The case for Christianity gets better

by Travis M. Dickinson

Prognosticating about the future is risky business. One can really only be right, wrong or perhaps close enough that it still counts. Ever since the enlightenment, certain irreligious prognosticators have predicted that the faithful will finally “see the light”; that there is no God. The thought was that with the rise of modern science and modern thought, Christian claims will be seen as antiquated and therefore abandoned. Old theories are almost all false. Christianity is an old theory, therefore, it should be dropped as well, right?

Well, no, Christianity has not only survived throughout the rise of modern thought and science. It has also largely been responsible for many parts of its advance.

We still hear, from time to time, this sort of prognostication and indeed it often gets a bit shrill. Consider for example the famous 1966 Time magazine cover that read “Is God Dead?” and describing the so-called Death of God movement that was, get this, a trend in theology. Let’s just say the movement didn’t last long.

The expiration date on religious thought is also a common talking point of the New Atheists. Laurence Krauss has said, “What we need to do is present comparative religion as a bunch of interesting historical anecdotes. And then show the silly reasons why they did what they did.” He goes on to say “Change is always one generation away. So if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children, religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away — and that’s what I think we have an obligation to do.” All we have to do, according to Krauss, is to present religion as interesting but false and it goes away. Let me just say how adorable Krauss is in a New-Atheist-kind-of-way. Not only does Krauss seem to lack the first clue about why people believe in God and stand in particular religious traditions, he seems to be suggesting a form of indoctrination on a scale that would make any religious fundamentalist blush. Let’s hear it for Krauss the freethinker!

But here we all are. I think that it is safe to say that, despite Krauss’s head-in-the-sand prognostication, religious thought will continue to be alive and well…


The case for Christianity gets better – The Benefit of the Doubt