Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I know that love keeps no score of wrongs, and that I shouldn’t be smug when other people stumble. But yesterday’s discussion between Christian Giles Fraser and Atheist Richard Dawkins has left me grinning all over my face.


You can listen to the full interview, from Radio 4’s Today Programme here but there was a good article in the Telegraph by Stephen Pollard [editor of the Jewish Chronicle]

The article is here, and I quote just part of it…

“If you were trying to come up with a definition of misplaced intellectual arrogance, you could not do better than having the planet’s most famous atheist issuing diktats on who does and doesn’t count as a proper Christian. Prof Dawkins then announced, triumphantly, that an “astonishing number [of Christians] couldn’t identify the first book in the New Testament”.

The transcript of the next minute or so only hints at how cringingly, embarrassingly bad it was for Dawkins.

Fraser: 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: Yes I could.

Fraser: Go on then.

Dawkins: On the Origin of Species…Uh…With, oh, God, On the Origin of Species. There is a sub-title with respect to the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.

It was a golden minute of radio. But as well as being hilarious, it was hugely symbolic. In The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Baroness Warsi highlighted the militant secularism on the march in Britain. But as Dr Fraser revealed, the atheist army is led by an embarrassingly feeble general. The arrogance and intolerance of the atheists, exemplified by Prof Dawkins, is their Achilles’ heel.”

Ruth Gledhill in the Times began her article with…

Britain’s leading atheist was forced to invoke God yesterday as he was put on the spot during a public debate about Christianity.

Just to say I am happy to ‘self-identify as a Christian’, even though I think that is an ugly phrase. And I know that the first book of the NT is Matthew. I’m with John Newton, who not only wrote ‘Amazing Grace’ but also penned these words…

Saviour, since of Zion's city,
I through grace a member am,
let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in thy Name.
Fading is the worldling's pleasure,
all his boasted pomp and show;
solid joys and lasting treasure
none but Zion's children know.


  1. Does my self satisfied smile count as smug?
    Jane x

  2. Is it more important for Christians to be self-identified, rather than self-satisfied? Discuss.

  3. Hey, themes for P in L here?

    I tried to join the BBC website discussion on Baroness Warsi's article. My comment wasn't chosen (not prejudice on their part - it was a bit off topic) but scrolling through the miles of other comments there was a lot of arrogance and quite stunning ignorance on both sides. Sadly, athiests were ignorant in terms of history and faith, and Christians were ignorant in terms of spelling and punctuation! I think this may tell us more about people who take time to comment on websites than it does about Christians and athiests, though...

    I will listen to the Today programme discussion later, Ang - I'll try to do it when Ben's around, as he will be very interested too.

    1. I tend to avoid the website discussions, for the very reasons you cite. Have just emailed you about PIL.

  4. I don't know enough to join in scholarly debate but all I know is what I know and that is that God is fab and I couldn't get by without Him.
    Oh dear that reads utterly disrespectful which wasn't intended.

  5. But Ang, think what your punctuation skills could do do lift the debate onto a higher level!


    We listend to this last night. Giles Fraser was very good indeed and is probably NOT the kind of Christian who tells other people if they are actually Christians or not, but it did strike me as slightly hypocritical to tell RD off for doing that, as we know that in the evangelical church we do it a lot. 'Lots of people say they are Christians, but don't know Jesus/aren't saved' etc... It was a good intellectual point but possibly not a fair one.

    PS I always hold my own side to higher standards.

  6. Wonderful! One of my cousins is an atheist and often makes pointed comments from USA on facebook (I know but it helps us to keep in touch) Our favourite moment was when she told everyone she was only going to celebrate the midwinter feast adding that she had already made a Christmas cake! ;-)

    Regarding the first book of the new testament most women of our age would surely know this as we used to sing a certain song while skipping and playing two ball! "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, next door neighbour carry on" as you took turns!


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