The Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason and Science has commissioned some research to discover ‘the extent to which adults recorded as Christian in the 2011 UK Census (or who would have been recorded as Christian, if they had answered the question) believe, know about, practise and are influenced by Christianity, as well as their reasons for having described themselves as Christian in the Census’.
Dawkins was joined on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme by Revd Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's, to debate the survey and here is the recording of their discussion.
The highlight for me comes at about 3.15 when Fraser says ‘Richard, if I said to you what is the full title of The Origin of Species I’m sure you could tell me that.’ Dawkins responds ‘Yes I could’ and Fraser says ‘Go on then’. Dawkins' response is rather revealing as he struggles to remember the full title. The point Fraser is making is that you wouldn’t dismiss someone’s belief in evolution just because they can’t remember the full title of the book, yet, this seems to be the approach taken in the survey regarding the Christian faith. Fraser goes on to critique the survey and the interpretation placed on it’s findings.
I must say I am fascinated by the amount of effort expended by Dawkins and his chums in opposing the Christian faith. I am greatly encouraged that they take Christianity so seriously they feel compelled to devote so much time and energy to their cause. Perhaps as Christians we should feel challenged to be as serious and energetic about the faith we espouse.
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