CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt even if their religious views strongly differ from mine. I assume that they are honest, intelligent, genuine seekers of the truth with real questions about the world and (possibly) God. I don't like stereotyping and over-generalizing.

But these replies (in the comments section) to a mock request for questions addressed to the deity make me seriously question my general assessment of the intelligence of atheists. I'd like to think even people like Hume and Russell would cringe at this kind of self-indulgent silliness.

5 comments:

you ever been on a message board? you are just now getting the drift on people on the net?

Annoying, I know. Over 230 posts from the underemployed. Worrying.

But perhaps we believers have made such a hash over the yrs of stating (or even understanding) our own faith that this is the whirlwind we are justly reaping.

Don't you think someone should make an effort to voice a rational up-to-date version of the Christian faith that does not invite over 230 insults? Perhaps we could cut them down to say 100?

Pelagius,

I am certainly all for a rational defense of the faith. That's why I participate in this blog. There are two problems, however: 1) there is an ever-present danger of accommodating ourselves completely to the 'spirit of the age' and we end up presenting, not a rational defense but simply a restatement of the Gospel in terms of the contingent assumptions of a particular socio-cultural context and 2) even the most reasonable defense will often draw jeers from the willfully ignorant, just as even the best scientific arguments for global warming or vaccines will be ridiculed by the legions of the scientifically illiterate.

That said, I agree that apologists have not really taken the full measure and extent of current religious skepticism, what drives it and what common ground is left with it (not much, sad to say).

Pelagius makes a point I think bears repeating. Some of the cynicism that so many skeptics bear towards Christianity is the result of a particularly narrow-minded approach to faith by Christians that has left Christians, as a whole, subject to derision. A better apologetic is needed.

Having said that, I am convinced after years of doing apologetics on the Internet that most of the irrational hatred and immature behavior does come from the atheists. Does that mean that there are no good atheists? Of course not. But I would love to see atheists posting on the web saying that such hyperbole is juvenile and unwanted. There is way too few atheists standing up for a civil, rational discussion.

JDWalters

I know what you mean about accommodating too much (let alone "completely" as you put it!!)to the spirit of the age. It is a matter of saving (and re-presenting) the essentials of our faith, while adapting (or even letting go of)the non-essentials. And there will always be disputes among believers as to what exactly are the "essentials".

I won't enter into that just now, since we are talking about the rise of dogmatic (fundamenalistic?)atheism.

BK
Thanks for yr comment. There seems to have been a surge in over-confident atheism recently, particularly here in UK. It results in juvenile name-calling, "spaghetti-monsters", "fairies at the bottom of the garden" etc.

But it is good to see that Christian philosophers and others are fighting back: eg Keith Ward, Oliver O'Donovan (from an evangelical perspective), K Rahner & H Kung (Roman Catholic), Arthur Peacock, and think-tanks like Ekklesia & Theos.

Take the long-term view of all this!

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