I recently finished a book, by David Bentley Hart, entitled “Atheist Delusions The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies.” This title, however, is distracting. It is provocative in a way different than the book itself, which, while surely engaging in some polemical fun here and there (especially at the beginning), primarily provides the reader with a brilliant analysis of the significance of the Christian movement in history – its growth and decline – all the way up to the the post-Christian world in which we live today, looking ahead to an uncertain future.
It was a very enjoyable read. It made me think hard. The author holds himself throughout to a high level of responsibility rationally. In other words, he does not try to get away with making claims that are not credible or that he cannot make credible. Nor does he fail to distinguish between his argued claims and his opinions. Neither does he refrain from treating fairly all historical parties he discusses (pagans, etc. See especially his chapter on Julian the Apostate.) And although he is content, in his direct criticisms of the “New Atheists”, not to make the whole body of their arguments his focus (opting instead to address a small handful of them), this is because his analysis of the Christian movement within history (by far the bulk of his book) ably dismantles the silly and simplistic fictions these arguments are based on.
As I indicated above, he has things to say about the future we face. Here is a sample that provides much food-for-thought:
It seems to me quite reasonable to imagine that, increasingly, the religion of the God-man, who summons human beings to become created gods through charity, will be replaced once again by the more ancient religion of the man-god, who wrests his divinity from the intractable material of his humanity, and solely through the exertions of his will. Such a religion will not in all likelihood express itself through a new Caesar, of course, or a new emperor or Fuhrer; its operations will be more “democratically” diffused through society as a whole. But such a religion will always kill and then call it justice, or compassion, or a sad necessity.
Find the book at Amazon.