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Is Christianity Good for the World?

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  509 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Put two contrarians together and shake well. -Christianity Today The gloves come off in this electric exchange, originally hosted by Christianity Today, as leading atheist Christopher Hitchens (author of God Is Not Great) and Christian apologist Douglas Wilson (author of Letter from a Christian Citizen) go head-to-head on this divisive question. The result is entertaining ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Canon Press (first published September 1st 2008)
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Sep 07, 2008 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by:
Latest salvo in the New Atheism saga. This is a debate between Hitchens (atheist) and Wilson (Christian). Both are good rhetoricians, chuckles will accompany a read of this book. Wilson isn't a sophisticated apologist or philosopher. Hitchens is neither for his side. Both would have troubles if they faced the best from the opposing side. But as far as this debate goes, Hitchens comes off looking like a complete hack. Seemingly unable to "get" the question Wilson repeatedly poses. But, "questions ...more
Imagine a highly condensed, unedited version of God is not Great. It doesn't contain the highly polished prose, the impactful arguments, or much of the smarmy wit that makes Hitchens a joy to read, but it still contains enough to get some basic points across. Now imagine this poor facsimile of the book interspersed with the trifling prattle of an extremely confident believer.

Wilson wheels out every Christian's favorite decrepit chestnuts, including "But if there's no god then bad people don't ge
Gwen Burrow
If you want to see a fight where bare knuckles meet the same nose over and over, if you want to watch a strategist locate the tipping point again and again, if you want to admire the wit who can spot the rug his opponent is standing on and jerk it out from under him every time--then read this and watch Wilson bring Hitchens to his knees. The most amazing thing, however, and the most beautiful thing is that Wilson does this in order to present Hitchens with gospel grace, and he does it with the h ...more
Before someone dares debate an issue like: Is Christianity Good For The World - first one must explain to Mr. Hitchens what exactly Christianity is (He still doesn't seem to know). Therefore much of this chat is a waste of time. Even though Douglas Wilson puts in a noble effort.

I did find it fun that: In order to get to the root of this problem, you don't even have to read the Christian defense - just observing Hitchens drunken ramblings (Is it really wrong for me to assume he's drunk? Nah. What
Dan Glover
Anyone buying this book and looking for an exhaustive, facts-and-figures filled debate between a Christian and an atheist over the merits of the Christian faith will likely be disappointed. This exchange was originally a multi-part internet debate hosted by Christianity Today which was likely a more fitting medium for this level of exchange. However, this book does have its merits. For one, it is short. Many people are frightened away from large volumes on this subject but this takes the form of ...more
Mary S
This book was cute. Upon reading it I pictured two older gentlemen,dressed in tweeds, settled into the snug at their local. Maybe they were two brothers, or two old colleagues who have existed side by side for years and years. You know exactly what each will say -- heck, they know what each other will say. The book reads like two well worn paths up the same mountain. The paths cross and diverge, but never seem to reach the summit. Another day, another polite trudge up the slope. I was left askin ...more
Rebecca Newman
Really enjoyable to read.

It is interesting to note, when reading the other reviews on this book, that atheists seem to all agree Hitchens "won" the debate hand's down and Christians are all duly impressed with how well Wilson knocked it out of the park. I fall into the latter category, proud that not only can a Christian defend the faith logically and succinctly but also with wit and patience and humor. No stodgy Christian here.

Hitchens does what any atheist MUST do and that is, evade the first
This is a rare phenomenon much like the related documentary Collision. In the foreword, Jonah Goldberg points out, as a secular Jew, that rarely do two opponents discuss religious views with joy and gratitude. This presence doesn't take away from the heat of the debate--not a punch was pulled--but it does appear to shed more light. Surely angry or overly serious people have their scopes so narrow that they miss nearly everything else besides what they fret. Wilson and Hitchens can change topic w ...more
Anne Hamilton
A fascinating debate. I can only conclude there are structural differences in people's brains when they obviously and genuinely think they have answered a question that, to me, seems to be evaded.
Joe Fitzgerald
A fairly well-argued debate by both Hitchens and Wilson can be found here. Both make key mistakes during the course of their arguments though.

Hitchens makes the mistake that Dawkins, Harris and other "New Atheists" do in making the same kind of bread, unprovable assertions of which they accuse theists. Additionally, Mr. Hitchens, who I consider one of the greatest public intellectuals of the postwar era, tends to discount the validity of belief systems based on the failure of adherents to abide
I wouldn't recommend this book, whether you are a fan of Hitchens or Wilson. This book is like reading a vocal debate... yet apparently the authors wrote to each other. I might even guess that this was an exchange of emails between the two. The content just isn't that good, the authors talk past each other, both make a couple good points but I would much rather have a well formulated argument from each side for their views instead of this format.
An excellent debate between the famous atheist Christopher Hitchens and the Christian theologian Douglas Wilson. Both sides gave interesting and well-thought arguments about Christianity, but in my humble opinion Douglas Wilson won the debate in argument and courtesy. Though Hitchens is a very eloquent speaker, his arguments on morality and other topics are not sound enough to stand on. Wilson effectively asked questions that Hitchens could give only partial answers to and also gave excellent an ...more
Amy Lawton
I have to explain why I gave a book with Hitchens' name on it only two stars.

Wilson answers the question “is Christianity good for the world” from within Christianity’s own precepts. Because Christianity guarantees salvation, it must be good for the world. Otherwise the world would be damned. So that is why Christianity is good. QED. This is his sole claim about Christianity in every single round of the debate. Carousel horses travel greater distances.

