Friday, June 10, 2011

Alister McGrath on Why God Won't Go Away MP3 Audio

Alister McGrath presents this talk at Westminster Abbey, on the subject of his book Why God Won't Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? This is his assessment of the state of the new atheism today. This audio is from the Abbey podcast here. More by Alister McGrath here, as well as Ap315's interview here.

Full MP3 Audio here. (30 min)
[HT: Chris]


Kyle Essary said...

This is absolutely one of the best assessments of the New Atheism that I've heard yet. His comments on slogans and discussion of the soundbite thinking in the movement is spot on. The audio quality isn't good, but it's worth pressing through to hear what he has to say.

It makes me wonder about the best way to present the gospel to a worldview that claims to be about reason, but clearly doesn't want to think deeply about the issues (I'm not talking about all atheists, just the new populist/NA types). The gospel, not to mention the Christian intellectual tradition, cannot effectively be condensed into pop-slogans.

I'm thinking it will have to continue to be modernistic in regards to discussing the deep issues, but also have to be relational in order to get beyond the shallow level represented in many an internet message board, chat channel or comment box.

Kyle Essary said...

By the way,
McGrath is one of my favorite theologians, and I love this site, so I have no idea how I missed the interview until just now. I subscribe to the feed, but must have had something going on that I totally missed it! Listening now.

Chad said...

For those interested, McGrath also deals with the New Atheism in his book The Passionate Intellect.


dgfisch said...

In the public sector, I am amused at the billboard campaigns by our local Freedom from Religion group. With each sign they put up, the area religious organizations put up two, sometimes one the very billboard the atheist message was posted (once its time for display was over). McGrath was correct in asserting that the New Atheist's aggressiveness spawns a reaction that shows religion's importance, and why God just doesn't go away.
Sorry that there was some cut off of the last minutes of the address. Is there some way to have this whole lecture presented?
In one respect, the New Atheist movement is best dealt with using the advice of Rabbi Gamaliel, given to the Sanhedrin in Acts 5: 38, 39, "... if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing." Ironic advice when seen in full, but God will forever have His unbelievers. McGrath is timely in his reminder to continue to deal civilly and respectably with the New Atheism.

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