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The Rage Against God

How Atheism Led Me to Faith
Narrated by: Peter Hitchens
Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here, for the first time, in his new book The Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens, brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens, chronicles his personal journey through disbelief into a committed Christian faith.

With unflinching openness and intellectual honesty, Hitchens describes the personal loss and philosophical curiosity that led him to burn his Bible at prep school and embrace atheism in its place. From there, he traces his experience as a journalist in Soviet Moscow and the critical observations that left him with more questions than answers - and more despair than hope for how to live a meaningful life.

With first-hand insight into the blurring of the line between politics and the Church, Hitchens reveals the reasons why an honest assessment of atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God. In the process, he provides hope for all believers who, in the words of T. S. Eliot, may discover "the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

©2010 Peter Hitchens (P)2010 Zondervan

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  • Ed
  • 10-01-2019

recommended

the content is challenging and Peter gives a strong case for religious belief and traditions. The audio quality is poor though.

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Good story, audio a bit off

Good listen, great book, but found the audio quality poor and hard to distinguish sometimes.

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a chilling warning for modern cultures.

This book gives a great insight into the culture of post -war England, soviet Russia and North Korea with chilling warnings for the modern Western culture. I loved Hitchen's speech but he did drop volume at the end of sentences occasionally. other than that this is a great audio presentation.

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  • Dr
  • 06-07-2019

A bulwark against materialist conformity

This is an extraordinary book. Both in scope and in intellect. To articulate such an insightful analysis of social undercurrents that have been with humanity now for decades is not just the worthy achievement of this book. It also transcends and recognises emerging societal boundaries to independent thought that are already suppressing and dumbing-down everything from science, philosophy and to religion itself. For the materialist atheist, what used to be unequivocal theories (such as evolution and abstract cosmology) are supposedly no longer theories but allegedly proofs of a new kind of 21st century science whose 'unprovability' is no obstacle to its success or fame of its authors. Facts are only facts when they serve the purpose of heightening notoriety and the new 'cult of success' (which thanks to the internet and organs of social networking) has almost risen in the west, as high as the cult of personality once did in the past. For example, one may not know who Carlo Rovelli or Sean Carroll are but their physicist's version of B-grade (or even C-grade) philosophy riding on the back of their physical theories has no end of admirers. This is the new information food-chain of the 21st century. Where success in any speculative area has to be taken as a context for delivering a new materialist philosophy. 'Einsteinism' has now transcended the physical world; relativity has now moved on include truth, objectivity and even the philosophy of science and reason itself. Hardly a book or 'TED-style' public lecture from some nullity or hopeful can emerge without doffing it's hat to the materialist-atheist cult in some way, be it circular self-referential assumptions or outright agenda-driven philosophical manufacturing. How cheaply the word 'Professor' goes these days in some endeavours of human intellect, as long as the line is towed. This book is the antidote to societal monoculture-of-thought and 'intellectual or social relativity'. The power and context of some of the statements, such as the last six lines of part 1, Chapter 7, I find reminiscent of Orwell; "Only one reliable force stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. Only one reliable force forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law. Only one reliable force restrains the hand of the man of power. And, in an age of power-worship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power". Peter Hitchens identifies in this book the philosophical roots of the 'materialist/atheistic cult' and shows its commonality with despotic regimes and why it is necessary for them to destroy not just the beliefs in higher moral authorities, but subvert objectivity and 'moral absolutes' to achieve this end. That objectivity, intellectualism and science themselves are a casualty hardly matters as this atheist cult's foot soldiers integrate themselves and their philosophy into the media organs of the times. And why? It's the ultimate irony that the motivation of the materialists is built to superficially resemble the Christianity they so love to hate, while really hiding the true intent which is all about power, moral autonomy and control. The book also manages to be highly entertaining as Peter Hitchens draws on his on personal history as a journalist, re-evaluated to demonstrate his thesis. The narrative is frequently humorous and poignant at a personal level as he traverses decades of his own travels through tragic regimes such as Somalia and the former Soviet Union. My hope is that it may some time in the future, the book may be updated to include the new 21st century despotism that has emerged and continues to grow with the help of the so-called 'free world'. The officially atheist China may ultimately succeed where the soviets have failed. Largely thanks to the resources and tools put in their hands over decades by western greed and ecumenical utopian delusion. The Orwellian social credit system, isolationism, destruction of the past and control of the present, (and no-doubt future) together with leadership/strong-man cults such as Xi is an enviable template for a potential neo-utopian.

