Richard Dawkins, the militant atheist, is smart: but not that smart. He supports the distribution of King James Bibles in United Kingdom schools to show students its impact on their history, language, literature, and democracy. Even so, why would a man who says that belief in God is irrational and harmful to human society support such a plan? He does indeed have another motive. He said: “People who do not know the bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality. Whatever else the Bible might be - and it really is a great work of literature - it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are frequently told the opposite.” He reasons that when people read the Bible for themselves, they will be more likely to reject it.
In God’s providence, Dawkins has given us an opportunity to use him in perpetuity to teach others a thing or two about God, His Word, and His power. And maybe, Dawkins may learn something himself.
First, God has often used unlikely sources to advance His gospel. In so doing, He not only demonstrates His sovereignty over all things but He also causes the so-called foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27). Among others, God used a lying spirit to advance His cause (1 Ki. 22:20f); He referred to wicked Cyrus as His Messiah and used him for the sake of His people so that he might know that the Lord Himself alone was God (Isa. 45:1f); He caused unbelieving Caiaphas to affirm Christ’s atoning work (Jn. 18:14); and He moved Pontius Pilate to proclaim the sinless nature of Jesus (Lk. 23:4). Dawkins is just another individual in a long line of unbelievers used of God to advance the gospel.
Second, Dawkins does not understand that it is the Scriptures that God uses to judicially harden some in unbelief, which glorifies God, not proves Dawkins, and at the same time it is the Scriptures that God uses to soften others to salvation, something which Dawkins can’t fathom because of his spiritual blindness. In those two realities the gospel is always triumphant (2 Cor. 2:14-17). In the end, it is not atheism or Dawkins that will triumph but God alone.
Such efforts by unbelievers are simply reminders of the truthfulness of God’s Word and the reality of who He is. A pagan king uttered these words after seeing God’s glory: “All the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and [among] the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ (Dan. 4:35).” God will accomplish His purpose. We can only pray that Dawkins will “get smart (Prov. 9:10)” and utter similar words in faith before it’s too late.
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About Paul Dean
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
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