While intellectually stimulating and a compelling story, The Soul of Atlas is also deeply personal. The author, Mark David Henderson, uses his own life to show how the conflict and the convergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and Gospel Christianity were unavoidable. These world views came to him through the lives of the his two fathers. The author’s experiences with these two men illustrate the essence of each world view, the fundamental exclusivity between them, and the ethical conclusions that unite the two men and their beliefs.
Since his parents’ divorce and his mother’s remarriage when he was eleven years old, his life was characterized by absorbing, balancing, and reconciling the devout Objectivism of the author’s stepfather, John, and the passionate Christianity of his biological father. One was a champion of rational self-interest, the other a thoughtful man of faith. The author’s intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development played out in the process of conversations with these two, brilliant men. The Soul of Atlas invites you, the reader, to enter into that conversation to consider where these world views vary or unite with your own.
Today, people claim and disclaim both world views with very little comprehension. Arguably, people do this with all kinds of thinking. Unaware, they embrace parts of varying philosophies without regard for consistency. Or, perhaps worse, they dismiss the “other” as misguided and villainous. The merits and influence of these world views mandate more thoughtful consideration. Understanding is a precursor for a meaningful exchange between these two, influential vantage points, if not from other vantage points, as well. These pages lay the groundwork of understanding as a foundation for a productive dialogue.
From the author of The Soul of Atlas
This conversation is not only for those, like the author, familiar with both world views. Perhaps you have come from the perspective of a Christian or another faith tradition. Perhaps your intellectual background is more sympathetic to atheism or Objectivism. In any case, keep an open mind. In fact, I would argue that productive interchange requires it. If you come to the Conversation as an atheist or strict rationalist, Dad’s well-reasoned Gospel perspective will challenge you. If you approach as a Christian, John’s passion and ways of thinking will inspire you to deeper understanding and cause you to question. Finally, if the world view that you articulate differs from both of these men, I envy the adventure that awaits you.
On the way to a comprehensive world view that reconciles what my fathers taught me, I ask four questions that help me characterize anyone’s way of thinking. In various forms and on many occasions, they are “What is the nature of Reality?” “What is a person’s highest pursuit?” “What is wrong with the world?” and, “How do you fix it?” Since understanding each world view is foundational to the Conversation, I answer these questions early on, relating each father’s perspective.
In this season of debates and intellectual conversations, why not stretch your mind?
Read The Soul of Atlas and engage in stimulating conversation with an opposing view of the world.