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The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,236 ratings  ·  209 reviews
When you pray, are you talking to a God who exists? Or is God nothing more than your "imaginary friend," like a playmate contrived by a lonely and imaginative child?

When author Sam Harris attacked Christianity in Letter to a Christian Nation, reviewers called the book "marvelous" and a generation of readers--hundreds of thousands of them--were drawn to his message. Deeply
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Hardcover, 143 pages
Published May 11th 2008 by Zondervan
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Jeremy
Jul 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
I saw glowing reviews of this book. It was recommended to me for Ravi Zacharias's "intelligent response" to Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation.

First, I am biased. Everyone is. A big part of why I didn't like the book is probably because I'm an atheist, and I've heard arguments like Zacharias's for a long time. Also, it began with an introduction by Lee Strobel, whose Case for Faith already made me groan and shudder in revulsion. Not because I disagree with his conclusions (which I do), bu
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Kimberly Dawn
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
In The End of Reason, former atheist Ravi Zacharias makes a very compelling and powerful case for Biblical truth and Christianity.

——————————————


🌍 ☀️ 🌝 🌊 🌍 ☀️ 🌙 🌊 🌎 🌞

I ❤️ this quote:

”We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don’t believe in miracles?”
—Unknown
Ben
Feb 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
The subtitle to this book is “A Response to the New Atheists”. Actually, it’s a response to one atheist’s (Sam Harris) book (Letter to a Christian Nation). This just felt like a giant ad hominem attack. The book is full of these, along with false citations, unfair generalizations, conjecture, and tired arguments for the existence of God. Zacharias, a former atheist, found Christ when he was confined to a hospital bed after a botched suicide attempt. He is of the belief that atheists lead an emp ...more
Rod
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: atheism, apologetics
What an incredible book - I can see why some people hate it (because they are ignorant morons). Sorry, but that had to be said.

Here Ravi gets to the heart and logic of the matter, the stuff that Sam Harris laughingly attempted to force feed to any American that would listen. Ravi carefully goes through each issue and shows how Mr. Harris failed to comprehend simple truth or honesty.

What a great quick read, If only more angry atheists would read this and comprehend it - but we all know they won
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Scott
Sep 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Horrible. Preaching to the choir. Only those who already agree and want to will not realize how bad the arguments are. Also...”The End of Reason?” Really? Did anyone consider what a terribly embarrassing title that is? He’s going to use Reason to argue for...the end of Reason?

Too many people have probably read this book without first reading Harris (or at least, without reading him very carefully and with an open mind). I’m not looking to defend atheism so much as I’m trying to show some example
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John
Jun 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
I picked up The End of Reason to “second-guess” my 15-year-long move from Catholicism, to agnosticism, to atheism. Zacharias’s missive woefully lacks the empirical depth and objective rhetoric required to stand as a substantive response to a Sam Harris’s The End of Faith. For me, The End of Reason was 150 pages of feelings, fears, and tongue lashings, all marinated in a stew of abject rage against those who think differently from the author. In short, Zacharias's premise is thus: believing in a ...more
Stephen Reed
Nov 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
The first paragraph of the prologue is telling of the ensuing bias and gross over-generalizations -- not to mention what could only be willful ignorance of scripture. We are given an imaginary scenario in which, briefly, a university student renounces "his family's faith". This causes a massive rift in the family as "beliefs that have been held dear in the family for generation crumble", culminating in our hypothetical atheist's dear Christian mother taking her own life. First off, this is grote ...more
Amanda Birdwell
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this book a lot -- read it in one night and plan to go back to read it again. I would have ranked it higher, but I do think, much as I like it, that Dr. Zacharias falls into some of the rhetorical pitfalls for which he critiques Sam Harris -- for example, the opening story of a mother committing suicide over her son's loss of faith.

My biggest difficulty with the book is that it simultaneously tries to address Harris's charges that believe in God is unreasonable and that religion is toxi
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Andrew
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
I've recently read The End of Faith by Sam Harris and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I have found Dawkins enlightening and the answer to the question of God that I've been struggling with. Harris is a little too extreme for me so I thought I'd try reading this response see if I'm making a mistake in my beliefs.