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  • Michael
  • 09-05-2010

Not at All What I Expected

Firstly, you cannot read this book without first reading Christopher Hitchens' book God Is Not Great. Simply stated, Peter Hitchens book is meant to be a rebuttal against what he calls his brothers atheist polemic. I think the book falls short of actually representing a comprehensive rebuttal but Hitchens writing is so well crafted and the circumstance of his relationship with Christopher so intriguing that I enjoyed the book nonetheless.

I expected a sort of "anti-atheist" book which put forward reasons to disbelieve atheist propositions, supplanting them with even more valid reasons to believe in the existence of God. Peter didn't do that, instead he spends the first half of the book on a completely fascinating nostalgic remembrance of Britain after WW2 during his early childhood, then goes on to catalog his experiences as a journalist in soviet Russia and anarchic Somalia as a way of demonstrating the effect of atheism when practiced as a matter of governance.

Still, Hitchens ultimately fails to rebut much of anything Christopher says in his book, or really anything Harris, Dennett, or Dawkins say either. About 2 hours into the book I was angry at Peter for sucking me in to something I didn't ask to hear but the book ultimately won me over and especially the epilogue, where Peter discusses his relationship as Christopher's brother with startling honesty. As the oldest of 2 male children, I can relate completely to Peters melancholy about the lifelong rift between him and his older brother. Read the book if you've got the money or a spare credit. Peter is a great writer and his book is quite fascinating. It just never achieves exactly what he said it would--but somehow that didn't detract from it being a wonderful 4 hours. If you're looking for an actual "anti-atheist" book I recommend searching Audible for What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza.

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  • Andrew
  • 11-11-2013

Fascinating perspective on atheisms social impact!

What did you love best about The Rage Against God?

Peter Hitchens eloquently articulates his personal observations of atheism as a foundational ideological preference of the totalitarian regime in communist Russia, and puts forward an analytical case for why the same abandonment of Christian principles in modern Europe should be cause for concern. The book is written with poetic brilliance and rational insight, it was an enthralling pleasure to listen to from start to finish.

What did you like best about this story?

Peter offers some unique perspectives on post-war British society, the mentality of the generation that grew up in the wake of the second World War, the contrast between a country that still has vestiges of moral grounding in a transcendent authority and that of a country and society which has long been isolated from such obligations, and intriguing insight into his relationship with his (now late) brother, one of the more salient intellectuals of the New Athiest literature, Christopher Hitchens.

Have you listened to any of Peter Hitchens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first book by Peter I have listened too, and I am extremely glad he took it upon himself to be the voice of his own writings - he is very easy to listen to and speaks with authority and dexterity.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It absolutely was, and that's exactly what I did! Captivated from start to finish!

Any additional comments?

I really was not prepared for how much I would enjoy this book! I recommend it highly and can't wait to indulge in more of his writings.

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  • J. Eubanks
  • 13-02-2016

Well spoken!

really enjoyed how Peter Hitchens talks about the history of his country the history of Russia and and the results of driving God from the public square. It is a case study that every atheist should look into before they call for the dismantling of the Christian faith. The other point is that an atheist should be more intellectually honest. Equating the God of the Christian narrative to the god of the Muslim narrative is just intellectually dishonest. into convenient. without the brutality in murdering nature of fundamental Muslims the atheist is left with deflated historical points that are very flimsy. I believe that Peter looks at this subject in the most honest and compelling way.

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  • David K Anderson
  • 16-06-2014

An unexpected classic

If you could sum up The Rage Against God in three words, what would they be?

Thoughtful, intelligent, beautifully written (and read).

What did you like best about this story?

This is not a typical work of apologetics; the author makes no such claims. It's part essay and part memoir. The biggest difference between the brothers is not talent (Peter is Christopher's equal as a prose stylist) or ultimately even politics (the agree on many issues, though often for different reasons)--it's self-criticism. Both brothers are devastating polemicists, but Peter is hardest of all on himself. This is a book about refusing easy answers and self-congratulation, written by a man of great integrity.

What does Peter Hitchens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Anyone who has watched PH in action on television knows that he has one of the great voices in the English speaking world. Belongs on the bridge of a battleship. And because he's reading his own story, he does so with great (if subtle) emotion.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Anyone is going to find the last chapter very powerful. I also loved the reflections on Peter's school days, and was unexpectedly fascinated by his discussion of Soviet atheism.

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  • Gary L. Varner
  • 06-04-2020

Heartfelt Account

This book is a heartfelt account of the author’s struggle with God’s love and existence. Excellent work of literature and a thought provoking listening experiencing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-04-2016

A brilliant, beautiful book.

A brilliant, beautiful book. At the end of all the arguing, "...these three remain... but the greatest of these is love."

