I was sent this transcript from a christian in their hopes of showing me how a truly intelligent man couldn’t be brainwashed if he is christian.
Lets examine what he has to say:
Monday, June 10, 2013
Alister McGrath Interview Transcript
The following transcript is from an Apologetics 315 interview with Alister McGrath
BA: Hello this is Brian Auten of Apologetics 315.
Today’s interview is with professor Alister McGrath, professor of theology, ministry, and education and head of the Centre of Theology, Religion & Culture at King’s College, London. His studies range from a DPhil in molecular biophysics to a Doctor of Divinity at Oxford. He is noted for his work in historical, systematic and scientific theology. He is also author of a number of theology textbooks, scholarly articles, academic textbooks, as well as popular works. His works range from books in systematic theology and scientific theology to works dealing with the new atheism, apologetics and the Christian intellect.
Thank you so much for joining me today for this interview, Professor McGrath.
AM: Well it’s a great pleasure. I look forward to our discussion.
BA: Now as you know, many people have heard of an atheist professor from Oxford, who was raised in a Christian home but who became an ardent voice for atheism. But others might want to hear about this Oxford atheist who became a Christian. Obviously, I’m talking about you, but would you mind telling me a bit more about your background and that journey?
AM: Well, I’d be delighted to. Richard Dawkins and I, I think, have traveled in precisely the opposite directions, which I think shows us that things aren’t as quite straightforward as he thought they were. Anyway, I began studying the natural sciences in high school back in Northern Ireland, in the late 1960s. And it just seemed obvious to me that, you know, science eroded any space for God…that science proved what it believed. There was no room for any faith or anything like that, and therefore I came to take the view that basically religious people just turned their brains off, where scientists were completely attuned with the need for evidence-based reasoning. And I would have agreed with Richard Dawkins on so many points…you know, that for example, faith is about running away from the evidence, but science is about facing up to it.
> Ok so let’s hear what his reasoning is then if he’s so smart!
So, until I went up to Oxford to actually study the natural sciences, I think actually I would have been very much like Richard Dawkins. I was very aggressive, I was very confident in my atheism, and generally took the view that religious people just hadn’t turned the “on” switch in their brain. Then I began to think about things in much more detail. I began to read about the history and philosophy of science. I began to read Christian books. I began to talk to atheists and Christians, and began to realize that things were not as simple as I had realized. I had thought that atheism was intellectually very robust and that Christianity was just wishy-washy, lacking any rigorous foundation. And to cut a very long story short, I just began to realize that atheism wasn’t as intellectually strong as I had thought it was. Whereas, christianity seemed to me to be really attractive and very robust and I ended up then becoming a Christian during my first year at Oxford University
a)> Fascinating, so again, he must have some really good reasoning for thinking this way.
BA: Well, speaking of Professor Dawkins, as a fellow colleague at Oxford you’ve had the rare opportunity to debate him, and you’ve also debated or had dialogue with some of the other New Atheist personalities like Daniel Dennett [and] Christopher Hitchens comes to mind. But what is your view on the overall tone and the content of atheism, if you will, as a movement today? Where do you think the main challenge lies for Christians to answering the New Atheism?
a)> Interesting. I am now going to watch the video debate with Christopher Hitchens before I read any further, or comment any further.
b)> Okay I just watched this debate between McGrath and Christopher Hitchens and I am in complete awe of what I just witnessed and heard McGrath saying. Hitch was of course brilliant.
c)> I heard absolutely nothing from McGrath that had the slightest bit of rational thinking, or intelligence.
d)> I am actually questioning my own sanity and intelligence now after listening to him and considering seeing a psychiatrist.
e)> How such a man could have such a documented education of science and achieved such incredible academic honors is truly mind-blowing after listening to him saying such illogical stupidity?
f)> I will definitely have to do a seperate breakdown of everything he says in that video for the nonsense that it is.
g)> As it is, ranting about my view of his stupidity actually is only working against me the more I write, without specifically explaining why.
h)> Yes a seperate article is definitely begging to be written regarding that debate. I really have to show myself also that I am not insane for hearing such nonsense and idiocy.
Back to the conversation:
AM: I think the New Atheism is distinguished by two things.
> What 2 things? He isn’t clear and doesn’t specify.
First of all, it repeats old arguments. We call it the “new” atheism, but actually it’s very old.
a)> “New Atheism” means that Atheists will no longer be silent and they’ll speak out against religious injustice and speak out against those who persecute us and classify us as “worse than terrible human beings”
b)> This man is a misleading deceitful liar who is dishonestly trying his best to make Atheists & Atheism sound very badly.
c)> A smear campaign against Atheists using misleading dishonesty really is meaningless against the secular tactic of speaking the truth.
