How Can otherwise intelligent and Rational People Believe the Bible to be the Infallible Word of God?
Over the last few months then I've run into a few different variations of the above question. It does annoy me slightly, I mean, talk about a backhanded compliment! On the one hand who doesn't like being told they are intelligent? Yet on the other hand it vexes me that intelligence and Christianity should apparently be so contradictory.
I do plan to answer the above question but before I do then I think its good to examine why it is that atheists in particular will come out with questions like it. After all, there is hardly a shortage of intelligent Christians out there why then should our existence prove so surprising for people to accept?
It is no coincidence that it is largely only atheists who I have heard asking this question and that is because if there's one thing that challenges the very root of atheism it is the presence of intelligent believers in Christianity. Let me explain further: a foundational pillar of the atheist's worldview is that human reason is the ultimate authority by which we judge all things. This makes sense, from a naturalist view, then as the most advanced creatures on this earth, humanity's ability to reason is the highest form of authority which can be found to judge anything by. Rule out God and what's the next best thing left to judge truth by?
Therefore, what is hard for an atheist to accept is an individual who otherwise appears perfectly rational believing in the Bible. It is an ultimate failure of their ultimate authority. For when it comes to the Bible then the atheist applies his human reasoning to it and rejects it so cannot understand why someone would be rational and believe it. Once again, this is no surprise. In the letter to the Corinthians it is written:
As I mentioned in my previous post Mr Dawkins is under his own God delusion, a delusion shared by many others and in my worse moments by me. The root of this common delusion lies at both our lack of understanding of the full godness of God and the pride of our hearts which hampers us even further.
We do not like to think of how above us God is because to do so is to remind ourselves of how far we have fallen.
There is only one way to correct this deliberate misunderstanding of who God is and that is to turn to the Bible and see what it has to say about the full glory of God or the ‘weightiness’ of God (the technical term for this is the transcendence of God.)
Four years after it was published I finally got round to reading Mr Dawkin’s best selling work “The God Delusion”. I may as well start by admitting that I remain a Christian, a six day creationist and a Bible literalist. Richard would be spinning in his grave had the church actually got its act together and bumped him off. That last sentence, although firmly in keeping with Dawkin’s view on religion, was a joke.
Anyway, it’s not all negative, there were a few points were Mr Dawkins and I share common ground. It’s probably best to start off there before moving to the considerably longer list of things we don’t agree on.
The God Delusion – The Good Stuff
Right, this point may take some explaining. Dawkins hates religion; that point is clear enough. He hates the hypocrisy of religious people, he hates the special treatment it receives, he hates all the wars, debates, murderers, evil all done in the name of religion. He rallies against Islamic fundamentalism, Jew haters, racists, people who want to see a Christian theocracy in the US, basically every religious nut job out there.
And I agree with all this (to some extent). Religion, or to be more precise, religions of work, suck. As usual Jesus put it better in his famous six woes: