new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king


(With a hat-tip to Doug Wilson whose article this one owes a lot to.)
Christianity has come under sustained attack recently from a string of books. Richard Dawkins contributed The God Delusion, Sam Harris Letters to a Christian Nation, and Christopher Hitchens God is not Great.

A central theme running through the books is a moral indignation. They point the finger at religion in general, and God in particular, and say indignantly, “Religion causes all sorts of evil; religion poisons everything.”

Although I don’t share their opinion, I’m slightly confused as to why Dawkins and Co. should mind things being ‘poisoned’. According to their view, all we are is a pile of goo that has evolved, and the world belongs to those who survive by whatever means. Allegedly it the ‘survival of the fittest’. If that’s the case (and I don’t think it is) what problem is there in poisoning everything, if it allows your perspective to survive?

There is a deep inconsistency in their position. To say that something is wrong you need to have a standard of right and wrong – which is precisely what Dawkins and Co. don’t have. Once you deny the existence of an absolute God who sets standards, you can’t start claiming that there are absolute standards. Where do they come from? Dawkins and Co. have only their idea of what is right and wrong; why should their idea of right and wrong be right? It’s just their opinion.

Yet they persist in branding religion as ‘immoral’. Where do their categories of moral and immoral come from? They have to borrow the idea from God himself.

For them, it’s like suspending an argument from an invisible skyhook. To deny God they have to acknowledge God’s categories. It’s the intellectual equivalent of standing on top of the Eiffel Tower and looking out over Paris and proclaiming that the Eiffel Tower doesn’t exist because you can’t see it. To make your denial you had to use the Tower itself!

Such is the folly of atheism – and that’s why as a pastor these books don’t shake my faith, nor do they need to shake any Christian. And that’s why they can’t give confidence to anyone who wants to deny God. The case against God is yet to be made.