I agree with my friend, Cobus, who argues that the New Atheists grossly simplify reality by ignoring the fact that many theists are not fundamentalists. I've offered a similar critique of the New Atheists in an earlier post.
So it's no surprise that the New Atheist literature – that which I've read so far – is totally silent on the way in which Christian thinking has changed over the last five years or so. One only has to read a book by Brian McLaren, or sit in on discussions amongst those who consider themselves part of the emerging movement, to realise that there are many Christians who are actively rethinking traditional ideas around spirituality, homosexuality, creationism, hell, and the role of religion in politics and society. I am honoured to know some of these Christians as friends.
It seems to me as if traditional Christianity – the type that emphasises vengeful justice above love and acceptance; advocates patriarchy; and places the defence of 'Truth' over and above the well-being of people – is slowly on the way out. But the fundamentalist is misguided when she claims that secularism and atheism are fully to blame for this change. Rather, it seems to me as if transformation is being spurred on by Christians themselves.
And this point is lost on the New Atheists: they are misguided in thinking that they, as outsiders, are the only ones who can lead lasting change by simply telling people how to think. Positive, sustainable transformation in any social system can only occur if it starts within itself. I believe Christianity is changing from within, and changing for the better.