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The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
A wonderfully moving and well written narrative that sheds new light on the so-called "contradictions" of one of the more intriguing personalities of our age. The book handles its subject with the care that only a friend and confidant could -- frequently allowing Hitchens to explain himself in his own words -- while still illuminating a previously unobserved (or, at least, unremarked upon) side of Hitchens. The friendship between Hitchens and the author does not appear to have monumentally changed the worldview of either man, but perhaps in their relationship, our polarized age can find an example of how to doggedly pursue truth without demonizing our ideological opponents. Highly recommended for all readers -- across the ideological spectrum.
“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens” surpassed my expectations. I have read a number of books of both sides of the aisle (being a Reverend in a conservative Presbyterian denomination, you ought to be able to guess who I side with!), and while those have been helpful in terms of intellectual discussions on the topic of God’s existence, rarely was the personal aspect of theism or atheism broached. Even though this is a book primarily concerned with Mr. Hitchens, one can learn much about Mr. Taunton as well. The reader should know that if he or she is hoping that Larry Taunton paints himself as the “winner” in the debates and discussions he had with Hitchens, you will be disappointed. Yes you will have a few opportunities to read (I think hear might be a better term) those talks, but Taunton’s purpose was to allow his audience to get a feel for the more personal side of the world renowned atheist. Using a helpful analogy of an accountant who keeps two books, one public and one private, the author dwells more on the private side. After all, if you want to know the public persona, read “god is not Great” or watch a multitude of Youtube clips. Mr. Taunton wants his readers to know that, like most public figures, Christopher Hitchens was not all he appeared to be. And it was that private persona that I found so fascinating. Here was a man who might rip you to shreds in front of an audience but would stake his very reputation to defend your character IF he truly believed you had a character worth defending! Taunton’s examples help solidify that aspect of Mr. Hitchens. The greatest strength of this book is the personal conversations between the author and Hitchens. Too often conversations can sound stilted in print; not so in Taunton’s rendition. I found that I could imagine myself in the car or the restaurant (or the bar!) and hear these two brilliant minds engage in witty, personable, intellectual, and at times very touching exchanges. The banter between Mr. Hitchens and Mr. Taunton’s children (especially his adopted daughter) remind us that the famous can be down to earth as well. And the author’s admitted frustration with the sometimes demanding and almost childlike Hitchens only added to the humanity of their relationship. While their friendship was short-lived, it was meaningful. I can only hope that those who read this book will take to heart that even though Christians and atheists are worlds apart on so many issues, we still do live in the same world. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens serves as an invaluable reminder of what can happen when civility marks relationships even among those with vastly differing world views. Highly recommended. Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.