The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith
The Rage against God reads like a restrained essay the first third of the book. It is important ot know that this is a response to his brother's book. God is not Great.HItchens details his early life in Great Britain, why he left his roots and why Great Britain left her roots and the effects of both. Hitchens set out to do anything that was contrary to what he knew about God. HIs time spent as a journalist in the Soviet Union helped him see the results of living contrary to God. when he returned to England. Many of the things he had disliked in the Soviet Union were starting to manifest themselves there and for the same reasons, the discarding of Christian beliefs. The essay was informative but subdued. Very British as we Americans think. Americans will think his conversion was understated. Yes, the entire book is understated. It doesn't have to be full of exclamation points to delver its points. That is one of the strengths of the book. The arguments stand without shouting. The description of his conversion was to give flesh to his argument.He says,I did not have a "religious experience." Nothing mystical or inexplicable took place--no trances, no swoon, no vision, no voices, no blaze of light. But I had a sudden, strong sense of religion being a thing of the present day., not imprisoned under thick layers of time. A large catalogue of misdeeds, raging from the embarrassing to the appalling, replayed themselves rapidly in my head. I had no doubt that I was among the damned, if there were any damned.This is while looking at a medieval painting. This is not how most Americans view a conversion. But it was one.In the second part of the book, he deals with "the three failed arguments of atheism." The three failed arguments are: (1) conflicts that are fought in the name of religion are about religion;(2) it is possible to determine what is right and what is wrong without God; (3) atheist states are not actually atheist. This section was the same as the first part. Convincing but subdued. It was as if the task were too easy.In the final section of the book,when he deals with the absurdity of anti-theists, as Peter's brother, Christopher refers to himself, thinking that anti-theist regimes do not reflect poorly on their view. This is where the hammers pounded. Peter Hitchens had atheism dancing in all of its nakedness. Hitchens had been there and had seen the effects of atheism. He had believed the arguments and had seen them fail. This is where the book truly succeeds. He takes away the bite in their arguments. In this section, Hitchens clearly shows why atheists want our children; giving our children their beliefs is how they think they will succeed. This book is worth reading for the purpose that it gives one confidence to bump into these arguments without being afraid, which is an important purpose of apologetics--to give believers confidence in their beliefs. When anyone shouts another down, it is important to know that there is a response. This book isn't comprehensive in its response, which the author admits, but it is sufficient.