Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Matthew Parris is partly right

Having earlier mocked the new atheists for their faux-courage, Matthew Parris in a recent Spectator article, provocatively suggests that it is the atheists, who in fact, are our allies because they take God seriously. This unlike the pretend agnostics who applaud faith whilst being concerned that it merely play the role of purveyor and preserver of culture. I'm not sure I buy Parris' entire argument. For one thing atheists whilst being more open in their opposition to God, have also been known to declare that believers can assent to whatever beliefs they want, just so long as they don't adduce them in public (So Dawkins et al). Second, it's a bit of a misnomer to say that the new atheists are our allies simply because they take God seriously. The Bible gets the issue right when it declares that even demons believe in God and shudder (James 2) and yet, they are headed for the hottest part, of darkest miserable hell. The issue therefore is not simply that of taking God seriously - the issue is one of right/true belief in God which then leads to right/true action towards God. The old Sunday school puts it well - Trust and Obey / for there is no other way / to be happy for eternity / but to trust and obey. I kind of see though, what Matthew Parris is getting at namely, that agnostics (and other cultural pretenders) should stop patronising us Christians.

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