It recycles old and very often discredited arguments from earlier generations. But, I think what’s new about it is its aggressiveness and its how should I put it – its utter dismissiveness.
a)> Dismissivess? WTF?! Uh no. We want answers and constantly insist on them from believers.
b)> We just don’t ACCEPT your meaningless “NON-ANSWERS.”
It doesn’t take religious people seriously. It ridicules rather than engages, “Only a fool would believe this.” The rhetoric is very, very strong – perhaps covering up an obvious evidential argument as a weakness.
a)> WHAT?! Okay, I know I probably should have heard of McGrath earlier, but somehow he had slipped past my radar.
b)> I’ve only been exposed to him for a day and I am seriously completely mind-blown.
(1) His stupidity is astounding (he has information and skills, but not intelligence).
(2) He’s obnoxious and unfunny (that again might honestly just be how I view him, but was told he was funny, but I thnk he is painful to listen to).
(3) He completely was incapable of making any point whatsoever (that could just be cause of how bad Hitch made him look).
(4) He gave not one convincing reason of evidence, or logic of why he became a christian, or why anyone SHOULD be a christian.
And so for me the New Atheism is very, very strong on its rhetoric – its dismissal both of religious belief and religious people. In fact, its arguments are surprisingly weak.
a)> WHAT?! Weak arguments? Ok, I think I’ve found something to replace my William Lane Craig obsession. This man is truly a monster!
b)> In all fairness, I will continue reading and maybe McGrath will back up what he says and maybe my opinions will change. I will give credit where it is due if I see it.
And so for me, Christians really ought to, I think, just get used to the rhetoric and say, “I’m not going to allow this to get to me.”
a)> This is so stupid. His way of saying “rhetoric” is what Atheists call “facts, logic, rationality and reason”.
b)> I really am holding back on my words of disgust of him.
c)> All he’s really saying is “don’t listen to Atheists, don’t even give them the slightest possibility that they’re right and don’t forget that”.
More idiocy from McGrath….
And say, “Look, you can call me whatever names you want to, but do you mind if we look at the arguments and the evidence, because I think there may be a problem for you here.”
a)> I’m really biting my tongue actually.
b)> I can hardly wait to hear his arguments for both God and for being a christian, or even evidence of Jesus.
So we mustn’t feel discouraged. We mustn’t feel – how shall I put it – blown away by the rhetoric.
a)> Seriously? He’s saying don’t feel discouraged? Because there’s no logical reason to be a christian, or believe in God, or any religion whatsoever?
b)> Why would anyone feel discouraged if they actually had logical reasoning?
c)> All he’s saying is “to keep believing a delusional, comforting lie, rather than an actual truth, on nothing but blind faith”.
We just say, “Look, there are some arguments here that I think we need to look at. You may call me a fool, but I have to say that your arguments aren’t good enough.”
a)> I actually don’t doubt that he means that, but it really makes no sense.
b)> He’s saying there are arguments to look at, but that Atheist arguments aren’t good enough?
(1) So he means that he knows there are arguments to look at but his blind faith is all that matters.
(2) If anybody doesn’t agree with what I just said above this, then please tell me what he actually meant.
Brian Auten now speaks….
BA: I’m thinking of a couple of books you’ve written on this subject, The Twilight of Atheism and The Future of Atheism, which is a dialogue between you and Daniel Dennett. But, in the Twilight in particular, you mention that although the ideas of atheism are nothing new, the future (in a sense) is largely dependent upon the attitude and actions of Christians and other religious people in society. So could you kind of unpack that a bit? How is atheism’s future determined, do you think?
McGrath answers back:
AM: In the book The Twilight of Atheism, I make the point that atheism’s arguments are very well-known, very well-rehearsed, and there’s nothing very new about them.
a)> “Well rehearsed”? This is supposed to be someone that people actually take seriously?
b)> There are no “well rehearsed” arguments in this case, there are simply ARGUMENTS!
c)> McGrath is simply saying “Atheists keep using the same great arguments that make religion sound stupid and insane and I hate that”.
So I ask, “Well, where’s it going to go in the future?” And the point I make is that atheism is reactive. It’s not really a body of positive beliefs; although, atheists very often will say they are.
a)> Where is Atheism going to go in the future? Well let’s hope it replaces religion completely someday.
(1) I think Atheism actually is on it’s way to replacing religion completely.
b)> Atheism is very positive yes, as demonstrated in the mostly non-belief countries that are happier and far better places to live.
