Barmy Baptist resorts to sarcasm in dismissing new atheist book

Barmy Baptist resorts to sarcasm in dismissing new atheist book June 22, 2009

ATHEIST Geoffrey Berg, 54, an activist from Prestwich and a long-standing member of the National Secular Society, has unveiled a book which sets out to prove the non-existence of God by using straightforward logic.bergbook
But, according to Opposing Views, rather than attempt to counter the arguments in The Six Ways of Atheism, the Baptist Press’s Charlie Warren, sarcastically wrote:

Prepare to padlock and board up your church. Shut down all associations across America. Close the Baptist state conventions. Dissolve the Southern Baptist Convention …
I guess I’ll look for a new place of employment. My life and career have been a sham, a lie and a total hypocrisy. We all must join up with atheists now.
But wait! I just talked with God this morning. I’m quite sure it was Him. And I felt His presence at church Sunday. And I know lots of folks who know Him personally. It is evident in their lives and ministries.
Aren’t you glad you know God personally? Aren’t you glad you experienced His grace through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ? Aren’t you glad you have sensed on many occasions the power of the Holy Spirit in your own life?
Let’s pray for Geoffrey Berg and all who read his book. God works in mysterious ways. Maybe He will use this misguided book in some way to bring about an opposite response to what Berg intended.
Meanwhile, let’s stay in business and help others experience the reality of our Creator God, our Sacrificial Savior and our Holy Guide and Comforter.

Geoffrey Berg
Geoffrey Berg
But, in reviewing Berg’s book, Phil Groom, Reviews Editor of UK Christian Bookshops  (who is also manager of the London School of Theology Books & Resources), wrote:

It should challenge the way you think – about God, about life, purpose and existence, and that I think makes it worth the read…
He presents a fascinating … series of six arguments against God with which I personally cannot but agree…
The question remains: does the cumulative force of Berg’s arguments genuinely represent the decisive proof against God’s existence that he claims?
The answer is, in my view at least, yes; and I also think it matters not one whit. Quite simply because Berg, like Dawkins before him and in common with so many aggressive atheists, has fallen into the trap of regarding God as an entity within the universe. As he rightly insists, such an entity cannot and does not exist, has never existed beyond the human imagination.

The book will be sent free to every public library in all the world’s major English-speaking countries (U.S.A., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland). Some free copies also will be sent to leading universities, national libraries and secularist organizations throughout the world.
You can get a copy of Berg’s book here.

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  • chrsbol

    This is my village back in the news again following Butt the mad muslim dentist(patients to wear the veil) and monseigneur Allen(no vaccinations on RC school grounds).There has been an article on the book in the local rag prompting a comment that this man must be mad "Can't he see the evidence of god everyday in the birds bees and flowers etc. blah blah blah!"Never a dull moment in this leafy suburb.

  • He "talked with God this morning" and was "quite sure that it was Him". Not only that, but he "felt His presence" at church on Sunday! Oh, dear – we are just talking about self-delusion here, aren`t we? (BTW I have never really understood how an immanent being could possibly be more present in one place than in another – can anyone explain?)

  • Harry

    He spoke with Satan this morning, who tricked him into feeling quite sure he was God.

  • I don't think I have "fallen into the trap" of regarding God as an entity within the universe. Nor, I suggest, has Richard Dawkins or Barry Duke or whoever. What I oppose is the insistence, held by so many, that God is an "entity" and indeed has created "man in his own image" – whatever that means. Many intelligent Christians are now retreating to safer climes and viewing god as some kind of transcendant unknown. Others now espouse the equation of god with nature or the cosmos – like The Taoists a long time before them. For many this is a position forced on them and I suppose they cannot resist a cheap swipe at their articulate, temperate and famous main opponent: Richard Dawkins.

  • This is the dilemma that faces the fundamentalists every single day: if the world is really full of evil spirits, then how on earth can you possibly discern between the "voice of God" and the promptings of some satanic entity who is mimicking Him to perfection?

  • Well said Broga. As I keep pointing out, it is all semantics! The God of the Bible is quite obviously "an entity within the universe", who continually intervenes in people`s lives in a very real way. As with Islam, it`s the fundies who are correct, however mad and even dangerous their ideas may be. This headlong flight into the sphere of "New Age Thinking", so despised by the fundamentalists, shows just how out of date all these beliefs really are, and how very desperate the "believers" are to give them a veneer of respectability!!

  • Well done to Mr Berg, but as many before him have found, books containing logic and reason are either shunned or burned by the religious, or the authors receive death threats. No matter how much evidence or philosophical argument is applied to disprove the existence of god – and let’s not forget about disproving a negative – those who have religion very rarely shed their delusion. The burden of proof of a god falls to religious but after thousands of years of trying, they have failed but won't admit it.

