on jake's cue from a comment yesterday, i've responded to an article he referred to me. Bishop Spong
, in an online forum article
I welcome the attention that serious atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are offering the world at this moment through their books. They are bringing what I regard as a deserved criticism and a necessary correction to what Christianity has become in our generation.
i whole-heartedly agree with this opening paragraph. i think it needs to be heard, especially in our churches. he continues:
I believe, therefore, that atheism as a challenge to organized religion has a worthy vocation to fulfill.
I believe that both God and Jesus are so much more than these distorting images suggest, I am confident that a dialogue with those who call themselves atheists would not only be good for the church but it would also allow deep and profound truth to emerge. Final paragraph: The choice between the theism of the church and the atheism of those who reject the God of the church is to me a sterile and lifeless choice. Such a meeting between believers and atheists might lead us to examine what Paul Tillich called the God beyond the gods of men and women. If believers cannot have that conversation because it compromises their God definition, then that is a tip-off that the God they serve is in fact an idol and atheism is always a proper response to idolatry.
i agree with Spong. in fact, it goes hand in hand with a post i did months ago called 10 reasons why i listen to atheists
. Bishop Spong's article is brief and to the point. well done!