Ravi Zacharias failed miserably in this response, now I'm convinced of the truth of Atheism more than ever. The primary argument of Zacharias is Christianity provides an absolute mor
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Laurel
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was passed to me by a fellow Christian. I have known of Ravi Zacharias for many years, although this is the first of his books I have read, and I respect him as a scholar and as a Christian believer.

Having read several books in the past that deal with similar topics, I really appreciated reading this one. I found Ravi's arguments to be rational, polite and sincere, even when he clearly opposes the arguments of the new atheists. Although Ravi is clearly a philosopher - from a school of
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Ashish Jaituni
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: apologetics
What should I say? Ravi is a good writer and expresses his thoughts very well. But there is a problem that all his books more or less have the same content, some changes in the words but more or less they have nothing new to offer except the changes in the 'names' of the books. For this reason reading his books has become a monotonous task.
Michael Munns
Dec 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
If you take seriously some of Sam Harris' attacks on Christianity, this book answers some of them. But this book raises many questions of its own and, I think, some of the core philosophies espoused only work if beginning with the assumption of a God. It's not very convincing to prove to an Atheist that God exists using an argument reliant upon first assuming that God exists.
Mark
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it
A response to Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" - while there's flashes of brilliance here, I think pulling apart Harris' argumentation is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Harris is so angry & bitter that his arguments lunge wildly and often without thinking through the implications of the point he is making... Ravi Zacharias points those things out in the book.

My reaction to the book as a whole is two-fold:

1. I don't think it is a terribly good apologetic for atheists themselves.
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Bonnie
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The author begins the book by explaining it is a response to "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris, a "diatribe against religion." I'm only familiar with Dr. Ravi Zacharias (apologist for Christian thought and belief)from watching him on tv and completely unfamiliar with Sam Harris (his first publish "The End of Faith").

The most important message I received was Zacharias' explanations, arguments, philosophies, Scriptural wisdom and answers to questions that, as a Christian, I should know.
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Kevin Hu
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Presents many valid and interesting arguments to consider, but presented in a slightly aggressive manner. I don't imagine this will cause people to change their beliefs, but a good introduction to the Christian perspective on many such issues.
Chris Hokanson
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
While Harris’s writing has plenty of problems, if this is the best that popular Christian apologetics has to offer, then it’s in a sad, sad state. This book reads like a parody of apologetic writing.
Kris
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great seminar that asks piercing questions to critique the ultimate results of atheistic thinking.
Steve Goble
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: religion, nonsense
Not well argued. Lots of unwarranted assumptions, and tired arguments.
Winston Jen
May 18, 2013 rated it did not like it

I listened to this audiobook twice before writing this review (it's only about 150 minutes long).

The book begins with a disingenuous foreword from Lee Strobel, whose "magnum opus", The Case for Faith, has already been thoroughly debunked. Not only does Strobel have a strong vested interest in Christianity, but apologists like Zacharias and Craig would lose their livelihoods if they lost their faiths.

For a full refutation of Strobel's work, simply google "case against faith."

There is no evidence
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Dawn Weaver
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A rising tide of ‘new atheists’ scathingly indict religion as the source of all ills. Their rallying purpose is to free the world of all traces of religion. Mockery is the prescribed tool and nothing is held sacred. Some actually proclaim rape to be preferable to religion and pedophilia to be less harmful than teaching a child about Hell. The Holocaust is declared the fault of Christianity. The atrocities carried out by Stalin and Mao are said to be the result of wrong beliefs, (thus religion) n ...more
Scott
Dec 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Well...this book is really disappointing. I'm not really sure what I expected to get out of this book, but I can confidently say there is absolutely no value in these pages. The End of Reason is an apt title, considering Zacharias's arguments consistently fall flat and contain zero rational thoughts. Considering this book takes its title in response to Sam Harris's strong book, The End of Faith, you might expect him to respond to Harris's claims in that book, but unfortunately Zacharias focuses ...more
James Cloyd
The irony of this book is too much, if you didn't get that already from the title. I wonder if Ravi knows what the founding father of his protestant faith thought about reason. According to Martin Luther, "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has," "Reason should be destroyed in all Christians, " & "Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason." Or how about one of the founding fathers of America, since he wants to remind the west who we are. Has he read Thomas Pain ...more
Joe
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ravi makes 4 points against atheism (What dies with it)

