A review of The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief by James S. Spiegel, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2010

In this brief but insightful book, author James Spiegel cogently clarifies, especially for Christians, the real cogs that turn in the engines of atheist’s hearts, including the New Atheists. One key distinction of the New Atheists is that not only do they say that it is probable that there is no God, but that belief in God is wrong and should be proactively stamped out. Not only is Spiegel’s analysis backed up with history, Scripture, and logic, but his suggested mindsets and tactics for Christians to use in ministry among atheists are equally insightful and practical. This book has something for young and old, and would be a valuable addition to most any Christian’s library.

The entire book follows a progressive flow that compels the reader forward. Spiegel’s first two chapters point out obvious and fatal flaws with the atheistic worldview. In fact there are more, and more well-laid-out, arguments in just these forty large-font pages than there were in the entire book God and the New Atheism by John Haught, which was reviewed in the December 2008 issue of Journal of Creation.1

Succinctly refuting atheism

For example, Spiegel notes that the problem of evil, often considered the bedrock of atheism, “could never count as grounds for atheism” (p. 26). This objection is usually framed as a question like, “How could a theistic God allow evil, since by definition he doesn’t like it and is able to stop it?” Spiegel states that “one cannot—whether by appeals to evil or anything else—eliminate the need to explain the existence of the universe. Nor does the problem of evil eradicate the abundant physical and biological evidence for design” (p. 27). He admits that while it is challenging, the problem of evil really has nothing much to do with explaining how this world got here.

Not only this, but New Atheists like Richard Dawkins who have used the problem of evil to argue against God’s existence actually “have no grounds to call anything evil” (p. 27). The New Atheists are ‘positivists’, which means they believe that all real or true knowledge must come from a science experiment. Spiegel correctly points out that this faith claim is self-refuting, since, “the notion that all beliefs must be scientifically verifiable is, well, not scientifically verifiable” (p. 29)….

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