ the proper awe at some of the scientific facts pointing to the existence of a God—namely the stunning fact that if it the universe were lighter or denser by the mass of a single dime, life on Earth (as we know it) wouldn’t be possible. However, there is an unfortunate righteousness in Metaxas’s approach which undercuts the strength of his arguments. Between questioning the accuracy of the history of the Crusades and referring to Quakers as “violent and bloodthirsty” compared to other Christian groups, the book often wavers from suggesting the death of atheism to suggest the universe has one creator in the father of Jesus Christ (within the evangelical perspective). Even while posing a piquant question that yields abstract and profound answers, Metaxas is unable to get out of his own way. Those looking for an evenhanded treatment of the complex philosophical issues involved in echoing the existence of God should look elsewhere. (Oct.)