What’s so great about Christianity? Book Review by Dr. Shoeb Amin

BOOK REVIEW by Dr. Shoeb Amin

 

Title: What’s so great about Christianity?

Author: Dinesh D’Souza

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-2601-6

I just finished reading this book recently; it is one of those books I’ll have to read a second time. It is so full of important facts and novel perspectives on many of the issues about religious and atheistic beliefs, it is hard to digest and remember it all after one reading – at least it was for me.

A word about the author: Dinesh D’Souza is an Indian American, a Conservative who worked as a policy adviser for Ronald Reagan, and is affiliated with American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution and is considered a Christian apologist. Most of us have heard some unsavory things about him including a charge for illegal political contributions to which he pleaded guilty. But don’t let the above introduction turn you off of this book.

A word about the title: Even though it is about defending Christianity, you could use some of the same arguments the author makes in the book to defend any religion. So again don’t let the title turn you off. of the book.

I’ve read a couple of books that deal with the same issues; this was much easy to read, based more on logic and science and less on esoteric concepts and metaphysics . This is evident in chapters like “Christianity and Reason: The Theological Roots of Science; From Logos to Cosmos: Christianity and the Invention of Invention; Paley (referring to William Paley who propounded the “watchmaker” argument) Was Right: Evolution and the Argument from Design. In this last chapter he actually describes evolution as more correct than the biblical account; and there are many other examples where he favors the scientific explanation over religious dogma, which I found refreshing, coming from somebody with his credentials.

I’ll just let some of the reviews listed in the book do the talking. Michael Shermer, publisher of “Skeptic” magazine writes: “But he is a first-rate scholar whom I feel absolutely compelled to read…..  and although non-Christians and non-theists may disagree with some of his arguments, we ignore him at our peril. D’Souza takes the debate to a new level. Read it”. Dallas Willard, author of “the Divine Conspiracy” writes: “Pastors, teachers, believers, and the sincerely perplexed will find this book indispensable”. I might add atheists to that list too.

My opinion: Read it!

 

Shoeb Amin

 

3 thoughts on “What’s so great about Christianity? Book Review by Dr. Shoeb Amin

  1. After reading Dr. Shoeb Amin’s posting, I bought the “what’s so great about Christianity” by Dinesh D’souza.

    It is an interesting book. It has lot of information, theological, philosphical, scientific, social, historical. The data is there, how you interpret it, it depends on you.

    D’souza equates Islam and Judaism as religions of Jurisprudence. Christianity as religion of theology – very important distinction.

    I would ask TF USA affiliates to read this book so that we can discuss it collectively as a group.

    I need time to read some chapters selectively, understand what is written then I will comment on what I understood.

    I have skimmed thru some chapters hurriedly to get the initial inkling of D’souza’s thought process.
    He is well read. He is very expressive – fairly analytical – disturbingly dogmatic.

    I am concentrating on chapter 15.
    The world beyond our senses: KANT and the limits of reason.

    Because he is Christian – so he is talking about greatness of Christianity.

    Please read this book. You will enjoy it.
    But when I will comment on it, you can critique my comments as well.

    It will be helpful, if you read the book. Otherwise you may not know what I am talking about.
    If you are already reading this book, please let other TF USA affiliates know.

    Marwan

    • In my previous comment I wrote:

      I am concentrating on chapter 15.
      The world beyond our senses: KANT and the limits of reason.

      I am finding it extremely difficult to write my critical analysis on chapter 15 because of KANT and especially of ‘Critique of Pure Reason’.

      D’souza starts chapter 15, with greatness of Christianity, writes extensively about KANT and then finishes the chapter with greatness of Christianity.

      The problem is KANT – not Christianity.
      KANT is intellectually overwhelming even to philosophers, not to speak of an average rational thinker.

      I will write soon briefly about chapter 15, critiquing D’souza which is much easier than understanding KANT.

      KANT is such a hard nut to crack that even Bertrand Russell finds him challenging to grapple with. Just read chapter on KANT in History of Western Philosophy by Russell.

      It is also amazing that there is no comment on this posting so far. May be other TF USA affiliates are grappling with KANT and may be with D’souza too.

      D’souza is an amazing character – intellectually very poweful.
      You don’t believe me.
      Start reading ‘What is so great about Christianity’ and you will find how intellectually fascinating D’souza is?

      Marwan

  2. When I wrote this book review I was wondering if it was waste of time. I thought no one would notice it, like the 2-3 previous book reviews I had written, let alone read the book and respond twice about it. Thanks to Marwan Sahib I feel my efforts may have been worthwhile and I am hoping more people will act on his endorsement of the book and read it and even join the discussion.

    I’d like to respond to some of the comments Marwan Sahib has made. First of all he has been fair and analytical in his comments. But in his first comment he calls D’Souza dogmatic. To which I would say most people with strong beliefs – or the lack thereof – can be classified as dogmatic. As long as they offer logical/scientific explanations of their belief system, I respect their opinions; and D’Souza does a lot of that in his book. I would concede he becomes a little “dogmatic” in part VIII – Christianity & You.

    Regarding Marwan Sahib’s reference to Kant in chapter 15, D’Souza has used only one Kant quote just to start his argument that the external reality we experience through our 5 senses may not necessarily be the only reality; from there he quotes many other scholars/philosophers to build his case. That case being that just because you cannot experience God through our 5 senses does not necessarily mean that such an entity does not exist. Like Marwan Sahib has said people may eventually make their own interpretation of the data the author presents but you cannot deny that the author has made some very good arguments for his case. . Thankfully he doesn’t use more of Kant ( I wouldn’t characterize his use of Kant in this chapter as “extensive”); Kant is tough to understand. There is a small book by Kant (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals) on my desk for the last 2 years; I have read the first para a few times and given up. But I hope the discussion is not sidetracked to Kant ; I hope it stays on D’Souza and his book.

    Like Marwan Sahib I am hoping more people will read this book and join this discussion. I wish I could list all the arguments that the author makes that I liked immensely but I still type with one finger and it would take me a very long time. But I guarantee that whatever your belief system, you’ll find this book interesting.

Comments are closed.