  • Dave_L

    The problem with these Christians viewing God as some transcendant unknown is that the Bible plainly describes God as a being, so much so that he covered Moses with his hand. So by taking this view, they are actually practising a religion other than Christianity, as Christianity is defined by its foundational texts that are the Old and New Testaments.
    They can't just redifine or re-write parts of this book simply because it is inconvenient to 21st century knowledge, but keep other parts when it is convenient for them.

  • Mike

    Is it my monitor or has the creator materialised some egg onto Geoff's face? Maybe that was god the good bishop was talking to after all!

  • It`s the Shekinah Glory, Mike! God has graciously revealed Himself to him in unanswerable proof of His existence – Hallelujah!!

  • There has been some discussion about this over at . In the same passage to which you refer (Exodus 33) Moses is told that he cannot look upon God`s face, but that it`s OK to view His "back parts"! These are obviously primitive, anthropomorphic ideas, but it IS what the Bible says, and attempts to explain it away make "Bible believers" just look ridiculous!!

  • William Harwood

    There are four kinds of godworshippers: the intellectually challenged, the educationally challenged, the rationally challenged, and the intestinally challenged. No one who has read the rebuttals by Dawkins, Harris, Harwood (World Audience, July 2009), Hitchens, and Stenger can continue to plead ignorance. Berg's book, judging by the promo link, adds nothing to what Epicurus wrote more than 2,000 years ago, and will not need to be added to the foregoing list.

  • You talk about the Bible as if it were a single coherent work, Dave: it isn't. But surely you know that? The Bible is a record of one ethnic group's emerging concept of God, written by scores of different writers over several thousand years, all wrestling to make sense of their perceptions of God in an increasingly chaotic world.
    Christianity is no more defined by the Bible than evolution is defined by the Origin of Species. The biblical writers were no more infallible in their ideas about God than Darwin was about genetics. We move on: we evolve. That's the nature of life; and the evolution of faith and religion is as much a part of humanity's development as any other.
    Perhaps we'll all end up as atheists; perhaps we'll all end up following Jesus; perhaps we'll end up somewhere else entirely. Personally I think Jesus makes more sense of life than anyone else I've come across, but surely the important thing right now is that we respect one another rather than descend into either religious or anti-religious fundamentalism and vitriol. Seems to me that what we believe only matters in so far as it affects the way we behave; but as madpriest would say, "Of course, I could be wrong" — and I am, undoubtedly, insane.

  • tree

    "…and it will not scruple to employ for the same purpose any weapons of ridicule or sarcasm that may be borrowed from the armoury of Common Sense."

  • Brian Jordan

    "You talk about the Bible as if it were a single coherent work, Dave: it isn't."
    Well, you said it. I'd just subtract "a single" and "work". Then we're left with its being incoherent, which sounds about right for Bronze Age mysticism.
    Jibes apart, Christians and other religious types might have things to say, reasonable or otherwise, about how people should live their lives. However, they are forever tainted by their superstitions and as long as they claim divinity as their source they are deluding themselves and trying to delude the rest of us. A shame, really.

  • Quite so. Rather like Dawkins and his flying teapot, really. I took the lid off the teapot and it was empty. As I said, adds to life's entertainment value.

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  • Bubblecar

    I'm sure I'm not the only atheist who doesn't like Richard Dawkins. None of my atheist friends and relatives warm to him much, either.

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  • I agree 100% Bubblecar. He may have a brain the size of the Empire State Building, but he comes over as arrogant and aggressive, and does the cause a great deal of harm!

  • Kobachan

    The teapot isn't Dawkin's idea, it's Bertrand Russell's.

  • In Mr Dawkins defence: some of us scientists are not too good at communicating ideas, nor do we have the marketing polish of our opponents. Richard Dawkins may appear “arrogant and aggressive” to some, but how many of us have done as much as he for our cause?

  • heng

    The cause? what fucking cause? Pointing out idiocy is not a cause, and people that do so are not arrogant. As Richard Dawkins himself is so fond of pointing out (and I agree absolutely), why on earth does religion get some special status in debates? He would never be thought of as arrogant if he espoused views with the same intensity during a debate on politics.
    People seem to have an innate desire to not take extreme positions, and view anyone that does so as "arrogant". In many cases this is sensible, because very little can be known. But there are many situations where one position is not the intellectual equal of the other. In this situation, it is not arrogant to point this out.
    Please, find an example of Richard Dawkins making a forceful argument in which the alternative is actually reasonable, and I will happily cede to the view that he can be arrogant.
    If there is a cause (which there isn't), it is actually the weak accommodationists that are undermining it.

  • calgarcus

    Phil, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that finds so much entertainment value in the world. I was just thinking now that I'm a bit older and wiser, how many historical leaders were completely off there head on one chemical or another. I saw a pprogramme on the first Chinese Empror the other night. In his search for eternal life he had them feed him mercury, which sent him so mad that he sent thousands on quests dreamed up in his imagination. Wasting thousands of lives. He wrote a crazy law book, in which you lost limbs, for breaking trivial rules like blinking at the wrong time. History like modern life seems choc of .full this lunacy more satire on the news these days than on Dave.