Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Delusional #1

I’ve been in equal parts inspired by Jon Ronson’s TV show about attending the Alpha Course, Adam Rutherford’s blog (although it’s not really a blog) at The Guardian on the same subject, and a little bit of dialog I’ve had on new friend Graham Smith’s blog GrahamInTheRoom in response to his post “Camping it up- Dawkins style!” to actually get hold of a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion” and read it to see what all the fuss is about.

It seems only polite.

Perhaps even more ambitiously, I’m going to attempt to scribble down a few of my thoughts down as I go which I’m happy to share here.

Don’t expect them to be coherent, definitive or especially enlightening, but I’ll try my best to be at least make them honest.

Now, although I’ll make every effort to be balanced, I come to this with some baggage of my own.

Right of the bat, you have to understand that I’m a follower of Jesus…a Christian.

From what I’ve seen & read of Dawkins so far I’ve found him quite mocking and cynical – at least as much as he is skeptical. I’m also slightly suspicious that his associations with projects The Atheist Bus campaign and Camp Quest UK have as much to do with promoting his book sales as anything else.

I also have to fight against responding to his cynicism with cynicism of my own.

(Like: Be careful with the site. If anything ever needed a shot of Intelligent Design, this is it!)

So…in attempt to counter my prejudice, here’s a little vid in which he’s perfectly charming and warm.

No promises – but, I’ll try and do the whole book. Hope I don’t stop with this pre-amble alone!


bigbluemeanie said...

I am sure Dawkins tries to provoke reljgious believers but I'm never sure why he hits such a raw nerve. Mother Theresa & other religious figures over the centuries have written about the relationship between faith and doubt. I suspect that there are many of us who are uncomfortable acknowledging our own doubt.

Johnny said...

I agree about what you say about doubt. Doubt is a massive part of the faith journey of almost all Christians – it certainly is for me(is it fair to assume with other religions? I guess so..)

Matt Wilson said...

doubting ones convictions is always a bit healthy i think most would say, it seems to me though that dawkins doesn't have any doubt in his own convictions just others. That is simply rude and arrogant (many christian have been similarly guilty of this and also hit raw nerver)

I found the alpha documentary really dire, i had no problem with him having an agenda and wanting to go after alpha but what he did was really limp, weak and somewhat boring. it wasn't event entertaining let alone enlightening or representative

Johnny said...

Hi Matt

Thanks for passing through.

Jon's Alpha programme was almost funny, esp. his "spooky" voice-over voice. I mentioned that when I Twittered him, and he replied pretty graciously. He did seem to run with the cliches a little, but I think he tried to be at least a little balanced. His style is pretty droll.

Hope you are well, bud.