Dr. Robert Price Reviews Our Book "God or Godless"

In the most recent June/July issue of Free Inquiry magazine, Robert Price congratulates Baker Books for publishing our book, saying, "It represents a departure from the traditional evangelical Christian resistance to let readers, hearers, and students encounter alternative viewpoints except through the filter of apologetical distortions by 'our side.'" He suggests the change is perhaps because "the internet has made everything instantly accessible...and virtually unavoidable." This is welcomed no matter what the reason. He goes on to "heartily" recommend the book "as the basis for small group dialogues," but along the way also says some good things and bad things about it.

I was quite flattered that the good things he says are about me. The bad things are about Randal Rauser.
My general impression is that Rauser is the big loser in these single-serving debates. He relies on rhetorical flash. He is clever and humourous, and he knows it. His delivery is the sugar that helps the medicine go down...Rauser's cheering section will have much to smirk at here, but it is false comfort. Loftus, by contrast, writes with unpretentious clarity, common sense, and broad but inconspicuous erudition. As I read I continually imagined pop after pop as Loftus systematically punctured Rauser's arguments. In general Rauser comes off as a spin doctor obliged to defend a party line at any cost.
Price goes on to point out a pair of Achilles' heels concerning Rauser's defense of his faith. The first is that he has copied his "suicide strategy from Peter Enns and other neo-neo-evangelical scholars (who are getting kicked out of their institutions)." Like them, Rauser "accepts so much biblical criticism (at least criticism about the Old Testament, which he shuts off before it can affect the Gospels) that he undermines any coherent position on the biblical authority that vestigially grounds his whole approach." Rauser, Price charges, "has simply become an old-time theological liberal, though he appears not to recognize it." I have written about this phenomenon before.

Rauser's second, "thoroughly vitiating error," Price writes, "is the incessant appeal to the God of the Gaps." You can see this in several of his debate proposals within the book itself. Price describes it like this: "We can't (yet) figure out this or that, so let's 'solve' the mystery by giving it a name, 'Jehovah.'" The number of times this strategy has been used in the history of the church to defend the faith only to be shown wrong, should stop any intellectual dead in his tracks from using it any more. But Rauser uses it repeatedly in this book. Is he an intellectual? Does he not know? Has he not heard? Is he shutting his eyes with hands over his ears and yelling so this news doesn't seep into his brain, or what?