D’Souza: Debunking Atheists

October 25, 2007

My goal here is to convince as many of you as possible to read Dinesh D’Souza’s compelling new book, “What’s So Great About Christianity.

Since I wrote my book chronicling the war against Christianity in our culture, many atheists have come out of the closet to admit their hostility toward Christianity and formally declare war against it.

Anti-Christian books have cropped up like alien pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” not only disputing Christianity but arguing that it is a societally destructive force.

I have often lamented that too many Christians have opted out of the culture wars, for varying reasons. Some are apathetic; others mistakenly believe that the biblical injunction to rejoice in their persecution also means we should roll over and surrender. Still others grossly underestimate the stakes involved and the fierce determination of their opponents.

Dinesh D’Souza is not among the AWOL Christians. And, unlike some other Christian apologists, he meets the enemy on his own turf, confronting and deconstructing his arguments rather than merely reciting Scripture that might be intelligible only to “the choir.”

He presents a comprehensive yet concise apologetic of the Christian faith, facing head-on and answering the nagging intellectual obstacles to faith, not least the problem of human suffering. He also affirms the reliability of Scripture, the historicity of Jesus, the overwhelming proof of His resurrection and the uniqueness of Christ and the Christian religion.

But this book is more than the traditional, theological apologetic. It also contains a robust defense of Christianity’s positive influence in history and debunks the revisionist disinformation condemning the religion.

“Christianity is the very root and foundation of Western civilization.” Because of its premise that man is created in God’s image, Christianity is foundational to our firm belief in man’s dignity and our higher notions of morality, even many the secularists have plagiarized as their own. D’Souza warns that we cannot remove the Christian foundation without, ultimately, removing its values along with it.

Indeed, D’Souza shatters the fable that Christianity is responsible for most of the atrocities through the ages and documents that atheist regimes have been responsible for exponentially more deaths in the last few decades than have Christian regimes throughout history.

He also exposes the illogic of atheism’s claim to moral superiority when it can’t even offer a rational explanation for man’s moral component. Nor can atheism explain man’s consciousness. Apart from God, there is no accounting for either conscience or consciousness.

D’Souza also conclusively refutes the secularists’ widely believed myths that Christianity is the enemy of reason and science. Christianity gave rise to modern science, and most of the world’s great scientists have been Christians.

Christians believe that God set man apart from other beings, giving him “a spark of divine reason” and the special power of apprehending His creation. This eminently rational God created an orderly universe whose mysteries could be unveiled through application of man’s reason, his “faith in the possibility of science.”

D’Souza explains why science didn’t flourish in other relatively sophisticated cultures, like ancient and medieval China. “There was no confidence that the code of nature’s laws could ever be unveiled and read because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated [a code of nature’s laws] capable of being read.”

D’Souza’s approach is admirable because he doesn’t allow himself to be on the defensive but aggressively highlights the weaknesses in atheistic thought and proves that professed intellectual objections to Christianity are often a cover for rebellion against Christian morality.

While atheists congratulate themselves for employing reason to follow the evidence “wherever it leads,” D’Souza shows that their presuppositions, including their “unwavering commitment to naturalism and materialism,” sometimes inhibit their objective inquiry.

It’s one thing for scientists to define science in such a way as to exclude the supernatural — one of the secularists’ rationales for opposing the introduction of intelligent design theory into the classroom. But it’s altogether another for secular scientists to use science as “a complete framework for understanding man and the universe.” It is completely nonsensical and dogmatic to say God is beyond the scope of scientific inquiry and then proceed to use science to promote an atheistic worldview.

It is impossible to do this book justice in a short review. But please trust me that it is an indispensable ally for the Christian in defending his faith — historically and doctrinally. But it is also tailor-made for any open-minded skeptics among us who might be surprised by the clarity, intelligence, depth and inviting gentleness D’Souza brings to these unsurpassably important issues. I strongly encourage you to buy it — and read it from cover to cover.