Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Hitchens - Wilson Debate

For the month of May the Christianity Today website has been hosting an on-line email exchange between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson on the subject of atheism and Christian theism and its a good one.

I always say that when the atheist is being pummeled.

Hitchens has become the darling of the conservative right wingers because he supports the war in Iraq and writes so eloquently in favor of it and so scathingly against those opposed to it. Being British, he is able to wield his droll wit like a skilled heart surgeon does a scalpel. A couple of years ago in a debate in New York City, Hitchens slammed dunked George "Lord Hee-Haw" Galloway, a British parliamentarian, who had the audacity to come to America and go on a speaking tour ripping into our country and president. All the pro-Bush folks cheered. And rightly so, I might add.

Well, along with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennet, Hitchens has become another one of those pop-culture atheists with an anti-God book to sell. His wit, normally applauded by conservatives when it is unleashed upon muddle-minded hippy leftists, has now been turned back upon the conservatives who generally have pro-religious tendencies. Hitchen's book is called God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

The thing with Hitchens, in spite of his bombast and vitriol against religious faith, is he really presents nothing new. It is the same, re-treaded, anti-God arguments which have been answered and refuted 1,000 years ago and every century since when nasty little atheists dare to raise their fists against their creator in defiance. All that Hithchens has done is re-phrase the arguments to make them sound funnier and employ his own name calling against religious practitioners. His interview the day after Jerry Falwell's death in which he subliminally repeated the slurs "little toad" and "troll" after each of his hateful comments against Falwell, is a prime example of his less than substantive rhetoric.

Doug Wilson and Hitchens were invited by Christianity Today to do a month long series of written email debates for all the world to read. Honestly, it is more of an exchange than a formal debate. I am not necessarily a big fan of Wilson's theology, but I have always admired his ability to write, and when it comes to displaying the folly of atheism, he is a master, and the emails are worth reading just for Wilson's side of the discussion. He does a superb job of exposing the non-viability of Hitchens' atheistic world view when he tries to force him to explain why he believes what he believes. Hitchens won't do it, because he can't.

Also, Wilson has put together a series of reviews of Hitchens' book which are also worth the time reading.

Read all 5 parts at the CT website. Is Christianity God for the World. I am not sure if anymore are forth coming, but check back to see if there may be a 6th set of emails.

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Blogger John R. said...

I read Wilson's reviews of "God is Not Great" a couple of weeks ago... They were terrific--as well as entertaining.

When I saw Hitchen's interview after the death of Falwell, I realized that he was nobody to take seriously on the grounds of his ability to grasp reality.

The only problem is that he is to be taken seriously because so many take him seriously--with no serious reason to do so...

7:09 AM, May 30, 2007  

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