Friday, July 17, 2015

Is the Atheist my Neighbor? A Review

 Are you a religious person who has a friend or relative who is an atheist or agnostic, but they just don't fit the usual categories of someone who wants to lead a selfish life of sin? Instead, they seem like pretty decent people?  And you just don't know  how to fit them in with what you have been told the Bible teaches about such people? 

Or are you an atheist or agnostic who is tired of religious people telling you that you actively suppress an innate belief in God, borne of a hatred of God and a desire to be wicked?  And to bolster their case they cite passages, such as  Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 in the Hebrew Bible, or Ephesians 2:12 or Romans 1:18-21 in the New Testament?

 Then the  book,  Is the Atheist my Neighbor?, by theology professor Randal Rauser, is for you.  In it Randal explains why none of these biblical passages are good reasons for accusing atheists of blindly, stubbornly ignoring God out of a desire to sin.  And he shows how often they can be good, reasonable people that are worth getting to know and befriend.  People who would make good neighbors.

Is the Atheist my Neighbor? is a short (97 pages), easy read.  But I think it is an important work, that can help change the tone of the conversation between believers and non-believers from hostility to respect and even friendship.  That's something we all could use a lot more of in this world.  Pick up a copy.  After you read it, I think you'll want to pass it on to that special friend or relative.