Being a person of faith, I was challenged to read this book by a friend. This book was first written in 2006 and then re-released in 2008 with an updated preface by the author. When it was first published it spent several months on the New Times Bestseller list and was selected as Best Book of the Year by the Economist, Financial Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Capital Times, and the Kirkus Review. As I read through the book, I was pleased that my faith was firmly intact and that my intellect was tethered.
This book has been called by some the atheist manifesto and Dawkins make very convincing points about religion. His premise is that religion at one time or another have been thought to fulfill four main roles in human life: explanation, exhortation, consolation, and inspiration. He argues throughout the book how these main functions could still be fulfilled in what he calls the God gap.
I found the book fascinating to read because Dawkins is a researcher's researcher. He has read widely and he provided ample support for his thesis. I really felt enlightened by his commentary and informed by his evidence. This is the type of book that I read periodically to broaden my perspective on others' point of view. I want to know what the arguments and oppositions are in order to better understand my stance. I encourage others who are intellectually curious to read this book as well. This book truly challenged me to think, but I learned early on not to intellectualize my faith and to find a balance between science and belief.