Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Probably no God?

The big subject of discussion on the Christian Blogsphere today is the bus poster campaign being organised by Richard Dawkins and friends. The buses will say: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life".

Obviously, there's no such thing as bad publicity and the Methodist Church have offered to send them a few quid in support - and in grateful thanks for raising the profile of spiritual issues.

Peter Leeson is questioning why someone would want to spend £36,000 to announce that there is "probably" no God.

Bishop Alan is posting Atheist gospel songs...

It's all good fun of course - unless you are about to have your house repossessed and could really do with 36 grand...

Like many people I'm not that bothered about the campaign and fully expect it to start evangelistic conversations all over the country - so well done Dawkins for promoting discussions about faith.

Here are a few oblique comments of my own:

"Probably" - well, that's got to annoy the committed atheists. "Probably" implies an agnostic position which means there's something to discuss. If I was an agnostic I'd be inclined to hedge my bets, rather than stop worrying and enjoy my life. What if God's waiting to get me?

"Stop worrying and enjoy your life" - tricky advice if you're poor, sick or dying. The only people I know who are actually able to stop worrying and enjoy their life are those who have found a hope which transcends the difficulties of normal human existence. They don't embrace hedonism but life in all its fullness - in the midst of darkness and despair. Those who can dance while living through apartheid - who can sing songs of freedom while oppressors reign - who can smile in the face of their own death - these are the people who are able to project real peace. This advertising slogan suggests a shallow peace for those struggling with "religious" guilt - when real peace comes in the embrace of grace which acknowledges brokenness rather than denying it... or is that a bit deep for Dawkins?

I look forward to seeing the next slogan. I wonder what they'll come up with next:
Jesus probably didn't turn water into wine. Get yours at Odbins.

Noah probably didn't build an ark. Learn to swim.
Jesus was probably not born on December 25th in the year nought. No more Christmas presents!

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