Friday, April 30, 2010

Who's a Monster?

Occasionally my boss (our senior pastor) will place articles in my box to push my buttons. (Okay, it's not really to push my buttons.) One such article was a Newsweek interview with famous evolutionist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

The whole interview was difficult to read—not because I couldn’t understand it, but because I understood him all too well—but the section that really made me marvel was where he called God a monster.

“I suppose the most strident passage in The God Delusion is where I talk about how the God of the Old Testament is the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”

Now there’s a delightful statement at so many levels: “God delusion,” “unpleasant,” and “fiction.” But Dawkins goes on.

“… what everybody actually knows: that the God of the Old Testament is a monster. I put it in this rather, I’d like to think, amusing way…. The God of the Old Testament is a monster. It’s very, very hard for anybody to deny that. He’s like a hyped-up Ayatollah Khomeini.”

I heartily disagree with his assessment. The God of the Old Testament, like the God of the New Testament (as they are the same God), is both a God of (just) wrath and a God of love, and his love is clearly manifested in the Old Testament. Psalm 103, Zephaniah 3:17, Micah 7:18-19, and Hosea 11 come immediately to mind, and they are representative of many more.

Unfortunately, Dawkins is deluded. But he will not be so eternally. I genuinely hope his delusion is dispelled in this earthly life that God has graciously given to him.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6 NIV). May God’s light shine into Dawkins’ darkened heart.

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