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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
2016 Winner of the Gospel Coalition Book Awards
At the time of his death, Christopher Hitchens was the most notorious atheist in the world. And yet, all was not as it seemed. "Nobody is not a divided self, of course," he once told an interviewer, "but I think its rather strong in my case." Hitchens was a man of many contradictions: a Marxist in youth who longed for acceptance among the social elites; a peacenik who revered the military; a champion of the Left who was nonetheless pro-life, pro-war-on-terror, and after 9/11 something of a neocon; and while he railed against God on stage, he maintained meaningfulthough largely hidden from public viewfriendships with evangelical Christians like Francis Collins, Douglas Wilson, and the author Larry Alex Taunton.
In The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, Taunton offers a very personal perspective of one of our most interesting and most misunderstood public figures. Writing with genuine compassion and without compromise, Taunton traces Hitchenss spiritual and intellectual development from his decision as a teenager to reject belief in God to his rise to prominence as one of the so-called "Four Horsemen" of the New Atheism. While Hitchens was, in the minds of many Christians, Public Enemy Number One, away from the lights and the cameras a warm friendship flourished between Hitchens and the author; a friendship that culminated in not one, but two lengthy road trips where, after Hitchenss diagnosis of esophageal cancer, they studied the Bible together. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens gives us a candid glimpse into the inner life of this intriguing, sometimes maddening, and unexpectedly vulnerable man.
"If everyone in the United States had the same qualities of loyalty and care and concern for others that Larry Taunton had, we'd be living in a much better society than we do." ~ Christopher Hitchens
Larry Alex Taunton is Founder and Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith. Fixed Point has captured the attention of BBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Network, The Christian Post, and many others. Taunton has personally engaged some of the most vociferous opponents of Christianity, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. He lives in Birmingham, AL.
GL5 Stars Out Of 5Interesting turn of events late in Hitchens lifeFebruary 13, 2017GLQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Hoping that Taunton's suspicions of Hitchen's true inner state of affairs is true. I don't believe in everlasting hellfire but I do believe that we're resurrected to be judged by our good works and our bad (that has nothing to do with "being saved"... only that the saved are judged too - Paul: "now is judgment on the house of God").
Thoroughly enjoyed Taunton's writing and his open discussion of "no one's going to believe this and I didn't want to write this but... ".
It's going to be interesting seeing Hitchens and others like him in the Resurrection (not to taunt or jeer, only to discuss this life and how we came to believe what we believed ) .
We'll see how that goes.
Sheila5 Stars Out Of 5Another Must-Read by Larry TauntonApril 12, 2016SheilaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5It was a beautiful but complex friendship, an example of how our loving God uses one of His own to woo an unbeliever right up to the very end. Every person is valuable and loved in God's sight. He desires all to come to know Him in a personal way. This book was a very interesting read. I usually have a hard time finishing a book, but once again, Larry Taunton's writing not only held my interest, but allowed me to vicariously experience what it was like to be friends with such a multi-faceted and abrasive man as Christopher Hitchens. The book confirms what I've heard that behind every atheist is an intentional crossing of moral boundaries learned in childhood and a troubled relationship with one or both parents. Love is basically what we all need and seek. This book has given me insight I hope will carry over into my relationships with other people, especially those who don't believe in God as I do. Disclosure: I received this book at no cost in exchange for my review, and I am a big fan of Larry Taunton's works. He's a great writer and a wonderful human being!
mgsalansky5 Stars Out Of 5The Faith of Christopher HitchensApril 12, 2016mgsalanskyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Usually reading about an atheist's investigation into Christianity is harsh. In this book, Taunton writes about his friendship with Hitchens and their sincere discussions of the Bible, in particular, the book of John. It is encouraging and refreshing to hear of civil, in fact, friendly dialogue between two people of different views. Taunton shares his perception of a hardcore, often hostile, atheist whose heart was softened as they discussed and debated the facts of the Bible.
MHolst5 Stars Out Of 5Atheists Have Faith TooApril 11, 2016MHolstQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Faith of Christopher Hitchens surpassed my expectations. I have read a number of books of both sides of the aisle (being a Reverend in a conservative Presbyterian denomination, you ought to be able to guess who I side with!), and while those have been helpful in terms of intellectual discussions on the topic of Gods existence, rarely was the personal aspect of theism or atheism broached. Even though this is a book primarily concerned with Mr. Hitchens, one can learn much about Mr. Taunton as well.
The reader should know that if he or she is hoping that Larry Taunton paints himself as the winner in the debates and discussions he had with Hitchens, you will be disappointed. Yes you will have a few opportunities to read (I think hear might be a better term) those talks, but Tauntons purpose was to allow his audience to get a feel for the more personal side of the world renowned atheist. Using a helpful analogy of an accountant who keeps two books, one public and one private, the author dwells more on the private side. After all, if you want to know the public persona, read god is not Great or watch a multitude of Youtube clips. Mr. Taunton wants his readers to know that, like most public figures, Christopher Hitchens was not all he appeared to be. And it was that private persona that I found so fascinating. Here was a man who might rip you to shreds in front of an audience but would stake his very reputation to defend your character IF he truly believed you had a character worth defending! Tauntons examples help solidify that aspect of Mr. Hitchens.
The greatest strength of this book is the personal conversations between the author and Hitchens. Too often conversations can sound stilted in print; not so in Tauntons rendition. I found that I could imagine myself in the car or the restaurant (or the bar!) and hear these two brilliant minds engage in witty, personable, intellectual, and at times very touching exchanges. The banter between Mr. Hitchens and Mr. Tauntons children (especially his adopted daughter) remind us that the famous can be down to earth as well. And the authors admitted frustration with the sometimes demanding and almost childlike Hitchens only added to the humanity of their relationship. While their friendship was short-lived, it was meaningful. I can only hope that those who read this book will take to heart that even though Christians and atheists are worlds apart on so many issues, we still do live in the same world. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens serves as an invaluable reminder of what can happen when civility marks relationships even among those with vastly differing world views. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
MJ Wilson5 Stars Out Of 5The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious AtheistApril 11, 2016MJ WilsonQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Every existing entity embodies its own faith / its own characteristics and purposes / what / who it is. For instance, every tree, every chair, every animal, and every person embodies characteristics and purposes, its / their faith. The God of The Bible, also, embodies His own characteristics and purposes, His faith / Who He is.
The term, faith, used in Larry Taunton's book title, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, doubly refers to Hitchens' developing characteristics and life-purposes, his entity, his faith, who he is, who he came to be. It, also, refers to the character and purposes of the God of The Bible, who He is. What Hitchens held the God of the Bible to be, publicly, throughout his publishing and media career, is well known. It was a welcome read, for me, to be given Taunton's revelation of Hitchens' public and private faiths.
I heartily desire to thank the genius of both the double-minded author, essayist, orator, religious and literary critic, and journalist, Christopher Hitchens, and the single-minded author, columnist, contributor to The Atlantic, and cultural commentator, Larry Taunton, for what appears to be the dying author's intention to leave a gift to his readers: anti-theists, ig-theists, a-theists, ag-nostics, and theists, alike. As readers, with our vested interests, we come as judge, jurist, or interested bystander regarding one who so directly made his public, faith-claims.