Contending the new atheism

In Western countries at least, scientific atheism is a little-recognised threat to the biblical worldview that lies at the foundation of the Christian faith. Because atheists are a minority and science is a closed book to so many ordinary people, the churches generally have considered the whole modern debate over evolution and scientific atheism to be a side-line and have failed to engage with it in any serious way. What they do not realise, however, is that the minds of the general populace (e.g. in UK and USA) are being anaethetized to the gospel of Christ by the continual drip-drip of atheistic ideas and assumptions from government and the mass media. Recently it has been decreed in UK that evolution must be taught to all children in primary schools (it has been added to the national curriculum for this age-group). Unfortunately, in practice, this doesn’t just mean that the claims of the theory of evolution will be taught but that evolution will be presented as fact and as the explanation of human origins.

It is impossible in UK to get biblical viewpoints publicised in the mass media. Religious broadcasting of any kind is virtually non-existent on major radio and TV channels and serious religious material is seldom featured in national newspapers or magazines (though they are happy to enlarge on scandals and diputes among Christian churches). Richard Dawkins’ claims that no intelligent person rejects evolution and that God is “a delusion” have become part of the popular mindset.

A significant number of excellent books have been published in recent years defendiing theism and pointing out the errors of atheism but they are almost invisible to the wider Christian public … let alone the general public as a whole … because they get no exposure in the media. Such books can expect at best to sell in their tens of thousands but this is nothing compared with Dawkins’ “The God delusion” which has sold two million copies. One problem is that these books are often not reader-friendly and fail to engage the interest of the person-in-the-street.

As a retired science Professor, I have recently published a book that seeks to overcome this problem. It is entitled “Who made God?” and presents a biblical world-view over against the barren landscape of atheistic evolution. But it does so using humour as a vehicle to engage and retain the interest of the ordinary unchurched person. Novelist Fay Weldon commends it thus: “Thoughtful, readable, witty, wise …” while the British Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, writes that the book “is written in a very lively style and conveys complex subjects in palatable form”.

It would make a real difference to our churches’ ability to evangelize the present generation if they recognized that books like this can be a powerful resource in pre-evangelism. Further details can be found on and in the Amazon on-line book catalogue where similar Christian books are listed on the “Who made God?” page.