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Interesting but unconvincing
on October 12, 2010
Peter Hitchens is writing to balance the extreme atheist positions of his brother. He is successful to the extent that he does not attempt to address Christopher's argument in a systematic way. Referring to him on occasion, he writes a parallel text explaining the experience of moving from an atheistic youth to what is apparently orthodox Christianity.
Having myself converted from a Fabian socialist, and atheist background to a state I describe as Christian, I am clearly sympathetic to his cause. However, I am far from orthodoxy. It is the step from acceptance of the truth (the good) of essential Christian teaching, the valuing of the Christian tradition, and the importance of Christian community, to a belief in the historical accuracy of the virgin birth, the miracles, the ascension into heaven, and a personal God (who chooses to answer some prayers but not others in a random and cavalier manner defined by the devout as a 'mystery') that baffles me. Hitchens does not claim to have been saved (converted) in a glorious moment, so even that uninspiring explanation is not given.
The book is part autobiography - I would have enjoyed more - and part rejection of atheism. It is well written and easy to read and likely to appeal to others who have a complex relationship with Christianity.