A couple of days ago my latest column was published in First Things. It is titled “Ye of Brittle Faith.” It is a response to the atheist mafia’s orchestrated attacks on me and my book, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, from such quarters as The Guardian (UK), BBC, and The New Yorker. First Things is a very influential journal for Christian thinkers around the world. You can read the article here. (Unfortunately, they have placed the piece behind a paywall, so you can get a flavor for it, but then you have to pay $1.99. Pay it. It’s worth it.)
I have waited until now to respond to my critics for a variety of reasons:
- I have simply not felt up to it. I am, as many of you will know, still recovering from the massive trauma of an accident I suffered some fifteen months ago. That is an ongoing, perhaps lifelong, process. Regardless, it is an understatement to say that this has consumed more than a little of my physical and emotional energy.
- The book received overwhelmingly favorable reviews from people who actually read it: Christianity Today’s Books & Culture, Mere Orthodoxy, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews, Booklist, Desiring God, Glenn Beck, and others. Indeed, it is with gratitude that I report that just last month The Gospel Coalition very generously named it a Book of the Year Award Winner.
- Once the controversy began, others very ably defended the book in The Wall Street Journal, The Times (of London—twice), The Federalist, and FrontPageMag.com.
- Finally, the shrill, irrational nature of the attacks made it clear that not only had few of these critics read the book, but even those who did set out with an agenda to mischaracterize it: an evangelical claims that Hitchens converted on his deathbed! This was “fake news” from the outset as my First Things article demonstrates. Furthermore, no honest reader of the book could doubt my genuine affection for Christopher Hitchens. This was not an assault on him, but it wasn’t a hagiography either. For these critics, however, nothing less than a hagiography of the late atheist would do.
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