The Horseman Gives Up His Steed: Dawkins and Christianity

The Horseman Gives Up His Steed: Dawkins and Christianity April 4, 2024

Where it Started

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion Page 31

 

In 2006, Richard Dawkins released a bombshell of a book called “The God Delusion” where he would seek to show the harm that religion caused on society as a whole. The quote above is one of the more well-known statements from his work as he dove into arguments for God’s existence, argument-esque statements against God’s existence, and the role of reason and science as it replaced the religious dominance of Western Culture. Attacks on God’s character were prominent throughout his work and he raised a ton of eyebrows with statements like the one above.

The 4 Horsemen

In this war on religion, he was not alone. Philosopher and Neuroscientist, Sam Harris, the late  journalist, Christopher Hitchens, and philosopher Daniel Dennett all made contributions in their war against religion. Living off of the tense fumes of 9/11 and the war on terror, it was easy to take shots at religion as a whole. 

It was common to see words such as “destructive”, “unintelligent”, and “all-around bad for society” being tossed toward religion. Their work sent shockwaves through the West. Christendom, in particular, needed to act.

Thus, a new age of apologia was born.

As Gandalf with the Rohirrim bellowing towards Helms Deep, the apologists arrived. William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Alvin Plantinga, John Lennox and Josh McDowell fought against the apocalyptic war machine of the 4 Horsemen. 

When the Dust Settles…

Who would win this war of the mind and will? Would it be the Christian Theists? Or the Atheist Uprising? 

A series of debates was held throughout the late 2000s and early 10s as Craig, Turek, and others took on the New Atheists as well as defenders of other faiths. John Lennox of Oxford University was able to have a sit down conversation with Dawkins following the publishing of The God Delusion.

Here are a couple of the debates that made headlines though there are many more to choose from:

William Lane Craig vs Sam Harris – The God Debate Pt II

Frank Turek vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist?

John Lennox vs Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion Debate

Is the Tide Turning in the West…?

… There seems to be a shift in the tide as there is a rebirth in the belief in God again. Slowly but surely, the world is being captivated by being a part of a story bigger than itself. All of the assumptions that were made about Theism in the early 2000s seems to be shifting more towards a positive light. In fact, it appears that a reclamation of a Christian West is ripe with books like Dominion, The Air We Breathe, and Jesus Skeptic, all making the claim for the origins of a Christian West. 

Slowly, the principles that we hold dear are being understood in their proper origins: Christian Theism.

Inherent Human rights, the equality of men and women, the equality of ethnicities, and the value of humans have all been returned to their proper framework. This framework is one in which Dawkins would’ve scoffed at just 2 decades ago.

The very God that Dawkins described up above is one the who would be the author of it.

Dawkins’ Dilemma

It has always been fascinating to me that Dawkin’s claims against Yahweh rely on a standard that science cannot produce. Science can tell you what someone did, but it can’t tell you what is right or wrong about it.

Without the objective law giver that exists outside of us, there is no standard for an objective law to begin with.

Yet, here Dawkins makes moral claims that he is ill-equipped to make. Only Theism provides the framework for which he makes these claims against God (who is described and shown to be very different in Scripture).

A New Dawn

It would seem that the culture that Dawkins has bashed for years and has had disdain for is looking good to him. He says: “I call myself a cultural Christian, I’m certainly not a believer… I feel at home in the Christian Ethos… I count myself as a cultural Christian. If we subsituted it with any other religion it would be truly dreadful.”  WHOAH!

Has the knight of the Atheist Regime put up his warhorse? Maybe not completely. There is a difference between being a cultural Christian and a believing Christian, as Richard pointed out. 

Yet, maybe the world truly is changing back to a more reasoned and even-handed approach to religion. Dawkins may not have fully understood the power of his words in this interview. But for those that remember his heyday, it appears that Dawkins on his pale horse is raising a white flag.

To see the 9 minute conversation, go to THIS LINK.

 

What do you think? Has the tide turned towards a more Christian West? Let us know in the comments.

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