(1) As shown:
c)> As for what McGrath thinks about “science and Atheists”:
d)> All McGrath is saying when he says “Atheism isn’t a positive body of beliefs” is that “atheists can’t be good people and that Atheists don’t have anything good to look forward to.”
e)> This is a complete lie of course and AGAIN very dishonest and very misleading.
(1) As an Atheist and not brainwashed of course to religion, I have not been mentally conditioned to have a co-dependence to religion, or an addiction.
(2) I am very happy and content and deal with reality using friends, family, resources available, but mostly INNER STRENGTH, but religion uses the placebo called “God” instead.
(3) Whether or not someone is even happy, or sad though about being an Atheist is irrelevant. God is still a lie, a delusion and brainwashing, just like all religions.
(4) Still waiting for him to say how they are not what I just mentioned.
f)> Atheim is “reactive”? Well with good reason that Atheism reacts to the evil, harm and negative effects of religion.
(1) I refer you to these 2 lists I made and that I talk about in this article:
(2) McGrath is merely upset that Atheists merely speak out at all in the first place.
(3) He would like Atheists to just be quiet so religious people will drown out the Atheist voice and make Atheism a crime.
The really defining characteristic is a rejection of religion. And if religion is weak, well – there’s not much motivation for being an atheist.
a)> There is no logical reason to be religious, or believe in God, except that the people who believe are brainwashed in one form, or another.
b)> Atheists cannot be brainwashed to things we know exist, such as science and observable, factual reality.
c)> Atheists simply are just not gullible and/or are content with not knowing things until proven, or until they make sense.
d)> The fact that people believe specific religions is because they were exposed to the circumstances and factors of brainwashing to THAT particular religion.
McGrath continues again….
But if religion is very strong and very aggressive, then actually atheism can easily arise as a reaction to religious strength.
a)> Religion is logically weak but very strong on the brainwashing.
b)> If someone is brainwashed they are mentally conditioned to bypass logic though.
c)> Here is a quote from one of the New Atheist’s that McGrath likes so much that makes me think about what McGrath just said:
“The problem with religion, because it’s been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.”
― Sam Harris
And one of the reasons we’ve seen the New Atheism is, paradoxically, because of the strength of religion in the world and especially Christianity in North America, and that really has riled atheists who feel that Christianity ought to have died out years ago.
a)> I will give McGrath credit here because he speaks the truth about this part, paradoxically.
b)> Religion is the most evil and destructive thing on Earth and people who aren’t brainwashed can actually see that.
c)> Just on a personal note, who uses that word “paradoxically”?
In many ways, I think the New Atheism is the “last hurrah”…the big attempt to try and reverse the flow, and that I think accounts for its aggressiveness.
a)> This couldn’t be further from the truth of course and the evidence I’ve shown above in 14)a)>(1) shows otherwise.
b)> We’re aggressive and angry at the harm religion has done and continues to do to the world.
(1) As best quoted by another New Atheist:
“Atheists’ anger doesn’t prove that we’re selfish, or joyless, or miserable. It shows that we have compassion, and a sense of justice. We’re angry because we see terrible harm all around us, and we feel desperately motivated to stop it.”
― Greta Christina, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless
(c)> This is the actual truth:
(1) People are brainwashed to religion.
(2) People don’t know they are brainwashed.
(3) If they knew they were brainwashed then they wouldn’t be brainwashed.
(4) Because people are brainwashed they aren’t completely responsible for their actions.
(5) People who are brainwashed are victims and Atheists know this and only wish to help them.
(6) Atheists have this mentality because they know they can save the world by reasoning with people and opening their eyes.
(7) Atheists aren’t fighting to have religions banned, or religious people put in jail, they are fighting to simply “wake people up” so religion will fade away.
(8) Logical “Atheist awakening” is peaceful and harmless with the “gift” of self respect and no longer being the slave of a lie.
If we look at a history of this, in many ways the event that triggered off the New Atheism was 9/11, which was seen by all the leading New Atheist as demonstrating that religion was dangerous, but also a very real presence in the world today.
a)> How is being outraged at mass murder from mind control a bad thing again?
b)> The problem of religion is that it even brainwashes many non-believers who simply don’t believe, to think that religion isn’t harmful and evil.
c)> While Atheists see religious believers generally as confused victims, believers generally view Atheists as moral-less psychopaths.
d)> Believers think this way because they can’t generally grasp the concept of people simply being good because they want to be, without a reward.
He continues again:
I think that one of the things I’d want to say is that Christians who want to engage the New Atheism need to be aware that this isn’t simply a battle about ideas. It’s also about the form of Christianity we model.
a)> WRONG! Who does he think he’s kidding? This is absurd!
b)> It’s nothing to do with the christianity they model.
c)> New Atheism is about this:
(1) ALL religion is harmful in someways.
