None of these writers points out that if Christianity is true, then it is all up with us. We would then have to face the deeply disagreeable truth that the only authentic life is one that springs from a self-dispossession so extreme that it is probably beyond our power. Instead, the volume chatters away about spirits and Darwinian earthworms, animal empathy and the sources of morality.
The notion that the only authentic life is beyond our capabilities means, logically, that there is no authentic human life at all. Why bother then? Wouldn't it be better to pursue some feasible form of "inauthentic" life? The word "if" also performs a deeply dishonest function here, as do the words "true" and "truth." After all, the question to be decided is whether it is true in the first place, and if Christianity isn't true, then it is noxious nonsense, especially if it preaches a self-dispossession that makes normal human life all but impossible. If Eagleton really doesn't believe in Christianity, he should call it nonsense. If he does believe, then he should speak non-hypothetically.
Here's my problem with Egginton too, and other forms of thought that try to steer a middle course. Anti-atheism really boils down to theism, in the end, but the advocate of "moderation" cannot quite take the theistic route. If theism (or some variant thereof) is actually true, then it is a very serious matter with radical consequences (Eagleton is right in this at least).
And why fault authors just because they haven't had some silly idea that has occurred to the reviewer? I think a Darwinian earthworm is a lot more interesting than an incoherent theological point, but that's just me. At one point he complains that no theologian would ever call God an "entity," as one writer in the book under review does. This is sheer silliness: that word is all over theology. Try explaining the ontological argument without using it (or a close synonym like being, thing, etc...).
I'll be trashing more Eagleton writing in the near future, probably after I get back from Spain. It is very fun, because Eagleton, while a witty writer who can launch clever zingers, can barely think straight for more than a clause at a time. The only question is whether I hate Eagleton more because he is a Marxist or a dishonest Christian apologist.