Photo by Mike Cornwell
Richard Dawkins is vehemently opposed to Christianity and is perhaps best known for his book The God Delusion. In that book he is surprised at the ignorance of the Bible in our culture. He recommends that we should read it. Sometimes we can learn from our opponents because they tell us the truth.
He recently commissioned a poll of self identified Census-Christians in the UK. Here are some highlights.
• 37% of them have never or almost never prayed outside a church service
• Asked where they seek most guidance in questions of right and wrong, only 10% of Census-Christians said it was from religious teachings or beliefs
• Just a third (32%) believe Jesus was physically resurrected; half (49%) do not think of him as the Son of God
• And when given 4 books of the Bible to select from and asked which was the first book of the New Testament, only 35% could identify Matthew as the correct answer
So in the UK there is a substantial amount of nominalism. I suspect that there is even more nominalism here in Australia. So what can we learn?
In our discussions and conversation we should
1. Assume no prior Bible knowledge. We need to start from square one.
2. Our methods of discipleship need to emphasis first steps such as
- Daily Bible reading
- Daily time with God in prayer and reflection
- Being part of a community of God's people
- Sharing our faith
Here are some online resources:
1. Youversion - Bible and Bible Reading Plans
2. getbaptised.com - a guide to getting baptised, best used with a mentor
Richard Dawkins shares the message of Easter
Richard Dawkins and ignorance of the Bible
Are we becoming Biblically illiterate?
1. Source: Poll carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (UK)