Tag Archives: David Robertson

Off the Shelf: David Robertson on writing The Dawkins Letters

Off the Shelf Feature

The Dawkins Letters was not a deliberate book.  Towards the end of 2006 I had just finished reading Richard Dawkins The God Delusion.  I felt somewhat frustrated that a book, which was being lauded as the best anti-God book, was so weak in its arguments and ignorant in its history, philosophy and theology.  So I wrote an open letter to Dawkins on the Free Church website, commenting on his first chapter.  A few days later I started getting messages from atheists commenting on my open letter.  I was very impressed that they actually read the Free Church website (many Free Church people don’t bother!).  And then I got a letter from an atheist apologizing for all the things I was being called.  Somewhat surprised I wrote back and asked him what he was talking about.  He directed me to the Dawkins website where my article had been posted on the front page, and by the time I got to it, had almost 700 responses.

What amazed me about these responses was that one third of them were just vitriolic.  It was my first experience of the New Atheism motto ‘there is no God, and I hate him!”   Well I am Scottish and I am, in a good Scots word, ‘thrawn’.   So I decided to reply to some of them.  And I kept going.  Despite being banned more than five times (one of the pseudonyms I came back under was The Wee Flea – because Dawkins had called me a flea that was seeking to make a living off his back – he clearly has no knowledge of the limitations of Christian publishing!), I kept going.  And I decided that the best thing to do was write one chapter in answer to each chapter of The God Delusion.  Christian Focus Publications phoned and asked me if I would be willing to make a book of it and so The Dawkins Letters was born.   Because of the time sensitive nature of the subject I was given very little time – indeed I wrote the whole book in one month.

It was not easy.  Despite the fact I was drawing on over 20 years experience of debating, discussing, reading atheist and other secular material, it was difficult to get the tone of what I wanted.   I did not see The God Delusion as a threat to Christianity at all (indeed if my teenage daughter had not been able to answer it, I would have been disappointed!).  Instead I saw it as a great opportunity to present the good news of Jesus Christ.  Millions of people would read TGD – a book about God, Jesus, the Bible, humanity, truth, love etc.  It is a deeply flawed book, giving all the wrong answers in a sustained illogical rant, but it allowed me to present the opposite case.    I did not write the book for the Christian market, or to reassure Christians.  I wrote it for my non-Christian friends.   That’s why the sub-title of the book is ‘Challenging Atheist Myths’ – because in order to be able to present Christ to many people we first of all have to deconstruct and remove some of the ‘defeater beliefs’ that prevent them even considering Christ.

I found the month of writing (whilst I was still pastoring a growing congregation over the busy Christmas period) difficult and intense.  Spiritually there were times when I struggled and I soon became aware I was in a spiritual battle.  One night I woke up in a cold sweat with an acute sense of evil and darkness.  I went downstairs, prayed and read in my bible Ps 91 and some other psalms and received an assurance from the Lord that he would tell me what to say.  I am NOT claiming that The Dawkins Letters was divinely inspired, as thought the First Letter to Dawkins should be added to the canon!  But I do believe that the Lord assisted and aided me.

The letters are very personal and in my own style.  I was concerned that the humour, irony, passion and style would not be appreciated so I sent the manuscript out to 30 different people to assess – scientists, theologians, students, non-Christians, Europeans, Americans etc.  What amused me was that the atheists loved it, and some of the Christians (especially the Americans) were a bit more wary about the passion, humour and irony.  They were concerned that it would not come across as ‘nice’.   I was delighted with that!

The book was published in early 2007 and much to my surprise (and I think CFP’s) it became a best seller (at least in Christian terms).  I was (am) a nobody.  I am not a famous author/pastor/media personality and I did not want to be.  I just wanted to write something for my non-Christian friends that would help introduce them to Christ.    The Lord has blessed and used it in ways that are to me almost miraculous.   Eight years later it is still in print and (because I foolishly put my e-mail in the book) I am still getting e-mails asking about the contents and seeking to find out more.

