Subtitled, Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, Alister McGrath and his wife Joanna Collicut have written a real gem of a book in The Dawkins Delusion? Written primarily by Alister McGrath, one of Evanglicalism’s shining intellectual lights, this small book is a significant contribution to the Christian response to the work of famed British atheist Richard Dawkins.
It is intriguing for many reasons. I found McGrath’s revelation of the frustration that many atheist academics feel toward Dawkins and his work to be insightful and intriguing. In short, many of Dawkins’ own colleagues find the frankly unfettered hatred that Dawkins shows religion to be unnecessary and injurious to their cause. Many also seem to feel that Dawkins’ own form of atheist fundamentalism is not very thoughtful. Along these same lines, I was struck by Dawkin’s dismissal of significant scientific voices who dare to say that science, by its very nature, cannot dismiss with the possibility of God.
McGrath’s handling of the charge that religion leads men to do evil things was even-handed and thoughtful. He persuasively demonstrates the fundamental fallacies of such a notion and rightly calls Dawkins to task for such a sweeping and naive assertion.
In all, though, McGrath is strongest in his discussion of the nature of science and its limits. He did work in chemistry and molecular biophysics at Oxford and speaks with helpful insight to these questions.
If you would like a relatively brief but thought-provoking assesment of Dawkins’ main arguments and the problems inherent therein, check out McGrath’s book. It is very helpful and very well done.