If you think theology is the slightly irrelevant pursuit of out of touch academics, and that Christians in the real world have more important matters to attend to, this should make you think again.

Alister McGrath presents a persuasive case for a ‘discipleship of the mind’ arguing lucidly that when our minds are surrendered to God we will develop a Christian vision of reality making us better able to interpret the world and discern what God is saying to it.

As well as reviewing the ideas of giants like CS Lewis, Augustine and Luther, McGrath explores issues like creation and the environment, suffering and the cross and science and faith, showing how mature theological thinking can both resonate with the world and bring health to the Church.

In the chapters dealing with the new atheism McGrath, himself a converted atheist, crafts a devastating critique of Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennet, Harris et al. No ivory towers here; good theology is forcefully contending for the faith in a fierce battle for the soul of the Western world. Thank God Alister McGrath is on the front line.

HIGH: McGrath’s masterly dismantling of the intellectual integrity of the new atheism.

LOW: Slightly repetitive in the later chapters.