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As promised, I’ve posted my full review of The God Delusion.

I’ve been quiet here for a couple of weeks, but mostly because I’ve been spending my blogging energy chatting elsewhere. For those interested in following along on some of the discussions, or curious about what blogs I find interesting, here are some of the more interesting ones:

Upcoming here: Review of The Black Hole War, a book I didn’t plan to review here but has some interesting religious implications; review of The Art of Reading Scripture; a bit longer discussion of The God Delusion; and some early thoughts on my current reading: What’s So Great about Christianity, one of the better Christian Apoligetics I’ve read (outside his poorly researched critiques of evolution). I’m only a quarter of the way through. I still want to throw it at a wall sometimes, and I think he misinterprets a lot of history, but he brings actual facts to the discussion (which is very unusual) and makes several arguments that are worthy of actual debate. He’s even changed my thinking on some aspects of Christianity’s historic influence on Western society (I think his argument makes a better case that Western society has had a great influence on Protestantism, but I’ll go into that deeper later). If you want a very interesting and comprehensive discussion of this book, see Ken Ponder’s review on Amazon.

And I want to finally get back to some discussions about pantheism itself. I’ve been so distracted with so many interesting books.

As I work on a more comprehensive review of the excellent (though occasionally flawed) The God Delusion, I’ll throw out some thoughts on the two books I’m currently reading. Read the rest of this entry »

So I’m about a quarter of the way through The God Delusion, and I should go ahead and get this out of the way: Yes, Richard Dawkins is a meanie head. I’m sure that I would be remiss in my review if I didn’t acknowledge it. That does seem to be the primary complaint against his book by most reviewers, and it’s true. He never once says “with all due respect” when objecting to non-science making scientific claims. And it’s extremely difficult to have a Theistic God and not eventually make a scientific claim, because Theistic Gods tend to meddle, and when they meddle they change the universe in ways we should, at least in theory, be able to detect. And if we can detect it, we can apply science. If it’s impossible to detect the meddling, then God looks pantheistic, which is the one kind of religion that Dawkins is OK with. Obviously I am too, and on these points Dawkins and I would likely only disagree on terminology, shades of meaning, and around the periphery. I’ll see as I continue in the book.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is my fourth and final part of my review of Mere Christianity. If you’d like to skip the somewhat long-winded first three parts, this also has a good summary of my thoughts on the book and could be read alone (and is the shortest to boot).

For a book that I don’t think adds a lot of value, I spent a lot of time on it. I did that because it’s one of the most common books I’ve seen used to try to convert people, and as a self-proclaimed rational argument, it is such a bad argument. It is so lauded by those who agree with it that I feel it needed a thorough discussion.

But now I think I will move onto some books that I actually think are valuable. Most likely Bart Ehrman’s The Lost Christianities, which is one of the first books a seeker should read if interested in the early history of Christianity, the rise of the proto-Orthodox, why the Canonical Gospels are the best historical records we have about the life of Jesus, and yet why they are still terrible records.

I know you were all breathlessly waiting… My thoughts on Book Three of Mere Christianity are now up. I don’t have a lot to say about Book Four, a lot of it is more of the same, so I’ll use that to sum up a bit and discuss how I see Lewis’ work used by the faithful.

I’ve posted the second part of my four part discussion of C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I will try to make sure my commentary does not exceed the length of the book.

I’m kick starting this blog with some content I’ve posted earlier reviewing Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Keep an eye on the Pages section as things come over on Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. You’ll also see old blog posts showing up as I bring some specific entries from my old journal here.