Dec 13, 2011
neil

Happy Christmas Richard Dawkins and thanks for all your good work!

So Richard Dawkins is guest editing the Christmas edition of the New Statesman – a smart move on their part which is guaranteed to boost the sales.

Like all fundamentalists Richard Dawkins can be infuriating. His resistance to reason and his refusal to engage with the world of ideas has driven many an atheist mad let alone the Christian. Again like many fundamentalists his rhetoric is often full of vitriol and demonstrates a sometimes scary intolerance for any who disagree with him – no matter how reasonable. But I for one am still glad he’s in the world. Why?

1. Is there anyone who does more to keep religion in the public eye than Dawkins?  The secularist agenda is to marginalise people of faith by keeping God-talk out of the public sphere.  Dawkins functions as a secret agent subverting the secularist agenda by insisting on discussing matters of faith. When others go on and on about X-factor he just can’t stop talking about God! He’s done more for the church, in the public sphere, than any religious figure since the time of CS Lewis.

2. It follows from the first point that Dawkins is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for opening  up many a conversation as matters of God, faith & science continue to be discussed in the media. Just this last week Brian Cox distanced himself from Dawkins views on Radio 5 Live.

3. Dawkins does a great deal to reassure Christians that their faith is reasonable and credible. His refusal to debate Christian apologist William Lane Craig in Oxford a couple of months ago, even at a time that he was promoting his own new book through a show at the Royal Albert Hall, was a massive own goal. His unwillingness to defend his own ideas has been exposed by a number of atheist Philosophers.

4. Dawkins provides some great quotes to highlight the bankruptcy of atheism. His own (albeit qualified) support for infanticide, his admission that he has no idea how life began on the planet, his own recognition that for the atheist there is no good and evil all demonstrate how unliveable atheism is and how dark its conclusion are.

5.Dawkins compels Christians to think and to think deeply about their faith. As we take seriously the call to provide a reasoned defence for what we believe gets us back to our Bible and to good books.

6. Dawkins reminds us of the danger of fundamentalism in all of its forms. He is a warning to us all of how ugly it can be and how by contrast Christians need to think, speak and behave differently.

Francis Schaeffer was right when he said ‘the greatest apologetic of all is love’.

So happy Christmas Richard Dawkins and keep up the good work!

 

1 Comment

  • Schaeffer was right, but Neil was wrong.

    Good post though. Last year an introduction to a sermon on Isaiah 36 I gave began … “I thank God for Richard Dawkins …”

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