Richard Dawkins would have a field day if the letters page of the latest issue of our diocesan newspaper fell into his hands. The lead letter simply reproduces a discredited and self evidently impossible but nevertheless increasingly widely circulated e-mail hoax that NASA has proved that there is ‘the missing day’ which anyone who takes Joshua and 2 Kings very literally would expect. One of the two other letters (which responds to something I’d written) makes the schoolboy howler of confusing things which are genetically influenced with those which are genetically determined.
Often when something is written which assumes a liberal theological position one of the incumbents of a large evangelical church writes to say this isn’t or shouldn’t be what the church teaches. I’d find it very tedious were it not for my recognition that when something is written which assumes a fundamentalist theological position I have been known to write to say that another position ought at least to be considered.
I’ve not much idea what the best thing would be to do next. Settling down into a confrontational exchange of letters wouldn’t be very edifying. On the other hand, simply watching the diocese circulate such sub-standard apologetics isn’t very constructive. The really frustrating thing is that it is those who would most want Richard Dawkins effectively rebutted who are providing him with the open goals.
The picture is one I took at Alton Abbey last year.