Phillips on “The Rage Against God”

I’ve been meaning to read this book. In fact, the Salvo managing editor let me borrow it well over a month ago and, for various reasons, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. But after reading this short article by Robin Phillips about Peter Hitchens, i think it’s definitely time I got started on it. From Robin’s article “Transforming Evil into Good“:

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The notion that ideas have consequences is one of the themes in Peter Hitchens’ latest book, The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith. Published last year by Continuum, the book tells the fascinating story of Peter’s rejection of his boyhood faith, his pursuit of socialist utopianism, and finally his return to faith in later life.

Hitchens’ return to Christianity was a slow process involving many factors. One of these factors was the time he spent in the Soviet Union as a reporter during the 90’s. Living in Moscow during the twilight of the Soviet empire, Hitchens was able to witness firsthand what happens to a society that tries to structure itself on atheistic principles.

The brutal and dehumanizing aspects of the Soviet Union are common knowledge, as is the fact that the nation tried to structure itself on an atheistic worldview. While no one disputes these two facts, some people have doubted that there is a necessary connection between them. The value of Hitchens’ book is that he shows that there was an intimate causal link between the Soviets’ rejection of God and their dehumanized society. He establishes this by drawing on his own experiences, as well as primary source materials from Soviet archives.

One of the most chilling parts of the book is when Hitchens shows that many Soviet thinkers were prepared to reverse the moral continuum, believing that under certain circumstances evil could be transformed into good.

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