The Swedish Atheist, The Scuba Diver and Other Apologetics Rabbit Trails (Review)

by Randy Hardman

Oh boy…It’s been a long semester. But I’ve had the chance to read a new book that I want to throw your way. And with it comes my new rating scale:

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

Level of Difficulty: Basic (non-technical, though intelligent)

Enjoyment Level: Oh yes!

Randall Rauser’s (Finding God in the Shack, Theology in Search of Foundations) new book, The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails,is unique for more than its interesting and curious name. The style and the content are equally captivating and reflect their own unique approach and make for a useful addition to the apologetics world (something which I do not always say). Unlike other apologetics works written in a somewhat distant and abstract style, Rauser’s book is a conversation. I mean that literally. The whole book is a conversation between him, an atheist named Sheridan, and you–whom he ironically names “Reader.“ The book takes place in a coffee shop and the imagery cast throughout the book allows one to enter into the conversation in

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an imaginative way. Of course, the danger in this is that the conversation seems doctored. One could easily drive the conversation forward, ignoring legitimate objections and, thereby, making poor thinking come across as sound thinking. This was, to be honest, a worry of mine. But Rauser does not allow this to happen most of the time and the conversation reflects his own philosophical training, an honest approach towards questions (“Sheridan challenged me several times. More than once I don’t think I had the best answers for his questions” [226]), and comfortability and knowledge with atheist objections. One quickly recognizes that Rauser knows his Dawkins, Dennet, Hitchens, and Harris…

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