Thursday, December 1, 2011

How I Read It: The Devil's Delusion

A few thoughts after finishing The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski

Quotable: "It is entirely possible that there may be as many elementary particles as there is funding available to investigate them." p53
"A God looking agreeably like me makes precisely as much sense as an 'indeterminate sea of potentiality' with the additional advantage that He is said to be responsive to prayer." p97
"The 'book of God's word' and the 'book of God's works,' Francis Bacon argued, are not in conflict.  How could they be? They are the same book." p213

The Argument of Atrocities: The book looks at many "regular" arguments that atheists offer against Christianity and religion in general.  The one I most appreciated was in Chapter 2.  Berlinski makes the point that while religion has been responsible for many atrocities throughout history, the last 100 years have plenty enough 'secular' atrocities to go around and nullify the atheist argument.  Men like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot all were living with a worldview that there was no God.  The claim that less religion is going to lead to less war, death, and tragedy is simply false.

Enjoy the Tone: I enjoyed the tone of this book.  Berlinski writes very much "on the attack."  Which is fun to read considering most material from atheists is very brash as well.  Personally I would not use the tone in a conversation with an athiest (or anyone for that matter).  But it is refreshing to hear.  It should also be noted that Berlinski himself is not a Christian, but a "secular Jew".

That all but wraps up my 2011 reading.  I have one more book that I'm reading with the COCUSA staff, so I won't be posting a review until 2012 most likely.  Here's the "final" rankings.

2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
  1. Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
  2. One thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill*
  3. The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani
  4. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson*
  5. Churchill by Paul Johnson
  6. Humility by CJ Mahaney*
  7. How to Design Cool Stuff by John McWade
  8. Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck*
  9. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
  10. Samson and the Pirate Monks by Nate Larkin*
  11. The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski
  12. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  13. Crazy Love by Francis Chan*
  14. It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy*
  15. The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott*
*I own these books, let me know if you want to borrow them. I'd love to share.

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