Thursday, November 01, 2007
Not got to my NaMoWriMo start yet, in fact am drawing a total blank over that, but here is my first posting for NaBloPoMo
I thought I might try a book a day for November, these will be books I've read, or am reading, or even want to read, so you might find a combination of heresay, (hopefully not heresy!), opinion, critique, misunderstanding and perhaps even some useful information in this lot!
A strange choice, perhaps, for the first day - as being a Christian Minister, some might wonder at why am I promoting someone who is so blatantly anti-religion - but lets start with something different
Yes, Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion' is one of the books I've read very recently, in fact I've mentioned it before in these postings. It isn't a bad book, really! I quite like Dawkin's style, and despite the fact he is very misinformed, one sided, and has very little understanding of faith as opposed to religion this book is full of stuff that should make any Christian, indeed anyone with half a brain, think. He has plenty of valid points about the misapplication of religion, there are plenty of things that over the ages different religious groups have done, and still do, that we/they should be ashamed of.
though he does miss the point
and he doesn't really come up with any satisfying arguments for not believing.
Now I didn't come to this book determined to dismiss it and all that was in it!... Despite what Dawkins says most believers I know are intelligent people who are willing to question faith, and even to question the existence of God. Who hasn't struggled with the evil in this world or seen the suffering that so many undergo, or heard of the aftermath of a terrible disaster and asked 'where is God in all this?' And I know of many devoted Christians who struggle constantly with the nature of God and what all this faith business means.
Dawkins doesn't give credit to believers for thinking, often quite radically and very critically, about faith. As if we were all passive recipients of a faith forced upon us, usually in childhood according to him. I for one am someone who made the decision to follow Christ in my teens, coming from a non-religious background with higher than average academic ability (that isn't a boast, just to say that despite what many detractors say, faith is not for the stupid!). I have had plenty of times in my life where I could happily have jettisoned faith, but I've not - or perhaps more accurately i would say that God hasn't let me go, even when I've let go of God!
Anyway, the book is worth reading, even if only to say 'nahhhh', some of what he says is very good indeed, and offers a challenge to religious structures and the way in which 'religion' is applied. I do think that had he presented a compelling argument, I would have been willing to consider again my faith and what it means. But he doesn't.