2023 Southwestern Journal of Theology Book Award Honorable Mention for Applied Theology & Ethics
Millions of people in the West identify as atheists. Christians often respond to this reality with proofs of God’s existence, as though rational arguments for atheism were the root cause of unbelief. In Bulwarks of Unbelief, Joseph Minich argues that a felt absence of God, as experienced by the modern individual, offers a better explanation for the rise in atheism. Recent technological and cultural shifts in the modern West have produced a perceived challenge to God’s existence. As modern technoculture reshapes our awareness of reality and belief in the invisible, it in turn amplifies God’s apparent silence. In this new context, atheism is a natural result. And absent of meaning from without, we have turned within.
Christians cannot escape this aspect of modern life. Minich argues that we must consciously and actively return to reality. If we reattune ourselves to God’s story, reintegrate the whole person, and reinhabit the world, faith can thrive in this age of unbelief.
This is an important book both in its argument and its proposals, a significant contribution to recent conversations about modernity, faith, and what it means to be human in a technological world.
—Carl R. Trueman, from the foreword
If you found Charles Taylor’s analysis persuasive, I think you’ll find Minich’s even more so.
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
Minich has written a wonderfully scintillating treatment of the spiritual condition of modernity, culturally perceptive and psychologically astute. Especially attentive to the material factors that have rendered atheism so thinkable and attractive, his account offers insights lacking in many ideological fall narratives and resists the temptation of nostalgic laments over disenchantment. His concluding section presents a theological framing for the modern condition that is suggestive and daring, which I will doubtless be reflecting upon for some time.
—Alastair Roberts, adjunct senior fellow, Theopolis Institute
Joseph Minich is a teaching fellow with The Davenant Institute. He is the founding editor of Ad Fontes and editor of several volumes with The Davenant Press.