Holy Cross and St Mary

Vicar’s Letter For May

Dear friends,

New Atheist, Richard Dawkins, is calling himself “a cultural Christian” in a recent interview on LBC Radio with radio presenter, Rachel Johnson. He has changed his tune over the years and now believes that Christianity is a valuable asset as part of our cultural heritage, which, he says, if it disappeared would leave a huge void that would be filled by other unhelpful philosophies and religions that would damage society.

Interesting. He loves the King James Bible, appreciates the beautiful architecture and historical significance of our cathedrals and ancient churches and loves the old hymns and the carols we sing at Christmas. However, he doesn’t believe in God, or the truth of the Bible, but he believes in the institution, the heritage and the traditions of the church.

Sadly, I meet a lot of people like this.

At one point in the interview, he strongly challenged Rachel Johnson’s traditional Christian faith by asking her if she really believed in the physical resurrection of Jesus. He said it is absurd to believe that a non-living Jesus Christ can be made to live again.

I found this astonishing, given that Richard Dawkins believes that ALL life emerged from non-life, that chemistry turned into biology, that everything came from nothing, that order came from chaos and consciousness from mindless matter!

If he really believes that, he has a lot more faith than me!

Charles Colson was one of those caught up in the infamous Watergate scandal back in the 1970’s which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. After getting his life back together he reflected how the whole event had made him think about whether the resurrection of Jesus Christ was true or not. He said:

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world, and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks! You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible!”

For me, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything. It gives hope to the dying, peace to the anxious, purpose to the lost and a new vision for life to us all.

Blessings all!

Revd Steve