Once I got the taste for it I thought I would like to try and take on two of the other New Atheists, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.   I have since written a response to Hitchens God is not Great’ which is entitled Magnificent Obsession (2013).   How Magnificent Obsession came to be written is another story that is for another time.  I am currently working on a response to Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation, entitled Letter to a Post-Christian Nation.   Prayer is appreciated.  Unlike Dawkins accusation, I don’t write to make money or to be famous.  I just simply want to use the opportunity to present the Gospel in contemporary form to the people in the societies in which we live.  May the Lord continue to use this wee book for his own Glory.

About The Author:

David RobertsonDavid Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland and current Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. David is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfil the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Ebook Sale:

The Dawkins Letters, along with Magnificent Obsession and Why I Am Not An Atheist will be available on ebook special offer until December 9, 2015.

Magnificent Obsession Sale Price: $2.99/£1.99

 

The Dawkins Letters by David Robertson Sale Price: $2.99/£1.99

 

Why I Am Not An Atheist Sale Price: $2.99/£1.99

 

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David Robertson Interviewed on In the Market with Janet Parshall

David Robertson

David Robertson

Christian Focus author David Robertson was recently interviewed on In the Market with Janet Parshall to discuss his book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great. You can stream the archive of this interview here:  LINK

About the Book:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of “God is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About the Author:
David Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland. Robertson is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfill the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson  Buy Now:

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Hear David Robertson Live on In the Market with Janet Parshall – 5/14/2014 @ 5 PM ET

David Robertson

David Robertson

Christian Focus author David Robertson will be interviewed live Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET on In the Market with Janet Parshall to discuss his book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great. You can tune in to the live broadcast at MoodyRadio.org.

The archive of this interview is now available here: LINK

About the Book:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of “God is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About the Author:
David Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland. Robertson is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfill the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson Buy Now:

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David Robertson Interviewed on Author Talks With Shaun Tabatt Podcast

David Robertson

David Robertson

Christian Focus author David Robertson was recently interviewed on the Author Talks with Shaun Tabatt podcast about his book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great. You can stream or download the interview below:


Podcast: Play in new window | Download

About the Book:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of “God is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About the Author:
David Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland. Robertson is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfill the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson Buy Now:

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Hear David Robertson Live on In the Market with Janet Parshall – 4/14/2014 @ 6 PM ET

David Robertson

David Robertson

Christian Focus author David Robertson will be interviewed live Monday April 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET on In the Market with Janet Parshall to discuss his book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great. You can tune in to the live broadcast at MoodyRadio.org.

The archive of this interview is available at MoodyRadio.org.

About the Book:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of “God is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About the Author:
David Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland. Robertson is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfill the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson Buy Now:

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Christian Focus Across the Web – April 4, 2014

This week’s highlights are below:

David Robertson shares about Magnificent Obsession – Check out episode 34 of Fleabytes, where David Robertson shares about his new book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great.

Enter to Win Systematic Theology (Volume 2) – You still have a few days left to enter to win a copy of Douglas Kelly’s brand new Systematic Theology (Volume 2): The Beauty of Christ – a Trinitarian Vision, which is releasing next week in the US. Submit your contest entries here: LINK

Evangelicals Now Reviews C. S. Lewis: Can You Imagine? (Little Lights) – Earlier this week Evangelicals Now shared a review of Catherine Mackenzie’s wonderful little book C. S. Lewis: Can You Imagine? from our Little Lights series. Here’s a bit of what Jacki had to say in her review:

“Many children and adults will have read some of C.S.Lewis’s books and even seen films made about the stories he wrote. It is really good to learn about the man himself in this book, written in such an easy style.”

Read the full review at EvangelicalsNow.Wordpress.com.

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Listen to an interview with David Robertson on Knowing the Truth with Kevin Boling

David Robertson

David Robertson

Christian Focus author David Robertson was recently a guest on Knowing the Truth with Kevin Boling. The interview focuses on David’s recent book Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great. You can stream the interview here:  LINK

About the Book:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of “God is not Great” by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About the Author:
David Robertson is pastor of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland. Robertson is a trustee of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and works to fulfill the Centre’s mission to engage culture with the message of Christ.