Any atheist worth their salt should be able
Hitchens vs. Wilson

With an introduction by Jona Goldberg (author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning ), this 67 page book consists of six rounds in a debate over the topic "Is Christianity Good?"

Since Is Christianity Good for the World? has used the term "round" to describe the turns that each authors take, I will follow that lead and treat the book like a boxing match.

In this corner, we have the political conservative, poli
Shane Wagoner
Neither of them even begin to scratch the surface of the debate. Here's a phrase they could both benefit from: "Truth doesn't change based on its implications". Hitchens gives arguments that are absolutely miserable. Every page was just another instance of him dodging Wilson's respectable questions (Plot twist: Normative properties don't exist Wilson. I'm sorry Hitch doesn't really grasp that...). As for Wilson, while he makes a good point regarding morality and warrant, he doesn't actually expl ...more
Steve Dustcircle
I admire Christopher Hitchens and his views on religion, and I enjoy a great debate, so I acquired this small book. There is some philosophical addresses, as well as some biblical text conversation, but I felt that after reading this book, I didn't learn much from either side.

Half of the responses are repeats of the questions, with some light jabs, and a slightly- off-topic response, never fully addressing what was said prior. There was dancing with words, and both debaters never really left me
Second time I've read this fantastic little book. Thoughtful, witty, and incredibly entertaining.
A lot of fun to read. Both Wilson and Hitchens are great writers/rhetoricians.
Vince Lanier
I stick with my stance that I don't beleive in atheist.
Perhaps the most productive debate out there.
The latest snack sized offering from Hitchens features himself and Douglas Wilson
going one-on-one. Really nothing new here but it still made for an enjoyable enough read.

Wilson's main thrust is to challenge Hitch on what Wilson believes is atheisms
moral relativism. Hitchens counters that our morality has evolved just as the species has.
Which seems clear enough when one acknowldeges how our attitudes have changed over history.
It is so especially clear when one reads the Bible itself. From the fir
Márcio Sobrinho
A tese do falecido Christopher Hitchens nesta colisão de ideias é que o Cristianismo é uma mentira perversa que tem feito mal à humanidade. Antes mesmo de considerar o mérito da questão, Douglas Wilson desafia o ilustre ateu a, como na máxima de Dostoiévski, mostrar que fundamento ele tem para dizer que algo é verdade ou mentira, bondade ou maldade, num mundo sem Deus. É um bom debate, embora eu estivesse esperando que Douglas Wilson desmanchasse Hitchens com mais argumentos históricos.
This work pits New Atheist Christopher Hitchens against Christian pastor Doug Wilson in a debate on the topic of whether Christianity is good for the world. There are six rounds in the book, not including each of their introduction. For such a serious and heavy topic, the book is short and concise and yet readers might enjoy this format over a long drawn out debate. Both Hitchens and Wilson seem to do a good job in stating their view in a short and concise matter. Unlike other books that have a ...more
Joseph Louthan
Good, good, good, so good.

Wilson is top-notch and has the upper hand to give the response.

Hitchens is spot-on typical atheist:

1. Remove God from the equation
2. Plug-in Evolution as the new source
3. Profit$

In this, the main hard-hitting topic was Morals and Ethics or the source of Morals and Ethics.

Wilson's explanation needs none here. Hitchens' explanation is that there is no source but rather, our morals have evolved.

Classic Romans 1:18-32.

The book is super-short and an awesome introduction to
Interesting if you like the subject but the debate didn't really accomplish anything since, in my opinion, there was a lot of misconstruing the point and a little bit of sniping back and forth.
In the end I don't feel like either of them successfully addressed the question, so much as debated whether or not there is an absolute morality.
Lee Scoresby
I think the best thing you can say about this book is it brings to mind what some of the important questions are. It doesn't really answer anything. The two debaters seem to talk past each other. When Wilson uses the idea that Christianity will save us all from sin and believers from hell, it makes the rest of the debate pointless. The debate is supposed to be about whether Christianity is good for the world - not whether it is true or not. Obviously if Christianity is true, it is good for the w ...more
This very short book requires a couple of focused hours to digest, but given the time I thoroughly devoured the content. Douglas Wilson does a great job of arguing that the Christian faith is good for the world because it provides the fixed standard which athesism cannot provide and forgiveness of sins. Christopher Hitchens argument that innate morality evolves is continually and in my mind, successfully rebuffed.

I completely agree with Douglas's conclusion:
"Before the meek could inherit the ea

Two stars. It was "ok", no more than that. Douglas Wilson seems like a nice guy and everything, but he's just no match for the Hitch.
Sean Higgins
Hitchens hates the idea of an always-watching, unchangeable Judge, especially one who commanded genocide and other killing from his people in the Old Testament. Hitchens also thinks that men have come to recognize their mutual obligations to each other (morality) and a sense of justness through evolution.

Wilson keeps going back to the issue of the basis for making any conclusions, or why we should care about any one's conclusion on anything, if we are simply random matter. Christianity is good f
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Christian Theolog...: Is Christianity Good for the World? 3 26 Jun 11, 2013 11:11AM  
  • Persuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief.
  • A Shot of Faith (to the Head): Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
  • Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Against Christianity
  • Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical View of the World
  • The Rage against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith
  • Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction
  • Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness
  • The Lord's Service: The Grace of Covenant Renewal Worship
Christopher Eric Hitchens (April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011) was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of tal ...more
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