Review of Craig and Meister, “God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible” -- By: Zoltan L. Erdey
Conspectus 12:1 (September 2011) p. 249
Review of Craig and Meister, “God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible”
Craig WL and Meister C 2010. God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press.
1. The Four Horsemen (of rhetoric) and the New Atheism
For the proper understanding of the milieu of this book, it is important to introduce briefly a new atheistic movement. The contemporary context of apologetics was redefined in 2004 by Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. It marked the commencement of an atheistic movement often referred to as the New Atheism. Broadly speaking, New Atheism is an ‘expression used primarily to distinguish secular thinkers who argue that religious faith and belief in gods are dangerous and destructive because they are essentially irrational and encourage irrationality and anti-scientific thinking’ (
I am not attacking the particular qualities of Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other specific God such as Baal, Zeus, or Wotan. Instead I shall define the God Hypothesis more defensibly: there exists a super-human, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us.
Conspectus 12:1 (September 2011) p. 250
This book [The God Delusion] will advocate an alternate view: any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion.
This movement is an aggressive ‘intellectual’ movement targeted against deism and theism alike. The foremost authors associated with this movement (often referred to collectively as the Four Horsemen) include Sam Harris (The End of Faith and A Letter to a Christian Nation), Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon), Richard Dawkins (The Bling Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, and The God Delusion) and, most pertinent for the title of the reviewed book, Christopher Hitchens, the author of God is Not Good, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. The book by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, God is Good, God is Great: How Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible, is therefore not only the an...
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