Book Review: The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens
Hitchens, Peter. The Rage Against God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Press. 2010.
It is always fascinating to see how a person is led to change his or her direction in life. It is even more fascinating when the brother of the well-known atheist, Christopher Hitchens, describes his journey back to the Christian faith. How did two brothers, brought up in the same home, have such different ‘faith’ journeys? Christopher continued his rage against God and religion until his death . His brother, Peter, also an atheist, returned to the Christian faith.
During his atheistic period Peter confesses “... there were things I thought and wrote and said, the high jeering tone of my conversation, the cruel revolutionary rubbish I promoted, sometimes all too successfully, with such conviction that I persuaded others to swallow the same poison.”
Hitchens describes the Britain of the ‘50s and ‘60s when he was part of ‘the generation who were too clever to believe’. He had lost confidence in the Christianity and democracy that Britain stood for. And he had seen the hypocrisy, the scandals and the oppression of other peoples in his country.
Hitchens does not go into many personal details of his journey back to Christian faith and how he eventually came to believe that God did exist. This is somewhat disappointing. However, the sub-title of the book is ‘How Athiesm led me to Faith’ and he does describe his experience with atheism, especially during the time when he was a journalist in the Soviet Union. It is in this description of his personal experience with the Communism of that day and its hatred of the Christian church that he excels . He relates some anecdotes but also gives hard facts, for example, the looting of Russia’s churches and the fact that 2,691 priests, 1,962 monks and 3,447 nuns were killed by Lenin in 1922. (page 180)
Hitchens also spent time as a journalist in North Korea, Iran, Burma, The Congo and China. He lived and worked in the United States from 1993 to 1995 and now lives in Oxford, England. His experience in these countries has helped him to see the truth of Christianity and also makes him an astute commentator on the religious and social climate of the world today.
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