Finally reading this. Impressive — to me anyway. If everyone who wants to take a side in the atheist-believer wars would read this book, and get it, the world would be a better place and we could all have a lot more interesting conversations.
Even so, I think Epstein, for all his sensitivity to the value of religious sensibilities, has what strikes me as the archetypal atheist blind spot: he doesn’t get the value of humility and spiritual guidance. He is totally right that anyone who tells us to put our rationality and critical judgment aside needs to be viewed with suspicion. But there are times when our rationality and critical judgment block us from what we need to learn. At those moments, we put ourselves — with eyes wide open, one hopes — in the hands of people who may be charlatans, and see if we can learn something new.
I’ll try to write more coherently about this later.