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« The U.S Bishops' Committee responds again to Elizabeth Johnson... | Main | Jesus Christ: Divine Troubler, Divine Brother »

Friday, October 28, 2011

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Comments

Jeff Grace

Good job, Carl! Dawkins' hubris seems to be growing faster than his bitterness... but I'll claim agnosticism on the subject. :) It's simply mind-boggling that he'd have admiration and good things to say about Jesus (in his own twisted way) yet at the same time be totally ignorant of the fact that, without the Church, he wouldn't have any idea who Jesus was. Kinda like praising a cure for a disease while trashing medicine and science. :)

Peter l

There is nothing wrong questioning whether God exists or not,lets face it we all have done it.Dawkin's will never find the truth because he has convinced himself and dare i say others as well that he is the "Truth".Someone else once said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

Sorry MR Dawkin's,you are not the truth.

Good post as usual,Carl.

beng

WHAT IN THE WORLD???!! THE DUDE IS OUT OF HIS MIND??!

He's a sensationalist.

That quote must be amongst the top ten dumbest quote ever in the history of the world.

Tony

I agree with your emphasis on Christ's "clear claim to be the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets" in response to Dawkins' apparent claim about the actual content of his teaching. But isn't Dawkins really arguing that Christ's divinity claim was either (1) nothing more than a theist trying to come to (traditional) terms with his religious/moral/political genius, or (2) just a deceptive but necessary strategy (since theism was in the air) for promulgating his moral teaching. For Dawkins, no great teacher of any kind could be a theist today because the ground for moral persuasion has apparently shifted (and no one would believe in the miracles).

Was Muhammad a "mere mortal"? We know about him today. It's possible that what a Christian thinks about Muhammad is very much like what Dawkins thinks about Christ (though, of course, the content of the teaching is different).

Carl E. Olson

Tony: All of this still comes back to my concluding argument, which is that a distinctive feature of Jesus' teaching is the claim to divinity/oneness with the Father/complete authority over the Law (itself a strong claim to divinity). Muhammad never claimed to be divine, nor did he ever say, "I and Allah are one"; in fact, such a statement would be considered an abomination by Muslims.

If Jesus were "nothing more than a theist trying to come to (traditional) terms with his religious/moral/political genius", then we should ask, "What, exactly, does that genius consist of?" To say, as Dawkins indicates, that it was in "being nice" and rejecting the more perplexing aspects of God's actions/words in the Old Testament is a decidedly shallow reading of both the OT and the Gospels. Dawkins would do well to read some of N.T. Wright's books that address all of this in detail, such as Jesus and the Victory of God.

The same goes for point #2, which again goes back to my concluding remarks: the Enlightenment-era attempt to separate Jesus the "moral teacher" from Jesus the Christ/Incarnate Word/Son of God ultimately ends in frustration, for it empties the actions and words of Jesus of their meaning by avoiding his insistence, to put it awkwardly but directly, that He is the essence and means of his moral teaching—for example, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6). Buddha and Muhammad, to take two big examples, articulated teaching and/or revelation that does not rely, in the end, on who they are (mortal messengers/teachers). The same cannot be said for Jesus. To separate the content of the teaching from the claims of the Teacher is to destroy the teaching.

Jeff Grace

Tony's comments made me realize something. Dawkins has done nothing more nor less than what many modern "Jesus scholars" have done: Revisioned Jesus in his own image. If Jesus were alive today, says Dawkins, why he'd think about religion and God just like I do. And we all know what a genius Dawkins is... (cough cough).

Carl E. Olson

Exactly, Jeff. Albert Schweitzer, in the opening pages of The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906), wrote, “And so each subsequent epoch in theology found its own ideas in Jesus, and could find no other way of bringing him to life. Not only epochs found themselves in him. Each individual recreated him in the image of his own personality.” Bingo!

David K. Monroe

Isn't it funny how nearly everyone - even those most inimical to everything Jesus said, taught, and represents, feels compelled to insist that the REAL Jesus actually agrees with and affirms them?

