Thursday, 11 October 2007

General Revelation

I was recently listening to a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox, both scholars from Oxford University, discussing whether or not God is a delusion. Richard Dawkins was (of course) arguing that God is a delusion, and John Lennox, a Christian scientist was countering this. The debate can be found here:,1707,Debate-between-Richard-Dawkins-and-John-Lennox,Fixed-Point-Foundation

I have only listened to the first quarter of the debate, but in that quarter Richard Dawkins said:

"When you consider the beauty of the world, and you wonder how it came to be what it is, you are naturally overwhelmed with a feeling of awe, a feeling of admiration, and you almost feel a desire to worship something. I feel this, I recognise that other scientists... feel this. We all share a kind of reverence for the beauty of the universe, for the complexity of life, for the sheer magnitude of the cosmos, for the sheer magnitude of geological time and its tempting to translate that feeling of awe and worship into worship for a particular thing, a person, an agent and to want to worship a maker, a creator..."

Dawkins is obviously a very clever man, but it is so sad to see how blind he is when it comes to God. Above, he eloquently describes the natural response of the human heart. We see in Psalm 19 that the creation declare the glory of God:

" 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. "

The Psalmist describes the reaction of Dawkins, thousands of years before he even had it. But Dawkins tries to explain these feelings away:

"What science has now achieved is an emancipation from that impulse to attribute these things to a creator, and it's a major emancipation... it was a supreme achievement of the human intellect to realise... that these things [creation] can come about by purely natural causes"

Dawkins refuses to trust his reaction. Paul explains this in Romans 1:

" 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

Dawkins explains clearly that creation screams out that there is a God, and yet he choses to ignore these reactions and look for an alternative explanation, in science. He describes and personifies all too well exactly what Paul is saying in this section of Romans. He claims to be wise, yet he is foolish, exchanging the glory of the immortal God, as he sees it in creation, for images - scientific explanations to eliminate God from the equation. I am not saying that science doesn't offer us amazing opportunities to marvel at the wonderful ordered creation that our ordered God has given us, but to use this order as a means to eliminate God is sadly putting science as the idol of worship rather than the true God in his rightful place of worship.

Clearly Dawkins is in the eyes of many in the world a very clever man, and yet is blinded to the fundamental truth behind all of creation. Praise God that he has the power to open the blind eyes of anyone, and lets pray that he would do this to Dawkins, allowing him to finally gaze awe-struck at the amazing God who created this intricate world.

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