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Further Reading

DEPARTMENTS: Opening Salvo

Salvo 7: Atheism

by Bobby Maddex

First, I want to confirm that this is a copy of Salvo that you hold in your hands. And just so you know, more changes are coming, including brand new departments, an improved structure, and even more fake advertisements. Thanks to our online survey (and if you haven’t filled one out, please do so at salvomag.com), you were given a chance to tell us how we could make the magazine better. Now we are in the process of complying with your requests. The current issue is the first step in a transition that will be complete with the publication of Salvo 8.

But don’t be fooled by our new size and format. The magazine will remain a brazen force in these culture wars, fighting for morality, human dignity, and the transcendent truths that lead to happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. Indeed, whatever qualms you might have about our makeover should be allayed by the present issue—a no-holds-barred counterattack against the misleading claims of today’s New Atheists. By magazine’s end, I think you’ll agree that only some of the more superficial aspects of Salvo have been changed.

Moving on, then, to Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and the rest of the New Atheist crew, it’s important at the outset not to overestimate the impact that these gentlemen have had on religious belief. As Dinesh D’Souza remarks in Marcia Segelstein’s conversation with him (p. 31), religion is more popular than ever throughout the world, particularly Christianity, which is seeing huge growth in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Thus, far from signaling the end of faith, these New Atheists might very well be sounding the death knell of disbelief, emitting one last frustrated gasp over the triumph of religion.

That said, most of the New Atheist books have been bestsellers, and many individuals who might be categorized as “on the fence” regarding religion have been persuaded by them to abandon whatever vestige of belief they had left. Dr. Karen Swallow Prior tells the story of a young Christian couple at her university who were thrown for a loop by New Atheist assertions, an encounter from which they have yet to recover (p. 24). In all those years of Christian education, writes Prior, “they had never been faced with the questions raised by the New Atheists. Thus, they had never been faced with the answers to those questions either.”

This is the real danger that the New Atheists pose. For the first time in a long time, religion is under the microscope, and for some, this has proved an unsettling experience, forcing them to confront questions and accusations that they just aren’t prepared to answer. But Prior is absolutely correct: The answers do exist, and Salvo has them. In the following pages, you will learn that an entire body of scholarship has arisen in response to New Atheist arguments, and it is so much deeper and richer than anything that the New Atheists have produced.

Here’s the thing: Despite New Atheist claims to the contrary, these men do not have a monopoly on dispassionate reason. In fact, their dirty little secret is that they are fairly well consumed by a deep and zealous hatred for religion that blinds them to the biases, falsehoods, and logical fallacies that plague nearly all of their arguments. By contrast, the case for religion is grounded in solid thinking that is—as Greg Koukl has noted elsewhere—free of linguistic tricks, rhetorical ruses, rabbit trails, and red herrings. I hope you enjoy reading our presentation of this case, and I hope you like the new Salvo magazine.


If you enjoy Salvo, please consider giving an online donation! Thanks for your continued support.

FROM THE CURRENT ISSUE

A Boy's Life: 5 Recommendations for Shielding Our Sons from the Anti-Culture—And Setting Them Towards Manhood by Anthony Esolen

Revolution 101: How the 'New Civics' Is Fomenting Civil Unrest by Terrell Clemmons

Up for Grabs: In Science, When 'Anything Goes,' Everything Goes by Denyse O'Leary

Optimal Optics: Evolutionists Don't Know a Good Eye When They See One by Jonathan Wells

FROM PAST ISSUES

The Darwin Tales: It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

Engendered Confusion: The Chaos of Postmodern Sexuality by Laurie Higgins

Zombie Killer: The "Icons of Evolution" Have Joined the Ranks of the Undead by Denyse O'Leary

My Favorite Zombies: Can We Let Them Rest in Peace? by James M. Kushiner

Eye Openers: Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

Tuning Out the Universe: How Naturalism & Post-Fact Science Ignore the Evidence We See by Denyse O'Leary

Deep-Seated Rights: What They Are & Why You Have Them by Steve Jones

Improbably So: Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

The Long Red Shadow: Mike Shotwell Has a Message for Millennial America by Terrell Clemmons

The Good Life: It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth, Not the Pursuit of Happiness by James Altena

Taking Polls Apart: Human Complexity Foils Electoral Predictions by Denyse O'Leary

Morality as Story: The False Charity of Modern Journalism by Rebekah Curtis

Can We Talk?: It Is Crucial That We Put Our Minds to Contentious Issues by James M. Kushiner

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