Picking up from yesterday’s post about Richard Dawkins’ book The Greatest Show on the Earth, I have had several e-mails asking me if I would recommend someone to read this book. I have two answers to that.
First, I would suggest that anyone who is not very well founded in Scripture or if they are questioning the authority of Scripture not to read it. What Dawkins is doing is preying on those who are on the fringe of the Church. Having done a bit of investigation on Dawkins, it is very important for us to note that he has a very strong influence among a younger set, generally college-aged crowd. YouTube has some various lectures that he has given and one that I watched was at Oklahoma University. Another lecture that I watched as given in Washington, D.C. to a large and somewhat rowdy group of old fat guys (like me) who fancied themselves as intellectuals.
Paul (1 Timothy 4:1) mentions a seducing spirit and it is my thoughts that this is what this book is based on. Dawkins is an outright atheist, but his tone in this book is not necessarily one of antagonism but more so the serpent trick that Eve encountered in Genesis 3. The serpent inserted doubt by asking a question, “Has God said?” and the question plagued her mind until she fell. Dawkins works the questions that attempts to do nothing more than create doubt. There are times that Dawkins is very antagonistic, in fact one of his earlier books The God Delusion takes that approach.
Secondly, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get down to the nitty gritty of apologetics. The reality of the fact is that you don’t need a lot of theology to discount Dawkins arguments. If you are a logical and critical thinker, you won’t even get through the preface before all sorts of questions begin to arise concerning Dawkins ideas about evolution and atheism. Frankly I enjoyed the challenge that Dawkins presented because it pushed me in a direction of study that I rarely go, the zone of apologetics. The majority of people to whom I preach, teach, and write to are either believers or they are leaning in that direction. Dawkins is an outright atheist but what was very scary to me was that some of the ideas that he was touting were embraced by some of the popular authors of our times, not just popular secular authors, but popular “Christian” authors. It is apparent that the fox is guarding the henhouse. 2010 needs to be a year of increased discernment. Discernment is very closely attached to loving God with your mind!
Dawkins begins his book by creating a scenario about Rome not existing and how that a teacher cannot even explore the intricacies of Roman society because he is too busy having to defend its existence. He moves from this concept and makes the comparison with evolution and how that teachers cannot even explore evolution because they are having to defend it against the creationists or intelligent design proponents.
Dawkins also threw in a blurb about atheism in his opening salvo. The first thing that struck me was what Paul wrote to the church at Rome.
Romans 3:3 KJV For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Romans 3:3 NASB What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
It does not matter what men think about God, He is still there! It does not matter if it is a 7th grade science teacher, a full-blown atheist like Dawkins or my friend, the neurosurgeon, the thoughts and intents of their heart has zero effect on whether or not God exists or does not exist. The sad thing is that they will face God when their lives are finished and have to give an explanation for how they spent their personal talents and gifting.
Another thing that struck me was a rising question that came to mind, “Do you know everything?” For an atheist to say there is no God, he has to know everything. It is very obvious to me that they do not know everything because we are still waiting on a number of cures for various diseases in the medical field. They do not know a solution for the economic problems that the world is currently embroiled in. They do not have answers to the plaguing problems of world peace. These three areas are just the tip of the iceberg for what they do not know. So if they cannot give answers to those social questions of the day then how in the world can they give a valid answer to a spiritual question?
Yet another question that came to mind was one of ethics and behavior. All men come with an innate and I believe God-given process of conscience which causes them to observe some form of moral law. Man basically knows that murder is wrong. He is also aware of various other degrees of behavior that is either right or wrong. From where did this come from if there is no God? The question of conscience has to be answered.
I shall continue this. . . .
Thanks for reading. . . . .