f The Wittenberg Door: Letter to a Christian Nation

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Letter to a Christian Nation

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In the September 24, 2006, edition of the New York Times appeared the costly, full-page ad (about $100,000) promoting the new book by Atheist Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation. The ad begins with the question, Ready to challenge religious dogma?, and then plugs the "courageous new book that arms all rational Americans with powerful arguments against their opponents on the Christian right."

Not only does the publisher think highly of the Stanford University Philosophy grad's case, so do others from the intelligentsia:

"Sam Harris's elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine . . ." Sir Roger Penrose, emeritus professor of mathematics, Oxford University, author of The Road to Reality.

"Reading Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation was like sitting ring side, cheering the champion, yelling 'Yes!' at every jab. For those of us who feel depressed by this country's ever increasing unification of church and state, and the ever decreasing support for the sciences that deliver knowledge and reduce ignorance, this little book is a welcome hit of adrenalin." -Marc Hauser, Harvard College Professor, author of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Sense of Right and Wrong.

"Sam Harris fearlessly describes a moral and intellectual emergency precipitated by religious fantasies-misguided beliefs that create suffering, that rationalize violence, that have endangered our nation and our future. His argument for the morality, the honesty, and the humility of atheism is galvanizing. It is a relief that someone has spoken so frankly, with such passion yet such rationality. Now when the subject arises, as it inevitably does, I can simply say: Read Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation." -Janna Levin, Columbia University, author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines.

So it seems that the Atheist elite believe they have hit a home run against their Christian foes; that is certainly what Mr. Harris thinks:

"In Letter to a Christian Nation, I have set out to demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity in its most committed forms." (From Introduction, ix)

Making and Breaking a Worldview

For any worldview to be viably considered, it must be able to make sense of reality. It must be able to provide a foundation for things like mathematics, the laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, and be able to explain things like love, beauty, and the existence of propositions.

Mr. Harris has two cases to make: a negative case against Christianity, and a positive case for Atheism. Of course, he could simply prove Atheism to be true, thus ruling out all contrary claims. But, instead, he has chosen to make the negative case.

I have recently purchased the book; my goal is to answer his arguments and to challenge his worldview. I will do so in a series of posts where I'll consider his arguments, answer them, and make my own challenges against the Atheistic worldview. My hope is that some of my Atheists readers will take me up on my challenges.

Stay tuned for part 1!

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3 Comments:

Blogger BK said...

Just to let you know, I am anxiously awaiting part II.

7:19 AM  
Blogger The Wittenberg Door said...

You and me both, BK. So far I found the Mr. Harris is very good and being sharp-tongued and making accusations, but I have yet to actually find an argument. Nevertheless, stay tuned; I'll get through it.

10:12 AM  
Blogger RC Metcalf said...

You may be interested in a new book that has just been published in response to Sam Harris. It is entitled "Letter to a Christian Nation: Counter Point" by RC Metcalf. It is available through Amazon and B&N or through the author's website at http://thinkagain.us. Please let others know about this important work!

12:30 AM  

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