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  • Douglas
  • 07-03-2015

Hitchens For God!....

Peter, of course, not Chris. A marvelously intelligent and personal counter to his brother's screed against the Christian Faith, Peter Hitchen's Rage Against God is perhaps one of the best apologetics for Christianity for our modern age.

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  • Manu Olesya
  • 07-01-2015

Moving. Beautifully written and read.

By far a better book than Christopher Hitchens God is not great or Dawkins God delusion. Peter delivers in clear and moving words his rebuttal of those volumes and explains how and why the new atheists are infused with the intolerant fury of revolution. An atheist most of my life, I found this a welcome antidote to the disgusting Dawkinsian drivel that has permeated so much of the atheist movement.

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  • Mark Haight
  • 05-10-2010

Honesty and depth

I enjoyed Peter's book. Although I didn't agree with some of his opinions I found his writing to be honest and uncontrived. In my opinion he doesn't seem to try as hard to sound smart as does his brother Christopher.

I really enjoyed his reciting of the King James bible verses at the beginning of some of the chapters--I love the poetic sound of that particular version and they lend credibility to his understanding of the faith.

This book should be thought more of an autobiography than as a complete counter argument to the athiest "fad" of the moment and to me it was enjoyable as thus.

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  • RLS
  • 06-08-2020

Reminds me a little of Cain/Abel!

Not something that is casually listened to. Takes more thoughtful time to grasp. Had to slow speed down, although I love his British accent!

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  • M. Russell
  • 18-05-2011

Thank god I'm an athiest!

If you were expecting, as I was, a balanced and reasoned discussion to counter the positions put forward by his brother, Christopher Hitchens then you are bound to be disappointed. I bought the book to find balance. Instead I think I stumbled into the worst of sibling rivalry! This Hitchens postulates that athiests have launched a virulent attack on Christianity. I have found instead that they are more usually simply indifferent to old superstitions - certainly, no athiest has ever set out to convert me to their (non) belief! He claims that dictators and governments through the ages have hijacked, exploited or replaced religious beliefs to their own ends. He fails to see the possibility that if, as the other Hitchens contends, religion is man-made and a tool for control then it is no surprise. He says fear was the reason for his rekindling of belief and that morality is impossible without a divine presence. He provides no cogent support for these contentions so, as religion demands - just take his word for it. But most crucially he has also not interrogated why he, in common with the rest of homo sapiens, has the need to 'believe' in the first place. It has, after all, been wired into the structure of widely divergent societies since the development of the neocortex. For that he'd need to read Sex Time and Power by Leonard Schlain (also available as an audio book on this site) and a far, far better investment.

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  • paul
  • 12-09-2012

Thank god I'm not an atheist!

Ignore the negative reviews, this is a beautifully written response to his brothers book 'God Is Not Great'.



I agree with Hitchens that there is an attempt by secularists to destroy Christianity (Dawkins has admitted that this is one of his aims). Malcolm says that most atheists are indifferent to christianity. If only this were so. A growing number of atheists are actively hostile to christianity. Indeed Christopher's book is an attempt to ridicule faith and to convert religious readers to atheism just like many of the new atheist books. On a personal level I have met more than a few atheists willing to attempt to convert me whenever the subject arises.



As for Malcolms claim that Peter gives no evidence for his contention that fear helped rekindle his faith, what evidence could he give? It does seem that we'll have to take his word for it. I don't think Peter would claim that morality is impossible without god only absolute morality. If there is no god then morality becomes subjective. The chapter in this book about Peters years living in the Soviet Union is an attempt to show what happens when fanatical atheists (who had many of the core beliefs that the new atheists have today) took control of a society and forced god out of public life. The atheist utopians who siezed control of Russia where anything but indifferent to religion. They attemped to destroy it just like our own atheist utopians are doing today (although in fairness I think its unlikely that Dawkins et al will take to murdering priests and nuns and destroying churchs like their atheist counterparts in the Soviet Union did).



Malcolm states that Peter hasn't looked into the reason that he and the rest of humans (except atheists apparently) have a need to believe. Why should he? Evolutionary explanations of the origins of the religious impulse are notoriously speculative given that they are based on fanciful theories and not evidence.



In short a wonderful book!

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  • Karl
  • 23-05-2010

Avoid

Sadly Peter seems to be so in awe & so left behind by his brother, the only avenue for him seems to be his an opposite stance on nearly everything. Very very poor.

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  • james
  • 17-10-2010

excellent.

very interesting listen. if you want to listen to a serious person talk about serious issues minus the politically correct non speak then you will enjoy this book.

6 people found this helpful