If you haven’t picked up the John Allen Paulos‘s newest book yet, there’s still time. This book is the latest in the line of books arguing against the existence of God, something that I think is futile, but interesting. When my knitting editor called my attention to this book, my first reaction was “enough already.” But Deb assured me that Paulos was an excellent writer and I wouldn’t regret picking up his book. She’s never given me bum reading advice before, and atheism isn’t one of her regular reading topics, so I figured there must be something to this book. I picked up a copy the next time I was at the local bookstore.
If you haven’t decided whether or not to join in with the reading this month, or if you’re like me and enjoy reading reviews of books that you’re in the middle of, I’d like to draw your attention to some reviews of Irreligion and one podcast, that I’ve mentioned before, featuring the author.
- Point of Inquiry podcast: “In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, John Allen Paulos explores some classical proof of God’s existence, and why he discounts them. He criticizes some mathematical proofs for theism, including those based on statistics, and explains how free market economics might challenge Intelligent Design theory. He also details why it is important for the non-mathematician to know math, and how mathematics might be beautiful.”
- New York Times book review: “Clearly, Paulos is innocent of theology, which he dismisses as a â€œverbal magic show.â€ Like other neo-atheist authors, his tone tends to the sophomoric, with references to flatulent dogs and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ann Coulter crops up in the index, but one looks in vain for the name of a great religious thinker like Karl Barth, who saw theology as an effort to understand what faith has given, not a quest for logical proof.”
- Amicus Dei book review: “John Allen Paulos performs a great favor for Christians: he knocks the props from under the classic arguments for the existence of God. You might think that evaluation strange coming from a Baptist pastor, but let me explain.”
- Feminist Review book review: “If youâ€™re an atheist whoâ€™s been bedazzled by the apparent logic of someoneâ€™s argument for Godâ€™s existence, if youâ€™re an agnostic wanting to explore the issue further, or if youâ€™re a religious person who simply wants to keep an open mind and understand â€œthe other side,â€ this book is a valuable tool. It summarizes the arguments and then, with brutal logic and rationality, pulls them asunder.”
I have my own ideas about the book and these reviews, which I’ll share during the month. While you’re waiting for your book to be delivered from Amazon or your local library, take a peek at some of these interviews and reviews and let us know what you think.