A Christian who does not read the Bible, pray, or believe in the power of prayer?
But it gets even worse: “Just a third (32%) believe Jesus was physically resurrected, with one in five (18%) not believing in the resurrection even in a spiritual sense; half (49%) do not think of Jesus as the Son of God, with one in twenty-five (4%) doubting he existed at all.”
How wonderful! “Christians” who don’t believe their Savior rose from the dead – which basically ends the story right there, the truth be told – and who don’t believe he was the Son of God or, for some, that he even existed. Yet they identify as Christians?
This would be like people identifying as Muslims and yet denying that the Koran was God’s Word, denying that Muhammad was Allah’s prophet, and denying that Islam is the true path to God. Could they rightly be called Muslims?
As strange as it feels to write these words, I must say that, yes, I agree with Richard Dawkins: These people who deny the most fundamental tenets of the Christian faith and who evidence no relationship with God cannot rightly be called Christian. And it is therefore not surprising or even noteworthy that, “Three quarters (74%) strongly agree or tend to agree that religion should not have special influence on public policy, with only one in eight (12%) thinking that it should.”
Why should it? If “religion” hasn’t affected their private lives, why should affect public policy?
All that being said, it was Dawkins who was embarrassed in much of the interview, and after he chided professing Christians who could not identify the first book of the New Testament, Fraser asked him,
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. (Dawkins actually left out the “Natural Selection” part of the title, even though it is the cornerstone of Darwin’s evolutionary theory.)
Of course, we can’t accuse Dawkins of actually praying during his “oh, God” moment, but it was still enjoyable to hear the world’s most famous atheist have this very public slip of the tongue. Would to God that it would prove to be a Freudian slip.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.