We seem to be in one of those anti-Christian phases that the UK media goes through every now and again. (Not that they are ever pro-Christian, of course, but I think you know what I mean.) First there is David Starkey’s Who Killed Christianity? on Radio 4. Although each programme is mercifully only 15 minutes long, it has already raised my hackles and we’re only halfway through the four-part series. What serious contribution to theology does an historial and expert on the constitution think he can make? And I thought I was self-opinionated.
Perhaps more serious is the continuation of Richard Dawkins all-out assault on God. Channel4 tell us that in His latest TV programme he “describes God as the most unpleasant fictional character of all and launches a wholehearted attack on religion as the cause for much of the pain and suffering in the world.” So much for fair play, then. But what disturbs me most about Dawkins’ rant is not his bad theology, it’s his bad science. Dawkins is an evolutionary-biologist, and for him science is everything. Here’s a quote from his own website:
Either there is evidence for a god (in which case you would not “accept the scientific account of reality” because the scientific account of reality would have been found wanting. That is what evidence would mean).
His point there is simple: You cannot prove that God is (so He cannot exist), and the scientific account of reality has not been found wanting (so you can trust that). It’s clear Dawkins doesn’t know God. It’s clear too, he doesn’t know his science. Science can’t (and probably will never) actually explain very much at all. The more you find out, the more you realise you do not know. And as physics in particular advances, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that this is a great deal that is actually unknowable.
It is remarkable that Dawkins’ continued attacks on religious come at a time when there has never been more wonder and mystery within science itself. I’ve been incredibly blessed by reading just a little of the discoveries that scientists are making. Our world is far more complex, far more intricate, far more incredible than you or I can ever imagine. Speaking of behaviour of atoms, Jim Al-Khalili said:
Whether we like it or not, such weird behaviour is a feature of the quantum world that we must accept, no matter how hard it is to believe. It does happen, that although we have a right to expect a rational explanation, none has yet been found. Many physicists will make statements such as: the world of atoms and below is so far removed from our own experiences in the macroscopic world that we have no right to expect things to behave in a way we can describe using everyday concepts. I know this does not sound very helpful, and even a bit of a cop-out. We should be disturbed by the way the atom behaves. But many of the greatest physicists believe this to be a dangerous and futile pursuit, and that the worrying is best left to philosophers, who have nothing better to do with their time! (Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed, pg 86, emphasis added)
But however little Dawkins knows God, God knows Him. That in itself is a frightening thought.
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One… The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, (Psalm 2:2-5)
Lord in Your wrath, remember mercy.