There are plenty of apologetics book out there. But it is so easy to create a straw man and win arguments against people who don’t really exist. That is why I was excited to see that God or Godless? was going to include both a Christian apologist (Randal Rauser) and an atheist (John Loftus). Both authors shared in determining the questions that they would look at and each responded to the other’s answers. The inclusion of both positions make this a much better book.
In some ways, John Loftus is not the best example of the atheist position. As an ex-Christian apologist and pastor, he brings all the baggage that comes with that deconversion. I certainly could not recognize in his statements anything of my experience with atheism. Loftus brings up many of the standard attacks against Christianity. What really marks his statements is a spirit of anger and bitterness. He seems to have been burned by the church and certain Christians and that seems to drive him more than intellectual reasoning.
I like Randal Rauser and not just because he is a Canadian. His style is different than mine but that is perhaps why I like him. I enjoyed his answers to the more philosophical questions. He had some great insights that I had never thought of before. He has a sense of humour and a way of bringing intellectual concepts down to the level that the average person can understand. I will confess that I was disappointed by some of his answers to the biblical questions. He expressed his discomfort with some of the teachings of Scripture, which is fine, although there are some responses that could be given. It seemed to me that Rauser was not just co-writing a book, he was also reaching out to Loftus. No matter how nasty Loftus got, Rauser never responded in kind.
Overall this is a helpful book that I highly recommend. There is much to be learned about both Christianity and atheism. Both atheists and Christians should enjoy this book.