Dr. Mohler has now released his second book of the year, "Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists," and as the title suggests, it is his take on the New Atheist. I have read several books on the subject and written reviews of many of them. I have looked at the arguments proposed by Richard Dawkins, Samuel Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and others.
Mohler now takes his hit on the New Atheist. Out of all that I have read on them, this is by far the shortest. I read the entire book in one setting and was grateful that I did. To begin, Mohler's work is based, and very similar, to a series of lectures he did at Dallas Seminary and I will try to link to them at the end of this review. I have listened to those lectures a number of times, and so this book was a quick read.
Mohler's approach is very different than others. He begins with a look at the history of atheism, how we have gotten to the New Atheist, what they bring to the table, what their arguments are, who they are, and why they are so dangerous. Mohler lets the reader know everything they need to know about this movement from the beginning. He takes the reader on a historical trek around the West to show that these "4 Horsemen" did not appear out of nowhere. Perhaps the most helpful was the time he spent on Friedrich Nietzsche, ardent atheist and hater of Christianity. Nietzsche is critical to understanding atheism, and the New Atheist fall in line with Nietzschian philosophy.
From there, Mohler looks at what makes the New Atheism new. His numbered list are helpful and easy to follow. Anyone reading (or listening/watching) this argument quickly realizes that what argument Dawkins and crew are making are significant and dangerous.
Afterward, Mohler shifts to evangelical engagement with the atheist. He primarily looks at two men: Alister McGrath and Alvin Plantiga. Mohler presents their main argument against the atheist, namely Dawkins, and why his (and their) arguments are faulty and self-refuting. Mohler lays out their argument in a way that is clear, precise, and devastating to the atheist. Following that, he offers his short critique of the New Atheist (though it could have been longer). Mohler calls Christians to return to Christian theism as the starting and ending point of the debate. Though this is helpful, I am afraid that it misses the point. I would have to side more with McGrath and Plantiga who meet the atheist where they are and then take them to the logic of Christian theism.
Finally, Mohler takes us to the future of atheism. How else have Christians engaged this new threat on our faith? Mohler points out that the liberal response is failing miserably and must be avoided at all cost. Mohler agrees with the atheist, liberal Christianity isn't helping anything. Rather than resort to finding middle ground in this debate, Mohler reveals that we have one of two options:
The definition of "Christian" is also crucial importance here. Harris defines a Christian as one who believes "that the Bible is the Word of God, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that only those who place their faith in Jesus will find salvation after death." Once again, he is much clearer here than many Christians are about what Christians are to believe. the New Atheist are certainly right about one very important thing - it's atheism or biblical theism. There is nothing in between.
And with that, he closes his book.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. Mohler, though not making many arguments, does succeed in presenting the issues at stake and providing a Christian response. Unlike other books engaging the new atheism, Mohler fails to engage them directly. But then again, that isn't his point.
Mohler is writing to Christians who may be oblivious to this new movement, or at best, uncertain of the debate. Mohler seeks to lay out the issues in a clear way and show how Christians are to respond. Thus why it is a short book. If Mohler wanted to defend the existence of God (though he does some through the pen of McGrath and Plantiga) he could have. But that is not the books purpose.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to enter the debate. However, I would not recommend it to anyone that knows nothing about cultural engagement, naturalism, Darwinism, philosophy, and secular theory and practice. Of all that I have read on this movement, Mohler offers the most precise and easy to read book. I highly recommend it as I would recommend anything Mohler writes, says, recommends, or does.
Here is the lecuture series that the book is based on: