Ad Fontes

Politics, Theology and Christian Humanism


Richard Dawkins: devil’s advocate or phantom menace?

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

I’ve just watched Richard Dawkins The God Delusion on the Mo’ Fo’ channel. Last week we had his Faith School Menace; he’s on a roll!

As a Christian in the liberal tradition I believe we need Dawkins. We may often accuse fundamentalists and biblical-literalists of shoddy thinking, but Dawkins is consistent in demanding reasoned answers for all of religion’s claims. In the same way that the traditional process of declaring a person a saint in Catholicism has used a devil’s advocate to ask hard questions to cut through the wishful thinking and groupthink, Dawkins, rather than being feared or scorned, should be appreciated as one who splashes some cold water on the face of sleep-walking religion.

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Creationism eats itself, while theology seeks understanding

In the same way that aliens from outer space always choose to invade the United States, creationists also find themselves a happy home there. And, in the same way that now South Africa has its own blockbuster alien invasion (albeit with a quantum leap in social analysis beyond the unknowingly self-parodying Independence Day), the ID UFOs are coming for the rest of us.

The first line in Europe’s defence has unfortunately fallen to Prof. Ellen van Wolde, chair of Old Testament exegesis at Radboud University Nijmegen. The Torygraph went for the headline “God is not the Creator, claims academic: The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who believes the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years”, which certainly talks up her research. Continue reading