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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: Lion Hudson
Publication Date: 2011
This book addresses one of the oldest questions posed to religious believers: If God made everything, who made God? Most recently raised again by the New Atheists, this question was asked centuries ago in ancient Greece and has fascinated theologians, philosophers, and skeptics ever since. Theologian Robert Banks explores the history of the objection--from its earliest vocalization in the ancient world to its most famous supporters, Freud, Marx, and others.
Ideal for anyone with an interest in issues related to the New Atheism, for those studying religion, or for believers wanting to sort out what (if any) elements of their ideas of God are man-made.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5how "man made God" thought came to beNovember 19, 2011bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Atheists are becoming more vocal in their claim there is no God. "Man created God" say T-shirts and billboards.
Banks reviews several of the current atheist writers and their explanations for religion and belief in God. He next looks at the history of the "man created God" idea. That humans created gods was recognized by Old Testament prophets, beginning in the eight century BC. The Greek critics were next. Apologists of the early Christian era spoke of gods being invented by people, adding the idea of demons initiating such inventions. There was a revival of critiquing the origin of gods in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The necessity of religion was seen as something mankind would grow out of as he developed. Hume, for example, that the creation of a deity was in response to human hopes and fears. The rationalist movement took the final step into a fully rationalistic and anti-religious position with Paul-Henry d'Holbach. "...[T[he initial rejection of false gods as human creations has been turned completely on its head. It has become a rejection of the very God from whom the original critique was said to have come." (59)
Banks next addresses the four main modern approaches that God is of human creation. He reviews the works of Feuerbach and evaluates them. Next, Marx's theories are critiqued. Freud's analysis of religion is analyzed. Finally, Fromm's works are discussed.
Banks suggests in the last section of his book that we should pay attention to these critiques of religion, "since even committed, self-aware, and knowledgeable believers tend to infuse their personal preferences into their ideas of God..." (134) His final chapter explores how the secular critiques can help us identify and discard any elements that reduces God to a means of achieving our own human purposes. He also has suggestions for believers who want to avoid imagining God in their own image.
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review.