I don’t have much time these days for posts, but I decided to post this debate between Richard Dawkins and Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks.
Sacks is pretty good, but fairly week on some issues. For example, he had no idea on how to follow up on his charge of anti-Semitism. However, he did get Dawkins to apologize that he had no idea that the people who persecuted the Jews in the Middle Ages had the same view of the OT (a God of violence etc.) as he does. Frankly, I was very surprised by his complete lack of historical understanding about the Jewish people (I take him at his word that he did not know). There is a lot to be said about this. I hope to do it in a future post.
It is also interesting to see the encounter about “junk DNA,” as it seems fairly clear that Dawkins changed his view on this, but the Rabbi did not know to press him on this. See for example thisanalysis by David Klinghoffer.
I am reading an interesting book called A City Upon a Hill: How Sermons Changed the Course of American History. What follows is a great excerpt from a sermon on the birth of Jesus by Lancelot Andrewes. Lancelot was a biblical scholar and “the greatest preacher and linguist of the day,” according to the author Larry Witham (p. 13). Wow – now that is a deadly combination! I am not sure I know any people who are both great linguists and preachers these days (?).
In any case – Lancelot is a “witty orator” and deserves a hearing. Here is the excerpt from his sermon on Immanuel (p.13 of the book):
For if this Child be “Immanuel, God with us,” then without this Child, this Immanuel, we be without God. “Without Him in this world,” (Eph. ii. 12), saith the Apostle; and if without Him in this, without Him in the next; and if without Him there – if it be not Immanu-el, it will be Immanu-hell; [note that “Immanu” means “with us” in Hebrew] and that and no other place will fall, I fear me, to our share. Without Him, this we are. What with Him? Why, if we have Him, and God by Him, we need no more; Immanu-el and Immanu-all.
What can I say to this, but a big AMEN!? May God be with all of you and let Him be all for you throughout the life.
My cousin forwarded me this great article in the Times about an atheist’s view on Africa. You can find it here.
The title says it all: “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God.” To this great title, in line with the Bible, I would change only a few of words: “As a Christian, I truly believe the whole world needs God.” These days, in my opinion, Europe (despite its material prosperity) needs God more badly than Africa. And so does the Middle East etc.
I urge you to pray with me for Matthew Parris, the atheist writer of this article. May God bless him with faith. He seems honest and humble.
In all fairness, here are a few responses to that article.