I Hope Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Consider Me a Christian

By Kristi-Joy Matovich

After hearing the name “Dawkins” pronounced with disdain and hatred throughout my teens, then hearing him utterly dismissed by my professors at a prominent Bible college, I was unable to approach The God Delusion with any semblance of tabula rasa. In fact, that I chose to read Dawkins’ provocatively titled book does not appear an even vaguely common choice among Christians. It is not hard to imagine why. While in some parts of the American church learning about opposing viewpoints is considered “dangerous,” in others it is encouraged with the caveat that primary source learning is mainly, if not exclusively, done by trained “apologists” who pass on their opinions to the rest of us. Whether we find ourselves in one of these groups or not, many may avoid such books for the fear (which I had) of being accused of “questioning your faith” or worse, considering atheism. [insert evil laugh in the background]

For that, after all, is what the 2006-published book is about: all the reasons Richard Dawkins believes religion and God/god is rubbish, everyone should be an atheist, and his attempt to convince you of them. He covers such diverse topics as sociology, philosophy, history, psychology, politics,

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education, child development, science, anthropology, and even some reflection on the morality of pedophilia. It is a widely cast book written by a man who has obviously received a similarly wide education — giving him the ability to speak to a wide audience of quite varied education levels and interests.

Were I to write a standard book review on The God Delusion (which I actually did here), it would sound not unlike the berating comments mentioned above. Dawkins’ philosophic arguments are flawed, his knowledge of the various “ologies” from which he argues his atheism is not sufficient to properly address them, and yes, he makes a number of quite snide comments about/against Christians and religious people in general. While The God Delusion references an admirable number of experts in other fields, this unfortunately fails to aid the actual construction of Dawkins’ arguments. In fact, what struck me particularly was that although I have heard the traditional arguments for God (teleological, cosmological, etc.) quite handily debunked — by a Bible college philosophy professor, no less — Dawkins’ attempt left much to be desired, to put it nicely. Of course, writing in his own area of expertise, science, and especially biology, Dawkins makes a number of fascinating arguments, and I certainly respect his scholarship. But as an attempt to argue for atheism from every major angle, I believe Dawkins did a less than admirable job…


I Hope Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Consider Me a Christian