Now there's a lot of people (Christians) out there who are happy to take on a guy like Dawkins; people who are much more knowledgeable than I who can respond to every argument he makes about why we should all become atheists. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant man with a sense of humor who is passionate about his beliefs, and if anything good can be said about his work is that he has contributed to the idea of God in the public consciousness. So I won't blog on and on about how I think he's wrong; I'd rather be (in the words of Rick Warren) God's witness rather than His lawyer. God can defend Himself, and if I get all uptight about some book that says there is no God then I've already lost my faith in God's ability to change people's hearts & minds. I will however make three observations:
1). Dawkins declares that Albert Einstein believed only in a metaphoric God; while Einstein, a Jew by upbringing, did not believe in a personal God he did believe in a divine intelligence that preceded the formation of the universe. Here are some direct quotes from Einstein himself:
“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views (emphasis mine).”
But just because Einstein says there is a God doesn't make it so; neither does it mean that there is no God just because Richard Dawkins says there isn't...
2) Dawkins correctly points out that many horrors have been done in the name of religion (including the name of Christ), but fails to point out (at least as far as I've read - I'm only about half way through his book) that much good has been done because of religion, especially in the name of Christ. So instead of promoting the notion of reforming religious institutions Dawkins believes we should be rid of them (and God) altogether.
3) Dawkins questions the scholastic integrity of the Bible, saying that there were errors made in transmission through the centuries. But we know from the principle of Mnemonic systems that accurate transmission of information can survive for years without a written record. As well we have the Dead Sea Scrolls to show that the Hebrew scriptures we have today were the same ones read hundreds of years before Christ, and we have roughly 5000 partial or complete manuscripts of New Testament writings, all of which are remarkably similar.
Having said that, I will let God defend Himself by His Word, and I can't think of any better passage than the one I just happen to read this morning in my devotional. Here we'll let God have the last word:
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." - 1 Corinthians 1:17-25 (NIV)