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Book Review: Conversations with My Inner Atheist

Book Review: Conversations with My Inner Atheist by Randal Rauser

Scholar and apologist Randal Rauser approaches some of the complex issues presented in the Bible very cleverly. The book takes on a question-answer format between Rauser and his alter ego, referred to as Mia.

By allowing his alter ego to challenge him on specific issues, the author provides for a rousing conversation that takes place in his head. Mia's alter ego is quick-witted, well-versed on the subject matter, and highlights excellent opposing views.

The book highlights many of the questions you would expect, such as How can the Bible be trusted with morality, when it condones immoral ethics such as slavery, or questions regarding the trinity, or why don't Christian behave differently (sanctified). The author addresses these issues with clarity. His writing approach is straightforward and doesn't come across as hyper-academic. With that being said, his answers come across as opinion, not in the form of traditional apologetics, with scientific or ethical proof in the form of footnotes.

Several topics didn't seem to meet the mark entirely. The chapters related to gay marriage (chapter 23) felt like the author was tiptoeing around the issue because he works for a religious, academic institution. Even though he argues in chapter 2 that academic and intellectual freedom is paramount to the book's writing, it still felt as if he was tip-toeing through the chapter. Again in chapter 25, he doesn't fully address the issue of why God allows horrible things to happen. He essentially says that God's ways are too big for us to comprehend and that suffering can be the work that makes a situation appear better in the end. I wish he would have introduced the readers to Newton's concept of the Watchmaker God.

Despite the light-hearted banter on the subject matter, I must say I enjoyed reading this book. There were numerous times I felt like siding with Mia, the alter ego because the atheist argument appeared to be more solid than Rauser's opinion. This is an easy-to-read book that is perfect for beginners who are searching for answers.

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