God is No Thing
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Although parts of the Western world now appear almost totally secularised, Christianity remains the most potent worldview on earth alongside Islam. In this compelling book, Rupert Shortt gracefully argues that Christianity is a much more coherent, progressive body of belief - philosophically, scientifically and culturally - than often supposed by its critics. Alert to the menace posed by religious fundamentalism, as well as to secularist blind spots, he shows how a self-critical faith is of huge consequence to wider human flourishing, including through promoting peace and environmental sustainability
'This is a case for Faith which will trouble the doubting with reason's light.' -- A. N. Wilson; 'A powerful indirect commendation of Christian faith ... [T]his is an excellent book, spirited, lucid and plainspoken without losing generosity. It deserves a place alongside the best of the recent crop of intelligent responses to the New Atheism.' - Rowan Williams, The Guardian; 'Rupert Shortt takes no prisoners. This is Christian apologetics with shirt-sleeves rolled up.' -- Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford, and author of A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years; '[Shortt] sets out with modesty, sensitivity and unfailing courtesy to demonstrate the coherence of Christian belief, managing along the way to encompass a remarkably wide range of topics, with elegance and economy. ... But for all its courtesy and absence of scorn, God is No Thing unflinchingly tackles the philosophically naive parodies of Christian belief targeted in secularist criticism ..., skilfully weaving a way through the confusions and ambiguities arising from the use of the word "creation" in both scientific and theological contexts.' - The Tablet; 'Rupert Shortt's intellectually and emotionally engaging essay succeeds admirably in bringing out how far authentic Christian belief diverges from the crude caricatures of its secular critics and the misguided literalism of its fundamentalist advocates.' -- John Cottingham, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Reading, Professorial Research Fellow, Heythrop College London, and Honorary Fellow, St John's College, Oxford; 'The cultured despisers of Christian faith often set up caricature versions of it to knock down. Rupert Shortt shows that mainline Christianity remains more than able to withstand intellectual attack, and in a robust, lucid style opens up the philosophical and doctrinal arguments for the non-specialist reader.' -- The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans; 'God Is No Thing is a beautifully written spiritual tour de force, drawing on rich and profound sources in philosophy, theology and comparative religion. At its heart is a compelling argument that contrasts authentic religious pluralism with religious relativism. The reader is ultimately brought to his irresistible conclusion -- that Christianity is the religion of love that most fully fits the human heart.' -- John Cornwell, Fellow Commoner at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, and author of Darwin's Angel; 'Deft and timely: a primer for believers, and for everyone else, of the ways in which Christianity feeds heart and mind.' -- Francis Spufford, author of Red Plenty and Unapologetic; 'Is there a case, now, for Christianity as a coherent set of beliefs? Rupert Shortt has made it here, extraordinarily well. Wide-ranging in reference, rigorous in its theology, and sharply written, this book is a resounding challenge to Christians of all stripes as well as to agnostics and atheists. It is also an exhilarating read.' -- Lucy Beckett, author of In the Light of Christ: Writings in the Western Tradition