CSFF Blog Tour – The God Hater, Day 1

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring The Good Hater by Bill Myers, a Howard Books publication. As you might imagine from the title, the protagonist of the story is a renowned atheist.

Because I had the privilege of attending a debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Biola University professor William Lane Craig, I was especially interested in the opening scenes of The Good Hater.

Atheist philosophy professor Nicholas Mackensie is sharing a stage with a pastor for the TV show God Talk. The discussion quickly turns into a debate in which Mackensie shreds the poor megachurch pastor (who had hoped to hawk his latest book rather than engage an atheist). In chapter two, Mackensie tangles with molecular biology prof Annie Brooks.

The arguments were familiar though some of the facts were not, and that author Myers wrote his atheist protagonist as the winner of both these encounters set the tone for the book. This was not going to be a didactic one-sided look at the existence of God. The fact that the exchanges regarding religious views was interspersed with mystery and danger showed that the book was above all, a story.

What a concept — a Christian work of fiction, featuring an atheist protagonist. A real atheist, one that sounded a lot like Christopher Hitchens, attacking religion because of the wars and killing done in the name of God and because of the hypocrisy of those purporting to represent Him.

It’s an ironic twist, I think, that the atheist is a philosophy professor and the Christian teaches molecular biology. Quite the reversal from the scientist atheist versus the theological Christian you might expect.

My only issue with this part of the book was that it was too short. But I’ll get to that point when I do my full review of The God Hater later in the tour. For now, I suggest you take some time to read what others participating in this month’s CSFF tour have to say:

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Published in: on February 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 Comments

  1. As with ALL your writing, this is a fabulous review, Becky. You have a way with words, and with appreciating other people’s good words. I love your review (part 1) of The God Hater. Can’t wait to hear what else you have to say. 🙂

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  2. I loved Dr. Mackenzie! The moment he stepped onto the page, I liked him 🙂

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  3. I couldn’t wait to see what the outcome would be as I finished up the final pages of The God Hater and how Nicholas Mackenzie would come to see things in a completely different perspective with no one to really influence him except all the arguments he’s been arguing all these years. Remarkable book!

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  4. That was brilliant on Myer’s part. He cast the Christian as the biologist so he could bring up the scientific proofs of Divine Intervention, and let the philosophy professor win the first battle with her because the author intended to win the philosophy war as he kept us on the edge of our seats with an awesome story. He also did a great job making us love our enemy. 😉

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  5. Janey, thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated.

    Morgan, it’s interesting to me to read other posts in which readers said they did not like Mackenzie. That surprised me. And others found him to be stereotypical. Maybe I just don’t know enough atheists, because he seemed very three-dimensional to me.

    Kat, I was with you — the suspense kept me riveted. And I did think it was interesting that Mackenzie followed logic to get to an answer for the overriding problem — how do we stop this civilization from self-destructing?

    Andrea, I hadn’t thought about the love your enemy aspect, but you’re absolutely right. I really liked Annie’s love for Nicholas, long before he ever did anything to “deserve” it. She showed Christ to him even before he came to the conclusion that Programmer had to enter the e-world if it was to be saved.

    Good stuff, on so many levels.

    Becky

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  6. […] sure to check out what the other CSFF Blog Tour participants listed at the end of the Day 1 post have to say about The God […]

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