Albert Mohler reported on Wired magazine’s latest cover article: “The New Atheism.” The author, Gary Wolf, aptly described this new brand of atheism represented by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris:

 

The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it’s evil. . . . Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains of innocent tykes.

 

The new brand of atheism is not like the old. Old atheism was relatively passive. At worst the old brand of atheists would argue in the public square that religious belief is wrong, or intellectually inferior to atheism. But now atheists are being evangelistic and militant for atheism and against theism. They are arguing that religion is the cause of the world’s evils, and should be fought against as a social evil. Dawkins goes so far as to propose that the state should prevent parents from being able to teach their religion to their kids!

 

There is a war on religion in the West. This really hit home to me when I was walking through San Francisco with N.T. Wright’s book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, in my hand. I thought to myself, I am more likely to be privately derided by passerbys for carrying this book than I would be if I were carrying Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Sam Harris wrote that “at some point, there’s going to be enough pressure that it is just going to be too embarrassing to believe in God.” I think he’s right. That mood is already here. One of the main reasons for this shift is because people have become convinced religion is blind faith, unsupportable by reason. That’s why there’s a great need for Christians to become informed about their faith, learning the reasons that support their religious convictions, and then actively engaging non-believers and believers alike in the public sphere to share those reasons with them, persuading them of the intellectual viability of the Christian faith. Doing so will go a long way toward making Christianity a viable option in an increasingly educated culture that demands reasons to believe.

 

One quote appearing in Mohler’s article is from Daniel Dennett. Dennett argues that “if you have to hoodwink—or blindfold—your children to ensure that they confirm their faith when they are adults, your faith ought to go extinct.” I can agree with that!


P.S. Chad says there is a lot of anti-Christian sentiment at the new “On Faith” website.