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The Great Debate

I am disappointed and saddened by the increasingly strident ‘debate’ (if I can be allowed to dignify the ‘mud-slinging’ by calling it a debate) between the ‘militant scientific atheists’ and the ‘creationists’.

Both sides disappoint me because of their arrogance, and their intolerance. Neither will accept that the other might have a point, and both are increasingly rude about each other. Both sides take the most extreme (and uncharitable) view of the other’s position and character... The creationists portray the atheists as god-haters, whilst the atheists portray all those with any religious belief as ignorant, medieval, bigots, who have been duped into believing a lot of rubbish.

Both would have you believe that there is no middle ground. As someone who squats in a small, muddy, patch of that ‘no-man’s-land’, I feel almost equally insulted by both sides.

I am an evangelical Christian. By that, I mean that I believe God wants his followers to ‘Be in the world making disciples’. That does not mean that I consider it my duty to ram the gospel down the throat of everyone and anyone, whether they want to hear it or not. It also does not necessarily mean that I agree with what I consider to be one of the ‘lunatic fringes’ of the church. In my view it does not matter one jot whether, for instance, the story of Genesis is literally true or not - that is a side issue - the crucial issues are those of sin (by which I mean a turning away from, or a rejection of, God) and redemption (God’s act enabling a return to a right and proper relationship with Him).

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016