In spite of the apparent differences between the two, a number of commentators have suggested
an underlying sympathy between new atheism and protestant fundamentalism (e.g. De Botton 2012;
Vernon 2007; Flew 2007; Robertson 2010) While such comparisons are intriguing, it not always clear
whether they should be taken seriously, as they are frequently asserted without sustained argument.
This paper seeks to ameliorate this lack of clarity through a textual study of new atheist and protestant
fundamentalist texts. This textual study reveals two presuppositions shared by new atheists and protestant
fundamentalists: a literal, univocal, and perspicuous understanding of Scripture, and a disruptive and
substitutionary conception of divine activity in nature. As such, for all their differences, both groups
share similar beliefs concerning the Christian faith. While scholars frequently critique new atheist and
protestant fundamentalist arguments by attacking biblical inerrancy or metaphysical naturalism, this
paper concludes by arguing that a more successful critique of these two groups can be advanced by
questioning the biblical and theological presuppositions that they share.
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