Killing snakes with a shovel

Farmeruminations reviews The Irrational Atheist:

I have read several works of Christian apologetics, The Case for Christ by Lee Stobel, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Gisler, Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, and others. This book is nothing like those. This book is an attack on atheism/Godlessness using reason, logic and facts, the very things that the UnHoly Trinity claim to love. The results are not pretty. Harris in particular, but all three are made to appear as ignorant fools. This should be no surprise to the Believer, since we already know that, ”the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

I’ve heard Christian friends and leaders say that it’s not possible to use reason, logic and facts to show the existence of God. While this may be true, Vox does an absolute masterful job of using those three things to eviscerate the arguments of D, H and H….

A few disclaimers. Vox writes with a slash and burn style. A take no prisoners, blow them up and leave a smoking hole mentality. Some in the Christian community are going to be offended by this approach. I would remind them that our Lord said some rather harsh things to say to some of His critics. You don’t call someone a “generation of vipers”, “whited sepulchres”, and “fools” without having your targets tend to react unfavorably to these terms. Vox does not treat D, H and H with kid gloves. It’s an in your face, put up or shut up, throw down.

Just so you know that I’m not only inclined to post the favorable bits, here’s some criticism we can only assume comes from the Divine Puppet Master Himself via the Responsible Puppet:

I must say I’m a bit torn on this one. But the tear doesn’t go down the middle of the page; the Good piece is bigger than the Bad. And the Bad I think will come as no surprise to Vox and regular Puppet or Vox readers. So let’s start with the Bad and get it over with, shall we?

They are three.

1. As I have been involved in creative endeavors of late, I am learning something that perhaps most artists/authors/developers already know – Art requires sacrifice. Except for the extremely talented, artists need to choose one good over another in their creative process. So for example, a painter who wants to go for a more impressionistic piece sacrifices realism. A movie director who is going for a stark feel will hesitate to show the beauty inherent in their subject matter. A poet will choose a rhyming word over the word that makes more coherent sense. This is the way it must be. You can’t do everything. I understand this.

Okay, here goes: I disagree with a significant sacrifice that Vox made while writing this book – In some sections, he chose style and tone and sacrificed showing a Christ-like attitude. To be fair, this choice doesn’t show itself that often, but where they are apparent, it is pretty significant…. The most notable example of this is the very first sentence of the first paragraph in chapter one.

As you can probably tell, our debate on omniderigence is merely postponed, it’s not at all forgotten…. What you can’t know is how much help TRP provided me in writing TIA; his collected comments and criticisms on each and every chapter would nearly make up a book of their own. I very much appreciate both the time and effort he put into it as well as his attention to detail; I am fortunate indeed to have such a dedicated and intelligent critic. The one thing he appears to have uncharacteristically failed to note, however, is that I not only addressed all of the Unholy Trinity’s strongest arguments, I was careful to address the arguments that the men themselves – particularly Richard Dawkins – explicitly stated are the central arguments of their respective books.

But given the glaring weaknesses of those arguments, it’s very easy to understand how an intelligent man who hasn’t read those books could find it difficult to believe that the arguments I refuted so easily really were the best on offer. Contra TRP’s impression, I didn’t make the “targeted authors look like fools”, the simple truth is that they did it for me. I merely shined a light here and there in order to point out the obvious.

Do you see?