Sunday, 13 July 2014

Book Review - The Atheist's Fatal Flaw (12/7)

If you have ever tried to share gospel with an atheist, one of the most frequent argument you will hear raised against the Christian faith is that of the moral argument between God’s benevolence and omnipotence. Often it is argued that if suffering exist, God is either powerless to stop it or God is not as good as who He claims He is, and therefore he is not fit to be worshipped. In light of debunking this argument, Norman Geisler and Daniel McCoy sets out to point out what they think is the fatal flaw within this string of argument.9780801016462

Fatal Flaw takes this one argument and elaborates on it, quite extensively. The authors showed the depth of their research by the numerous and sometimes lengthy quotes from the atheist, often quoting from the Four Horseman of atheism (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett) but also Bertrand Russell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Dan Barker, just to name a few.

In the first chapter, Geisler and McCoy sets the context of the book and examines briefly the flow and the gist of the book. Thereafter, it's followed with a 6 chapters analysis of the moral argument, with each chapter flowing from the previous point made. Finally, a ‘summary’ of the points that actually shows how among these actually contradicts what they are argument against. Geisler and McCoy then raised some of the objections against the atheists they answering against and ends with a call for them to examine what they have written about and how this argument is not a good enough for the atheists to reject the christian faith.

Frankly, I feel the book a bit too long,with too many quotations and too repetitive, many a times what was quoted in the beginning of the chapter is quoted again for the end when a summary for the chapter is made. In their defence, I’m sure they are trying to show that they have done their research thoroughly, and have sought to read and understood the argument from the primary text. In reading the quotations they have referred to, I have felt the sting and wrath of the attacks made against the christian faith. But one does wonder if there a more concise way of summarising them could have been more helpful. It was at times a drag to read through all the quotations with seemingly ‘no light coming out of a very (very) long tunnel.

I felt also that the argument was dragged a little too long, and did not answer the question raised very effectively. In fact, i see that the main argument was raised very early in the book and should have been the main thrust of argument rather than using it at times within the book.

More alarmingly, I counted that there was only around 5 books within the bibliography that was remotely close to the topic of apologetics, which is striking for a book that sets out to attempt this task. No doubt, they are trying to put forth a new argument against the atheists, but I’m not quite if this argument is good enough. Would it be better to show why this new method is necessary? Or perhaps a combination of showing the flaws of the argument along with Christianity’s answer against it?

In sum, I think this book would help those who have read the New Atheism deeply or would like to attempt to talk with those who have, but be warned, only those who preserve to the end would be rewarded.

Ratings: 3.5/5

If you're interested, you can get this book here, and here (free international shipping)

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.