At the moment, I’m working my way through (famous atheist) Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion – it’s the first book I’ve read that seeks to persuade someone who is sitting on the fence to embrace atheism (the belief that there is no God) as a life-philosophy: as a faith, if that’s not a poor choice of words.
I’ve read a Christian response to the book, entitled the Dawkins Confusion: certainly Dawkins’ arguments aren’t watertight, but I’ve never had much of an understanding of how someone who didn’t believe in God might understand the world, and how it came into being.
Reading the book has – I think – helped me understand the way that someone with an atheist belief framework thinks, and during church tonight I found myself trying to see church from that point of view.
Of course, it makes no sense at all. Singing in a group is a stirring experience: I was playing the piano, so I couldn’t concentrate on the words too carefully, and especially couldn’t consider them from another’s point of view, but singing how great God is would certainly be hard to cope with, I would imagine. Prayers, and bible readings: a sermon – a talk from the bible about how to live… all seems quite foreign. It would seem that for someone to make the journey from atheist to Christian would not be something that would happen in a church… there’s just too much ground to make up: it would be too intellectually jarring.
What kind of forum would be suitable to engage with ideas of atheism and theism, do you think?