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by Heather Tomlinson
Ten years on from the publication of The God Delusion, Heather Tomlinson explains why Christians should be grateful for the world’s most infamous atheist
Think back to the time before Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion (Bantam Books) was published. I wasn’t a Christian at that time, but I seem to recall that the topic of God and faith was usually ignored outside of religious institutions. There were certainly very few militant atheists who wanted to convert you to their cause.
When The God Delusion first came out, I had a vague belief in God and warm feelings towards Jesus, though I thought Christianity was utterly wrong; a judgement I had made based on very little information. My first degree was in molecular biology, a subject similar to Dawkins’ own scientific field. But unlike Dawkins, I didn’t see science as a problem concerning the issue of God’s existence. In fact, at the end of my degree, I remember thinking that I was more certain there was a God than when I started! However, it didn’t seem to be an issue of great importance; at least, I didn’t spend much time thinking about it. This seemed to be the view of much of the population.
How times have changed! Faith is now a hot topic. Opinions on atheism, Christianity and Islam are regularly aired in the public square: in pubs, at bus stops and in debating societies. Because of this resurgence of interest in religion, the opportunities to discuss our faith have increased exponentially, and for this we have to thank Professor Dawkins.
The God Delusion didn’t contain many fresh arguments when it was first published in October 2006. Many of the same objections to Christianity had existed well before Dawkins’ famous tome…
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