Christians using using Richard Dawkins style arguments

Along with many others I have often found myself hearing Richard Dawkins and thinking that if I believed in the God he describes then I too would become an athiest and very quickly too.

Fortunately, Christians do not believe in the God that Richard Dawkins describes.

I have just read an article "The Option of Errancy" which does a very similar thing. When I read it I realised that I too would believe in inerrancy if their presentation of the alternative were right.

Sadly not only is the presentation of the alternatives to inerrancy bogus but the way that it is put comes across as yet more arrogance from New Frontiers, mocking the people stupid enough not to know that there is only one correct view which is clearly the one held by New Frontiers.

Let's look at the reasons given:

  • "theological (what would it say about God if his word was incorrect?)"

One of the wonderful things it says is that God works through falible human beings. That is essential if we are to believe that God is interested in working through us as well.

  • "anthropological (isn’t the idea of the pot telling the potter that he got it wrong somewhat problematic?)"

I don't believe the potter got anything wrong. Implying that those who reject the 19th Century understanding of inerrancy are in the process telling God that he got things wrong is insulting.

  • "even Christological (Scripture is affirmed as both divine and human, like Christ, and to use the latter to argue for the flawed nature of the former could pose substantial problems for our view of Jesus – which is evident when you find people saying that Jesus, in his humanity, made a mistake about the historicity of Adam)."

I am struggling to believe that anyone thinks that a Christian who rejects inerrancy would think this. Hard to find any words for this other than bollocks.

  • "But inerrancy also matters because it rules out what I call “the option of errancy” when interpreting Scripture. Put simply, this is the idea that if you don’t believe Scripture is inerrant, then when faced with a biblical “difficulty” (whether a genuine challenge or, more commonly, something you as an interpreter don’t like), you can always say that the Bible is mistaken on that point. You may claim that you don’t want to use it – and that may be true – but if needed, you know the option of errancy is sitting in your back pocket, like a Presidential veto, as a last line of defence."

What utter insulting tripe. Find that cop out in any of my sermons and I'll buy you an custard pie to throw at me (come to think of it you can see if ourt holiday club have any left from using it on me last week).

When the only arguments you can find to support your view come from inventing false views for everyone else then you are holding a very weak position.

6 thoughts on “Christians using using Richard Dawkins style arguments

  1. barry

    > Find that cop out in any of my sermons and I’ll buy you an custard pie to throw at me
    I don’t think it’s that explicit that it would be mentioned in a sermon, but rather issues and problem verses are mentally “cut out” (or reinterpreted – which i’ve heard in some churches) rather that dealt with.
    Also, I’m not sure if I should be surprised that a Methodist Minister is swearing on his own blog, but it’s a bit sad.

  2. Dave

    To believe in inerrancy you have to reject lots of science and Biblical studies (using many disciplines). Why does that not concern you?
    It is certainly a big issue that prevents many young people from engaging with Christianity.
    As for language. I am sorry to have caused offence.

  3. barry

    Secular science tends to make absolute judgements based upon the evidence or observations it has right now.
    Archaeology is very bad at doing this. “we don’t believe Nebuchadnezzar existed because we don’t have anything with his name on”.then when evidence is found they rewrite ideas .
    I like Grudem and others approach to inerrancy that they grapple with problem passages,with compelling arguments.
    btw i am a scientist and rational thinker with a 1st class science degree. The Bible looks good to me.

  4. Priest

    Good to see you bloggin’ again Dave! I’ve missed you.
    While the new frontiers writers give explanations for their points, your responses are ‘is insulting’ , ‘bollocks’ and ‘What utter insulting tripe’ but don’t really say why.
    And you accuse them of sounding like Dawkins?

  5. Dave

    I disagree with you all the way. Science is not about absolute judgements but about testing hypotheses and revising them based on evidence.
    When it comes to scripture it seems to me that believing inerrancy stops you learning from so much of Biblical studies
    I find it odd when you say “The Bible looks good to me” because it appears that you don’t think the Bible looks good to me. There is a frequent assumption that you you do not accept 19th Century inerrancy then you do not value the Bible. That is the time of rubbish that got me so annoyed that I wrote this post.
    I take the Bible incredibly seriously and can only do so because I don’t have to turn off my brain in order to accept inerrancy.

  6. Dave

    It is nice to be back, been busy with other things.
    The reason for the response is that the arguments for inerrancy were just pathetic attacks on people who do not accept it so there was no point in engaging any other way.
    If they want a serious debate then I am happy to engage with it but this post was not serious.


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