Atheism Remix – a review

Mohler, R Albert Jr. Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists. Wheaton Il: Crossway Books, 2008.

Albert Mohler’s work on the “New Atheists” (his term) is one of the more unusual entries into the modern debate. Rather than rehashing the arguments that have been raised in scholarship for the past century, he largely focuses on explaining the current status on the debate between Christians and Atheists. The New Atheists that Mohler focuses on are Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, with a focus on Dawkins who is the most well known. Mohler refers to these as the four horsemen of the new Atheistic apocalypse (in comparison to Nietsche, Freud, Darwin, and Marx). Mohler accurately notes the more radical undercurrent in these men’s writings than most of their predecessors, among other things their desire to end to religious toleration under the law (62-63). He also notes the response to Atheism by those who are outside of evangelicalism as well as by Evangelicals who accept evolutionary thought.

Analysis: In a sense, those Mohler discusses are not really new. For example, Dawkins most famous book, The God Delusion, is largely a recycling of old arguments, many of which had been abandoned since World War 1. Mohler probably means the militant dogmatism of the new atheists though even this is not new, (Voltaire, Robesppiere and Lenin were equally militant in their atheism). Even the idea that many of societal issues come from organized religion is really an old argument. What these men have actually done is repackaged Atheism into a “cooler, hipper” brand for the post cold-war era. What is new, of course, is that the militant brand of atheism is more acceptable that it was previously in the west. Until recent years, the Dawkinsesque branch of atheism had been treated as the lunatic fringe of atheism since the French Revolution by most atheists. And now it appears the lunatic fringe is running the asylum.

Mohler indicates that non-evangelicals and those accepting evolution have not given sufficient answers to the New Atheists. Mohler’s ultimate point seems to be that Evangelicals need to start answering the questions posed by Modern Atheism.

Conclusions: If you are looking for a book that answers Atheism, Mohler’s Atheism Remix is not for you. Mohler however, does do an excellent job of identifying the issues and players for someone wanting an introduction to the current state of the debate. He is a good introduction, and his work is highly readable. Mohler should be considered a challenge to the modern church. The book is written in a clear, precise but highly readable style.

Does anyone else have an opinion on this work?

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