Skip to main content

Dawkins' rebuttals & Bell's brushstrokes

The paper back edition of The God Delusion arrives and Richard Dawkins offers a few rebuttals to the main criticisms he's faced, in The Times today.

Richard Dawkins - How dare you call me a fundamentalist
  • I’m an atheist, but I wish to dissociate myself from your shrill, strident, intemperate, intolerant, ranting language...
  • You can’t criticise religion without detailed study of learned books on theology...
  • You ignore the best of religion and instead . . .
  • You’re preaching to the choir. What’s the point?
  • You’re as much a fundamentalist as those you criticise...
  • I’m an atheist, but people need religion.

Also in The Times today:
Rob Bell - Repainting the faith with a broad brush which describes Bell's ministry and the way Don Carson contrasts Bell with Mark Driscoll. Is Bell the new Billy Graham? Or someone to be concerned about...

"Carson contrasts him to Mark Driscoll in Seattle who, curiously, also runs a large church called Mars Hill. Driscoll, unlike Bell, responds to the “postmodern turn” by being “unwaveringly confessional” while remaining contemporary in speech and worship styles. Bell, on the other hand, is a “work in transition”, Carson says, who is less reflective on the concept of sin and how to communicate it."

Then Carson suggests a reason for the growth of Bell's Mars Hill Church to 10,000 members from nothing (reputedly without any advertising):

“He serves in Grand Rapids — home of many Reformed churches, many of them very traditional and more than a little stuffy. To people from that background, Rob is a breath of fresh air.”

I'll continue my series of posts on Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis in due course.


  1. 'Bell's Mars Hill Church'? is that last paragraph about Mark Driscoll or Rob Bell?

  2. Both of their churches are called Mars Hill... confusing eh?

  3. eh? thats bonkers! mind you, i saw a list of about 70 newfrontiers churches yesterday, and they've only got about 4 different names between them!

  4. Mars Hill is from the Bible... the Areopagus...

    When you said you met Adrian, are we talking Warnock?

  5. oh yeh i'd forgotten that, but still, multi confusing.
    it was adrian holloway i say on saturday, i don't think Warnock was there...although it was someone from his church who preached at Fam on sunday.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…