The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief by James S. Spiegel
A Backpack Truth Blog BOOK REVIEW
It's about time.
It's about time someone wrote a book like this for a time like this. With the army serving under the New Atheists generals growing everyday, we need a Biblical-based analysis of what makes them tick. Here it is; James Spiegel's The Making of an Atheist. Out of all the books by Christian authors that have come out responding to the New Atheists, this one by far will be the most insightful.
This one will also be the most annoying and offensive - to the New Atheists, that is. Although I have a feeling many Christians may not like parts of this book either, but why? Because so many Christians have a sub-biblical theology of man (and the effects of sin upon him) this book will seem outlandish to their sensibilities. Make no mistake, though, Spiegel's new book is thoroughly Biblical. It acts as an analysis of atheism; a biblical diagnosis of the problem, if you will.
The short version of it is that atheists are mentally ill - although I don't think Spiegel ever says that. It's true, however, that sin touches on and radically corrupts every aspect of the unregenerate man - this includes his mind. This means the reasoning faculties of the unsaved have been exposed to the corrosive acid that is sin and therefore can't think straight. This is what Reformed theologians have described as "the noetic effects of sin". This does not mean they are less intelligent; on the contrary.
All Spiegel has done is adopted the Biblical paradigm for such matters - the Bible says the fool says in his heart there is no God. How can Scripture call a person with a high IQ a fool? How did they get that way? These are the questions Spiegel deals with in the Making of an Atheist.
Atheists do not want their to be a moral lawgiver and judge because they want to make their own rules and be their own final authority. Romans 1 and 2 are prominent places in Scripture where this is discussed. Atheism then, is a facade; a psuedo-intellectual anti-God wall constructed by one under the sway of a self-induced deception.
If you are a Christian reading this and don't like how it sounds, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of Spiegel's book and read it. Keep an eye on his exegesis and the passages he uses as the foundation of his main thesis. Ask yourself if he is in keeping with the thrust of the passages.
I believe you will find that his work is a faithful reflection of the biblical diagnosis of atheism and there is really no need to get a second opinion. Tomorrow I will post some of my favorit quotes from the book so you can get a flavor for its overall tone.
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