Monday, December 18, 2006

Know Thine Enemy...

I am a firm believer in the aphorism, "Know Thine Enemy". I believe Christians need to be informed about those whose teachings oppose the truth. Especially those with a wide following and deep influence. It is important to understand these falsehoods so that we can better combat them with the truth.

In that vein, I have been viewing some interesting videos online. The very popular work, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, is a recent bestseller. But there is also a free full-length PBS version of Dawkins' presentation, available here. Particularly fun is his confrontation with recently disgraced Evangelical leader Ted Haggard. The second part of the series is found here. If you have about 90 minutes and are interested in what the "other side" has to say, this could be a good use of your time.

Caution: There are some real howlers in here. Like, "Religious upbringing is child abuse" and "religion is a virus" and such.

But Dawkins does pick some interesting case studies. In fact, many of his opponents, we Lutherans would also oppose (though on entirely different grounds). Roman Catholic mystics, Evangelicals (Ted Haggard compared his services to a "rock concert"). A Jew who had converted to Islam. An Orthodox Jewish Rabbai. All go toe-to-toe with Dawkins, with varying but always interesting results.

It's also interesting how Dawkins demolishes some of the compromising views of Theistic Evolution. For instance, in episode two, around minute 30, he questions why Jesus would have himself "tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a nonexistant man [Adam]"

What a scream when Dawkins sits down with a liberal Anglican. "You are much closer to what I would believe..."!!! "This of course is all music to my ears!" Dawkins gushes. Still, he rightly criticizes, "how do they decide which parts of the Bible to interpret literally...?"

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