Is atheism dead?
It is easy to observe in secularized societies that atheism — “no-Godism” is the practical presumption (the underlying, working worldview), opening big doors to “yes-godisms” — the innovative idol-making-machines of millions of human hearts in search of meaning. If you don’t devise your own gods, then the obvious meaninglessness of existence settles in to destroy you – nihilism. What’s the point of living?
In 2021 Eric Metaxas published a book of 403 pages by this title, Is Atheism Dead? I included it in my list of books to review this year in my Roaming Reader series.
I’m sorry to take so long to get to this book! In the meantime, Eric has come out with another book, a mere 139 pages, entitled Letter to the American Church. Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer writes that Metaxas’ new book “is like a bucket of cold water thrown into the face of a sleeping church.”
I ordered it and added it to our small stack of Eric’s work. Metaxas is a prolific writer as well as a radio host, international speaker, host of “Socrates in the City”, and cultural-political commentator. He has written three, significant, biographical tomes, one on Martin Luther, another on William Wilberforce, and a volume on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He’s written humor (which flavors most of his writing and speaking), children’s books, scripts for Veggie Tales, and articles appearing in many magazines.*1
His December 25, 2014 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God,” became the most popular article in the history of WSJ. *2 You will find two links to this article below. (If you can’t read the book, at least read this article. I suspect that you will appreciate it and will be encouraged.) The huge response to the article spurred him to invest much time and work to write Is Atheism Dead?.
The WSJ article begins:
“In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: “Is God Dead?” Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete– that as science, progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place —science itself.”
“As science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe”? This sets up his 2021 book, Is Atheism Dead?.
Metaxas lists five challenges to the “secular consensus” of God’s death, which have become clearer and louder over the years since 1966 — most of which many publishers and pundits prefer to overlook and avoid (a kind of censoring?). Metaxas speaks out. Here are the five challenges his text develops.