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Regis Nicoll Christian Blog and Commentary

Dawkins Draws Friendly Fire

  • Regis Nicoll
    Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He spent 30 years as a nuclear specialist, and is now a freelance writer who writes on current issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. He currently serves as lay pastor of Hamilton Anglican Fellowship (www.hamiltonaf.org) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • 2007 Mar 13
  • Comments

When you're being peppered with “incoming” from your own camp, it's a clue that sumpin's gotta give. Despite its long run on the New York Times bestseller list, The God Delusion and its author, provocateur extraordinaire Richard Dawkins, are getting pelted by some unlikely critics.

When you're being peppered with “incoming” from your own camp, it's a clue that sumpin's gotta give. Despite its long run on the New York Times bestseller list, The God Delusion and its author, provocateur extraordinaire Richard Dawkins, are getting pelted by some unlikely critics.

Then there’s evolutionary biologist H. Allen Orr, who changed his mind about Dawkins as a “professional atheist,” concluding, “I’m forced, after reading his new book, to conclude that he’s actually more of an amateur.” Ouch!

Philosopher and atheist Thomas Nagel criticized Dawkins for constructing a strawman deity--“a complex physical inhabitant of the natural world”--rather than one that approximates what believers actually believe.

It’s a point that Mr. Orr picked up on: "The most disappointing feature of ‘The God Delusion’ is Dawkins’s failure to engage religious thought in any serious way. You will find no serious examination of Christian or Jewish theology…no attempt to follow philosophical debates about the nature of religious propositions… If card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins [were asked] to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Africa, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could…When it comes to theology, however, any shoddy old travesty will pass muster."

I can't help but wonder, for someone as gifted as Richard Dawkins, whether his theological slouch comes from a dis-ease of what he might find--an Intelligence that, among other things, would invalidate his life-work of anti-God materialism. Yet, that is the risk taken by others throughout the centuries, most recently Antony Flew.

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