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Is Christianity Good for the World?

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  649 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
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 and provocative a glimpse into the ongoing debate."
Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2008)
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Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
Pastor Doug Wilson takes on the formidable atheist Christopher Hitchens in a back-and-forth discussion. This is a short book, and both writers are very talented and make salient points. But I ultimately thought that Wilson carried the day. He's funnier, too. If you're interested in more, their discussion turned into a movie, Collision .
Aug 22, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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
Even for a short book it was a trial to get through because Wilson's bits were fatuous and repetitive, as tends to be the case when someone uses as a launch point for their "rational argument" that a Supreme Supernatural Being exists.

Hitch was great, though. :D
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics, atheism
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
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca Newman
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary S
Feb 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
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
Sep 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
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.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Two very smart people debating a tough subject. Short, but good!
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the most productive debate out there.
Vince Lanier
I stick with my stance that I don't beleive in atheist.
May 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
Anne Hamilton
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second time I've read this fantastic little book. Thoughtful, witty, and incredibly entertaining.
Luis Dizon
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-religious
'Our current 'morals' are therefore just a way station on the road. No sense getting really attached to them, right? When I am travelling, I don't get attached to motel rooms. I don't weep when I have to part from them. So, in the future, after every ferocious moral denunciation you choose to offer your reading public, you really need to add something like, 'But this is just a provisional judgment. Our perspective may evolve to an entirely different one some years hence,'or 'Provisional opinions ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joe Fitzgerald
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Amy Lawton
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism
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
Joseph Louthan
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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Christian Theolog...: Is Christianity Good for the World? 3 28 Jun 11, 2013 11:11AM  
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Christopher Eric Hitchens 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 talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more
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“But for you to make this move would reveal the two fundamental tenets of true atheism. One: There is no God. Two: I hate Him.” 12 likes
“I cannot, of course, prove that there is no supervising deity who invigilates my every moment
and who will pursue me even after I am dead. (I can only be happy that there is no evidence for
such a ghastly idea, which would resemble a celestial North Korea in which liberty was not just
impossible but inconceivable.) But nor has any theologian ever demonstrated the contrary. This
would perhaps make the believer and the doubter equal—except that the believer claims to know,
not just that God exists, but that his most detailed wishes are not merely knowable but actually
known. Since religion drew its first breath when the species lived in utter ignorance and
considerable fear, I hope I may be forgiven for declining to believe that another human being can
tell me what to do, in the most intimate details of my life and mind, and to further dictate these
terms as if acting as proxy for a supernatural entity. This tyrannical idea is very much older than
P a g e | 5 of 29
Christianity, of course, but I do sometimes think that Christians have less excuse for believing, let
alone wishing, that such a horrible thing could be true.”
More quotes…