Book Reviews2 Greater Than You Think: a theologian answers the atheists about God

Book written by: Thomas D. Williams, L.C. 


Father Thomas Williams’ book is a rebuttal of some atheist authors’ criticism and downright attacks on God and religion.  Fr. Williams takes up the gauntlet and rebuffs these atheists from a Roman Catholic Christian point of view while defending other religions in the process.  In doing so, he shows that the atheists are dead wrong in their attacks on religion.


The atheist authors Fr. Williams is rebutting are:  Richard Dawkins who wrote The God Delusion (2006), Sam Harris who wrote The End of Faith:  Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2005) and Letter to a Christian Nation (2006), Daniel C. Dennett who wrote Breaking the Spell:  Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006), and Christopher Hitchen who wrote God is Not Great:  How religion poisons everything (2007).  Fr. Williams says that these atheists describe religion as being harmful to humanity and that it is a major source - if not cause - of much of the violence in the world today and in the past. 


Fr. Williams has an introduction which presents these atheists and their criticisms of religion and has divided the book into five parts.  Each chapter starts off with a question which the atheists propose and Williams answers.  The questions deal with various topics such as: Can persons be moral without religion?  Are religious people less intelligent than non-religious?  Does religion do more harm than good in society?  Is religious education a form of child abuse?  Is Christianity against science?  Is religious faith irrational?  Did Jesus really exist?  Do Christians hate sex?  Are atheists more tolerant than believers? Some of these above criticisms are borderline ridiculous.  Williams shows in his presentations that some of these are not rational and that many of the issues posed show the atheists’ ignorance or contempt for the good that religion and Christianity in particular do for individuals and for society.  He wonders if some of these authors have had some kind of bad experience with a particular person who was religious. 


Williams shows that many scientists today and in the past believed in God or had a religion they believed in.  The authors say that true science does not need religion.  That science can explain everything.  Williams refutes this by quoting some eminent scientists who are believers.  It would seem these authors are ignorant of some of the works of some scientists like Newton who wrote about science as helping to reveal God.


This book can be a quick read, but really is not for the general reader.  Williams’ ideas and rebuttals flow very well which makes the book quick to read.  Readers may also want to read it slowly and ponder what Williams has to say. 


This book could be the beginnings of a much larger book with expanded material and is highly recommended to those in a rebuttal of atheists.  It will be of interest to atheists and agnostics.


Fr. Thomas D. Williams of the Legionnaires of Christ teaches theology at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.  He is also a Vatican analyst for CBS News, NBC News, and Sky News in Britain.  He has written several articles and books:  Spiritual Progress:  Becoming the Christian You Want to Be (2007) and Who is my Neighbor?  Personalism and the Foundations of Human Rights (2005).


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