Professor of Religion poses ultimate question
In his God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, like others before him, has denied the place of religion in our lives: we as adults should not teach matters of faith to our children. This idea has now been taken up by Hector Avalos, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at
The arguments that can be ranged against such an approach are probably fewer than people might think. Most Christian religions only pay lip service to the Bible. Any detailed study of Christianity shows that most of its major doctrines have no relationship to and are often in stark contradiction to the biblical instruction. So the majority of “Christians,” before reacting viscerally to the ideas of Avalos, should perhaps stop and consider that their belief systems and actions support his argument.
One respondent to Avalos takes the opposite approach. John F. Hobbins in his Blog Ancient Hebrew Poetry highlights the biblical instruction to care for the poor and fatherless and shows how far society is removed from Scripture. To Hobbins, and to this writer, society would be greatly enriched by applying the biblical commands.
The Bible is not old-fashioned and irrelevant to modern circumstances. Living the life of caring for others would be a witness against the rationality of Dawkins and his colleagues. In fact it is the dissonance between biblical injunctions and the way society operates that gets to the very heart of modern problems. But following "The Way" of caring espoused by the Bible would mean obeying commands established in another day and time. And obedience sits uncomfortably with our post modern age, for it implies someone else dictates our lives.
If only we could appreciate how ephemeral our ideas of liberty really are and that we are held in captivity to a destructive system. The first followers of Jesus Christ understood this connection. They showed their allegiance to the way of life He taught by their concern for the other members of their society.
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