Review: The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist

by Apr 19, 2016Books, Mission, Worldview2 comments

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious AtheistThe Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist by Larry Alex Taunton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was really excellent. It was level-headed, insightful, interesting. There’s no way I would have read a Thomas Nelson book on this topic by an author I didn’t know if Doug Wilson in Books & Culture and someone at the Gospel Coalition hadn’t praised it so highly. I would have assumed that it was some dewy-eyed evangelical wish-fulfillment book in which some deathbed muttering reported third-hand becomes, in the hands of the kind of person who reports decision figures for revivalistic crusades, a conversion story—despite Hitch’s famous “If I convert on my deathbed it’s the cancer.”

Taunton doesn’t do this. He’s honest. I quickly came to trust him. And like him. He managed to stay humble while telling a story in which, truth be told, he comes off rather well. That’s because he doesn’t think of himself as equal to Hitchens in debate skills or intellect. He clearly admires Hitchens. What’s more, he clearly loved Hitchens. And that comes through. I already felt, after Wilson’s fantastic Collision DVD with Hitchens, an affinity toward this particular atheist that I don’t feel for his compatriots Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris; it was an affinity I couldn’t explain. Now I can. A really special book.

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  1. danielwalldammit

    This book is the ultimate in throwing a punch after the bell. No, it is not an excellent book. It is a terrible exercise in deceit and back-handed insults. Differences of opinion aside, this is NOT how one writes about a dead friend.

    • Mark Ward

      FWIW, I didn’t come away from the book thinking that Hitch really converted. Sure, I wish he would, but if you look at my review you’ll see 1) I was wary of Darwin-like deathbed conversion stories and 2) there really was something that endeared Hitchens to the evangelical public (or at least me!) before we ever heard that it was because he was taking biblical ideas seriously and personally.