ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, March 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Alister McGrath
1
 

McGrath: “New Atheism is falling from grace”

The scientist and theologian believes that Galileo’s story has been distorted, and accuses Dawkins of “staining science.” An interview published in Spain’s El País. 

CHRISTIANS IN THE MEDIA SOURCES El País TRANSLATOR Belén Díaz MADRID 21 MARCH 2016 19:20 h GMT+1
Alister McGrath / El País

This article appeared on the Spanish newspaper El País on 19 March 2016. It was translated into English by Evangelical Focus. 



Scientist and theologian, professor of Science and Theology in Oxford University, Alister McGrath (Belfast, 1953) holds that investigators go too far when they try to deny God. Science and faith are compatible while one does not interfere in the other, he says.



 



Question. Has the religious dogmatism not fought against science for centuries?



Answer. Science has always had to fight against religious, political and social prejudices. Sometimes Christianity has been an obstacle for the scientific progress, and other times, it has promoted it.



The scientific revolution started in a Christian context, and it was undoubtedly encouraged by the Christian idea of a structured and organised universe.



Prejudice and dogmatism do not only come from religious faith. Some atheist scientists, like the cosmologist Fred Hoyle, were against the Big Bang theory, because it sounded “too religious.”



My proposal tries to respect the limits and looks for a dialogue between faith and science.



 



Q. You affirm that Galileo's story was distorted, but there are other historical examples: Bruno, Servet, Vanini.



A. The media representation of the Galileo case as a fight between faith and science started as a social issue at the end of the 19th century.



Galileo was a victim of a power struggle inside the Vatican, which was facing the rise of Protestantism. A faction of the Papacy firmly supported Galileo, the other faction did not like him. At the end, one of the factions won.



 



Q. You accuse New Atheism, defended by Richard Dawkins, of being intolerant. Why do you think so?



A. Sadly, New Atheism is as intolerant and dogmatic as the religious fundamentalism they attack.



Dawkins' astonishing idea of considering the religious belief “a kind of mental illness” indicates his prejudices, and it is not a reliable analysis of beliefs.



Luckily, New Atheism is falling from grace, and more intelligent forms of atheism are emerging. Many scientists believe that Dawkins has stained science with his anti-religious crusade.



Science is not religious or anti-religious, it is just science. It can be compatible with atheism as well as with Christianity.



 



Q. You admit that both science and religion are a product of the human civilization. If religion is a human creation, how can we believe in it?



A. All our ideas are human creations, but that does not mean we must invalidate them, it just means that we need to wonder which ones are reliable.



A lot of scientific literature shows that human beings look for a meaning or a perspective of reality, which is often expressed by religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. That does not make them true or false, it makes them human.



 



Q. According to Dawkins, theology is not a science, and therefore, it should have no place in universities.



A. It seems that ignoring the Christian ideas is an intellectual virtue. That is why Christians have dismissed him as an ignorant critic who does not know about their faith.



For me, an intellectual virtue lies on studying, understanding and appreciating a worldview, even when we believe it is wrong.



I was an atheist in my youth, and I rejected the gospel for the same reasons Dawkins rejects it.



Now I see that I simply did not understand Christianity, but I would never mock atheism just because I do not agree with its main beliefs.


 

 


1
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 

Dennis
20/06/2016
16:13 h
1
 
Deep words, and true one's, Alister McGrath show's one's again that if people talk about a subject, could get to a solution and not just mock each other for no real reasons.
 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - McGrath: “New Atheism is falling from grace”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
What do Christian communication and science communication have in common? What do Christian communication and science communication have in common?

“As Christians, we also try to communicate a detailed and often slightly technical message”, says Kay Carter, Director of Communications of Tyndale House (UK).

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture Christians, resilience and a post-Christian culture

Lindsay Brown: “The biblical pattern is not one of speed, but of steady sowing and gradual reaping in due course”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.