Al Mohler’s Atheism Remix

Al Mohler has solidified his position as one of Evangelicalism’s most astute observers.  His Atheism Remix will do nothing but confirm that fact.  This fascinating book was originally a series of lectures delivered on the topic of atheism at Dallas Theological Seminary.  Crossway has done all of us a favor by putting it in print.

Only somebody with their head in the sand will be unable to see that the “New Atheism” is gaining momentum and converts, primarily because of the writings of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett.  Hitchens is likely the most media savvy of the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheist Apocalypse,” but Dawkins is the undeniable head of the movement.  With more-than-impressive book sales, it is indeed foolish to pretend that this is just a tempest in a teapot.  It is not, and I feel more and more that there are two issues that modern preachers had better pay attention to:  the new atheism and Islam.

Mohler’s book is a tight, cogent, careful summary of the four men and their respective arguments.  Mohler feels that these men are to be taken seriously, for while self-proclaimed atheists do remain but a small portion of the population, this movement is gaining momentum and having an impact.  Mohler highlights the difference between the new atheism and the old atheism by pointing to the evangelistic fervor of the new movement, as well as the fact that it lacks the kind of wistful sense of sorrow that some older atheists seem to have concerning the collapse of Christianity.  The new atheists want to dance on the grave of Christianity, and they feel that the quicker we can get to the funeral, the better.

After giving a summary of the men, their positions, and their major works, Mohler spends some time assessing and summarizing Alister McGrath’s response to Dawkins.  This was helpful, even though I do occasionally feel that Mohler laps too often into mere book reviews.  But that is, admittedly, a bit unfair:  Mohler is trying, I think, to use the major works in the argument as indicative of the greater issues at stake, and I believe he sees in McGrath’s response to Dawkins a good example of the major problem with a lot of these works:  that they are really just exercises in pop anti-theology that caricature in sad ways the Christianity they hate.  Furthermore, Mohler wants to make it clear that these men are fundamentalists in their naturalism-run-amuck, and that they themselves are guilty of the same shoddy thinking that they seem to think dominates all of Christian life today.

If you want a great summary of and a helpful proposal for how to respond to this troubling movement, this is definitely the place to start.

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