When Jesus meets Dawkins!

S12480299X Phil Playfoot, King's Church, Horsham - photo by Steve Cobb
S12480299X Phil Playfoot, King's Church, Horsham - photo by Steve Cobb

Over the last ten years, Richard Dawkins, author of the best seller ‘The God Delusion’ has become famous for his public ridicule of religion in general and Christianity in particular.

One of his headline grabbing quotes includes, “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus”. He has also described the story of Jesus’ death as ‘sadomasochistic’ and of His resurrection ‘trivial’ and ‘as well documented as Jack and the Beanstalk’. He is currently enjoying more opportunity to air his views that science can provide answers to the big questions we used to entrust to religion, through the Channel 4 series Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life.

For many people, including myself, it is the study of the same cosmos, biology and history that Richard Dawkins studies that led initially to my belief in God and subsequently to my belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Can something come out of nothing? Is the diversity of life simply down to chance processes? Were the followers of Jesus suffering from mass hallucination in claiming they had met with him?

The increasing public debate between the ‘New Atheists’ and those who believe God exists has led me to pose a question: ‘What would Jesus Christ, whose teaching has shaped Western civilisation for 2,000 years, say to Richard Dawkins in a face to face conversation?’ This is what I will consider on Sunday December 2 at the morning service of Kings Church, Horsham held at Tanbridge House School at 10.30am. If Richard Dawkins is right then there is no ultimate hope or basis for justice and life ends in the grave. If what Jesus claims is true then our response to his words are the most important decision we will make.