Is there any other figure - historical, religious, or otherwise - that people of so many disparate allegiences feel so compelled to claim as their compatriot?

Tom Hockel

Well done, Carl!

Manwe

Excellent point David K. Monroe! That pretty much wraps it up in a nutshell.

Manwe

Ah, Dawkins is at it again I see. But this 'Jesus thing' of his is not new (though the quote is), he has been saying stupid things like this for years. He has been an "Atheist for Jesus" for sometime now. Maybe his problem is that he actually likes Jesus (he was brought up an Anglican I believe), and thus he tries to reconcile his like of Jesus with his very anti-religious worldview. Who knows?

Eamonn Gaines

"A pot of prideful porridge made by the preening professor" might perhaps be better expressed as:
A pot of prideful porridge prepared by the preening professor! The more alliteration the merrier I say!

Pelegrinus

Every time we have discussion of Dawkins and Jesus, please start and end with our Lord's instruction: Pray for Richard, who believes himself to be our enemy. Pray for him seventy times seven times. Pray for him without ceasing.

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It's simply mind-boggling that he'd have admiration and good things to say about Jesus (in his own twisted way) yet at the same time be totally ignorant of the fact that, without the Church, he wouldn't have any idea who Jesus was. Kinda like praising a cure for a disease while trashing medicine and science.

Alecto

There is only one way to deal with a Richard Dawkins...storm heaven with prayers for his conversion before he dies and finds out how wrong he is.

Alecto

One more point. I think everyone knows the Fatima prayer we all say with the rosary? O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in the greatest need of Thy mercy? Well, I think the BVM gave that prayer to the Fatima children for the Richard Dawkins of the world! He needs mercy and prayers, and correction with kindness.

Rooster

Dawkins proposes the impossible: Jesus IS the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Please, Dick, explain how He could not believe in Himself.

enness

...whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire."

Funny you should use that one...this alone is causing me to exercise restraint in what I might otherwise say about such a fine example of second-rate pseudoscholarship.

Psalm 63

MR. Dawkins is such great comic relief. I do believe that his statement, ""Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today." will go down in the annals of (or anals) of history as one of the most idiotic statements ever made, hence one of the funniest. Mr. Dawkins has been carrying the enemys books for so long that he can no longer write or speak coherently. He has been coopted by the other side, which if Jesus isn't God, Satan isn't the devil. We know the truth, but that has escaped Mr. Dawkins. Only one who has a relationship with Jesus now can understand the bible, so let us not be too harsh on Dawkins. He has not been given that gift or grace that allows one to read the bible and understand it. Maybe he could start with short works by Clement or read the Didache or Justin Martyr. Something he could maybe get the idea of just by reading the words. In time, he could work himself up to the psalms maybe. Not too quickly as they are very powerful. I will pray for him. I hate to see anyone destined for hell, especially when they don't believe. Can you imagine the shock factor there? Wow. So, Let's all pray he lives a long life, long enough for him to answer the door.

John Dunn

I have maintained for some time that Dawkins would eviscerate someone as ignorant of biology as he is of theology. But apparently different rules apply, depending on who is conducting the argument. Dawkins? Well, in that case, his ignorance is not important, as theology is nothing but nonsense and who needs to argue with nonsense. (Making wonder why Dawkins is ferocious an atheist.) But if an opponent were to argue with Dawkins on biological grounds, you can bet that Dawkins would want to see his opponents cred's.

Gabriel Austin

Why do people continue to fret about Richard Dawkins? Mary Midgley disposed of his arguments and then refused to continue to argue with him. "It would be breaking a butterfly upon the wheel". Dawkins complained that she wasn't being nice.

Carl E. Olson

Gabriel: Fisking is not fretting. Besides, a ridiculous number of people apparently still think highly of Dawkins' pronouncements, so ripping his silly words to shreds in the streets isn't an altogether meaningless hobby.

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