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson Buy Now:

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David Robertson on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley – Part 2

David Robertson

David Robertson

Tune in for part two of David Robertson’s and Matt Dillahunty’s exchange on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley. Matt has the floor this time and he explains why following the person of Christ doesn’t make sense to him. David responds as they engage on whether Jesus was good, by what standard we judge, and whether we can trust what he said. Listen to this discussion here:  LINK.

If you missed part one of this debate, you can find it here:  LINK.

Where to Buy:
Why I Am Not An Atheist: Facing the Inadequacies of Unbelief  by David J. Randall (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Why I Am Not An Atheist by David J. Randall Buy Now:

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David Robertson on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley

David Robertson

David Robertson

This past weekend David Robertson was a guest on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley. He shares about about his chapter in David Randall’s recent book Why I Am Not An Atheist and debates Matt Dillahunty, host of The Atheist Experience. Listen to part one of this discussion here:  LINK.

Where to Buy:
Why I Am Not An Atheist: Facing the Inadequacies of Unbelief  by David J. Randall (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Why I Am Not An Atheist by David J. Randall Buy Now:

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Magnificent Obsession Blog Tour

Magnificent ObsessionThis week we have a number of reviewers participating in a book review blog tour for Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson. Excerpts from their reviews follow below:

“Magnificent Obsession is a great resource for Christians concerned about sharing their faith with mutual respect.  Readers interested in debate, reason, and persuasion will be especially keen on Robertson’s work.”
Reviewer: David Buller (christianfirst.us)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I would highly recommend this book to all Christians so that they would have a copy to give away, and to all non-believers so that they would at least hear arguments against their belief system and for Christ.”
Reviewer: Joey Parker (parkerjreviews.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“If you are looking for a good book on apologetics get this.”
Reviewer: Angela Parsley (refreshmysoulblog.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This book is great for Christians that desire to be able to defend their faith intelligently but struggle with how to apply it conversationally.  I could also see this book used with small groups focused on building up the body to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.”
Reviewer: Ryan Rickard (declinationblog.wordpress.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I truly cannot recommend this book enough. If you are passionate about truth, you will be engaged. The Magnificent Obsession is Jesus.”
Reviewer: Jeanie Schwagerman (GoodReads.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“This is a book I wish I could get so many more people to read, both Christians and non-believers.”
Reviewer: Richard Morgan-Proctor (faitharticles.blogspot.co.uk)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I appreciated the tone of Magnificent Obsession and find Robertson’s communication style respectful and positive. Most importantly his writing here is an encouraging example of developing a Jesus centered apologetic.”
Reviewer: Gary Ware (garyware.me)
Rating: 4 Stars

Magnificent Obsession is real gem.  Taking on the new atheists and their lack of sound reason, history, and argument, David carefully constructs an argument for Jesus through dialogue and sound truth.  You won’t want to miss this provocative and enriching work that displays Jesus in all his glory.”
Reviewer: Spencer Cummins (spencerdeancummins.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“This is a unique approach to apologetics because it focuses on what living for Jesus is like in an attempt to convince someone to embrace following him.”
Reviewer: Tom Farr (tom-farr.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I think this is a great book to give to non-Christian friends who are open and searching.”
Reviewer: Jennifer Guo (jenniferguo.wordpress.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“It would make a great dialogue for Christians to use with a non-believer as well using references from it when debating on Christianity. It would even make a great small group discussion in the church.”
Reviewer: Chris Land (keepingthemainthing.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Magnificent Obsession is instructive for Christians because it demonstrates the Christological focus on sharing our faith. I also think this will be a helpful book to gift to a non-Christian friend who is a seeker.”
Reviewer: James Matichuk (thoughtsprayersandsongs.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

Magnificent Obsession in this reviewers opinion is one of the most engaging and theologically robust books on Apologetics out there. I highly recommend Magnificent Obsession because it provides an up-close look in how to engage those who question the Christian faith with a view to answer them with well-reasoned and biblically faithful answers.”
Reviewer: Joshua Davis (servantsofgracebookreviews.org)
Rating: 4 Stars

Where to Buy:
Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus is Great by David Robertson is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Magnificent Obsession Buy Now:

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