1) Origin - Science cannot answer how everything came from nothing

pg 36 why doesn't atheism take root among the masses?
It might be that it offers no real answers to life's biggest and most important questions.

Pg 37 Evolution does not disprove God.

2) Meaning
Page 39 if we are a random accident no meaning or purpose can ever exist.
Why then do we long for meaning as humans?

pg 39 Muggeridge says - "All news is old things happening to new people"

N
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J.J. Richardson
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great response to Sam Harris with Ravi's typical head/heart mix of communication. However Atheists will most likely be put off by his initial illustration. Likely they wouldn't be happy if it was a purely logical response with no heart as they'd just appeal to the problem of pain and evil. As it is, it was a good listen (audio book) with some fairly good deconstructions of Harris and his peers common arguments. Ravi is a one of a kind apologist.
Greg Miller
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ravi is obviously a fantastic apologist, and he lays out his arguments in a very easy to read fashion. His arguments are for the most part well crafted and revolve around the atheist having no moral law giver to differentiate good from evil. However, it sometimes feels as if Ravi is arguing on the basis of his emotions inadvertently. Nonetheless, fantastic book regardless of a few flaws.
Joseph
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure I get the logical flow of this book, if there is one.
Marco
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I regret that I waited so long to read Ravi Zacharias. After his passing, I was determined to become more familiar with his writing. This is my first read (actually listen). I'll say this: Brilliant and articulate. There was so much depth to Ravi. He was obviously so well read and it shows up in his writing. I'm amazed how effortlessly he pulls together quotes, stories, poetry, literature, history and philosophy to make his case in responding to Sam Harris. Reading him is not just an academic ex ...more
Abbie
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook on apologetics. Ravi’s arguments and stories were compelling. I was surprised by how sad the atheist must be - he has no real answers, no lasting hope, and no true purpose in life. Yet, with Christ.. we find all three of these.
Jimmy
Jul 23, 2011 added it
This work is a response to the atheist Sam Harris, playing on Harris' title "The End of Faith." The author, Ravi Zacharias, is a capable writer and expresses clear and calm thinking throughout the book. Those who are familiar with Zacharias' other work will expect to find the author's tact, logical deconstruction and personal winsomeness, and certainly such readers will not be disappointed here. Those who spend some time following the New Atheist crowd will immediately notice the difference of t ...more
Derrick
From time to time, I like to check out what Christian apologists are saying, especially in response to "the New Atheists". Zacharias is a name I have heard before. And at 3 hours on hoopla audio, this one seemed worth a look.

Nothing new here. The author aims his discussion primarily at Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation. His stated audience is any person who's been led astray by Harris's arguments. In the end, it's the same series of arguments you always get in this kind of pop theology:
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Ravi Zacharias was a speaker and an author of over 25 books. He fully believed the truth of Jesus Christ can endure the toughest critiques and spent nearly 50 years addressing life’s great existential questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. He was founder and chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (www.rzim.org), headquartered in Atlanta with sixteen offices worldwide. He ...more

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“That truth, by the way, is why even the horror of hell is more the outcome of a heart that seeks to disown God and play God and live eternally with those who do the same than it is retribution against evil. C. S. Lewis once wrote that “there are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”46” 11 likes
“Denying the existence of God leads us to preposterous conclusions so that, in the end, the amoral world of the skeptic who simply cannot explain good is worse than the world of the theist who has an explanation for evil.” 2 likes
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