Tuesday, June 19, 2007


If There's a God, Why Are there Atheists? is theologian R.C. Sproul's revised version of his book The Psychology of Atheism. In it, Sproul explores the psychological motives for atheism, and deals with the arguments of Freud, Marx, Feuerbach and Nietzsche.

This book is divided into two sections. In the first, "The Battlefield: Belief and Unbelief", Sproul introduces the debate over theism, the tension of disagreement, and the psychology of theism. Sproul is thoroughly fair and balanced here; one could hardly tell that he is a Christian. He discusses the arguments of Freud, Marx, Feuerbach and Nietzsche, and makes this interesting point: these men never argued against the existence of God. Rather, they presumed that God does not exist and built their arguments against religion on that assumption.

In part two, "The Psychology of Unbelief", Sproul discusses the Judeo-Christian God. Such an omnipotent and holy God, he argues, is not one we would seek out to gratify our psychological needs. Sproul also delves into religion as man's flight from God rather than his quest for God, and how because of original sin, people are naturally God's enemies.

If There's a God, Why Are there Atheists? is a rather short book (150 pages) and is a quick, mostly engaging read. Only in a few places does it drag. In it, Sproul makes some insightful, thought-provoking points. Recommended to believers interested in the subject or dealing with doubt, and to open-minded unbelievers.