(2) Religion is a scam.
(3) People need to know the truth.
(4) That indoctrination of children is child abuse.
(5) That we can’t sit by and do nothing while people:
– Embarrass themselves
– Destroy themselves
– Waste their lives
– Set the world back and not forward
– Live a lie.
He continues his misleading words:
And in many ways we ought to model a gracious form of Christianity, because to come out all “guns ablazing”, modeling a very aggressive form of Christianity simply…how shall I put it…ratchets up the odds. It makes it even more difficult to have a sensible dialogue.
a)> This is true, but isn’t the problem.
b)> The problem with communication is this:
(1) Religious people are brainwashed and conditioned to not listen to reason.
(2) They are mentally conditioned to think that the people they trust, look up to, respect and learned everything from, can’t possibly be wrong.
(3) They have been repetitiously conditioned to not be ABLE to mentally deal with the reality that there is no God, or afterlife.
– Another name for this is of course “cognitive dissonance”.
(4) Some have been so pressured into the “better safe than sorry mentality” that their fear alone makes disbelief unthinkable.
– The old “if you don’t believe you will be punished and tortured” scam.
– As this despicable form of child abuse is demonstrated here:
It is very, very hard for the New Atheists to say, “Religion is arrogant, dangerous, and diluted” when they’re talking to very gracious, very intelligent dialogue partners.
a)> Actually it makes it easier to demonstrate the harm of religion when intelligent people believe such illogical ridiculous things.
(1) This isn’t a personal assertion by any means since there is no evidence of any religion having truly divine credibility.
(2) There is no proof they aren’t brainwashed and every indication they are brainwashed.
(3) Science explains everything we need to know.
b)> I won’t lie that knowing that someone like Alister McGrath, who is someone who is so highly educated, believes in a religion made me question myself and had me extremely curious.
– This view completely changed after watching his debate with Christopher Hitchens and reading this transcript, which are both filled with such stupidity and misleading nonsense from him that I was truly overwhelmed with disgust from what McGrath has said.
c)> If he simply were to say “I think that a creator created the universe and that is what I believe” but that was the extent of his belief, then I really wouldn’t care.
(1) I wouldn’t agree with it, but I really wouldn’t care.
(2) This isn’t the extent of what he believes, he believes in ridiculous other things also:
– An afterlife.
– A boogie man named Satan who plots evil 24/7 and is almost all powerful, but not as powerful as his creator God.
– He believes God killed himself to save us from himself.
– He believes an entire religion that makes no sense whatsoever, but somehow convinces himself it makes sense, even though he admits himself he doesn’t believe 1st Genesis.
d)> McGrath is a perfect example of how religion is so deep and destructive that it can blind people to reality.
He carries on….
I think that we need to be aware of the best way that we can subvert the New Atheist rhetoric is by being polite, gracious, and above all, being able to show the weaknesses in their arguments.
a)> Well that certainly is civil and a very nice thing to say about the being civil part, but the bottom line is that it’s irrelevant really.
(1) If there is no logical argument, there is no logical argument. Simple.
(2) Then show the weakness in the arguments and quit deflecting about irrelevant nonsense.
b)> I find from experience that I always start off being polite and then believers will always start being condescending and constantly hitting me with the following:
(1) Remarks telling me I don’t know logic and am inferior intellectually to them.
– Which they choose to never tell me how, or why.
(2) Lying, or feeding me information that they BELIEVE to be true, but of course is not.
– Saying the bible, or even koran is 100% accurate and true.
– Saying that Jesus came back from the dead so he must have been God (which there is no evidence of either).
– Saying everything in the holy books has been varified as true and that there is endless evidence.
Brian Auten then speaks:
BA: I want to ask you how you feel about the “old atheism”, so to speak, and the New Atheism. In particular, how they might define themselves. It used to be that atheism was the belief that “There is no god” and now it’s a little more slippery. Now it’s, “I simply lack a belief in gods.” Is this a cop-out, or semantics, or what is your opinion on how that shift in definition has taken place?
Now more “wise” words from McGrath:
AM: Well, I think we do have to recognize that the word ‘atheism’ designates a spectrum of possibilities. It might be refer to someone who says, “Well, you know, I don’t believe in God,” meaning: “I don’t believe in God, but I haven’t really thought about it very much. In fact, at some point in the future I might change my mind.”
a)> Ok, McGrath is just playing stupid now.
(1) He knows he is describing “agnostic”.
(2) As opposed to “Atheist”.
b)> This is all the difference is between “Old Atheism” and “New Atheism”:
The New Atheists very often treat that kind of person as an atheist; I would say they are agnostic. They don’t know the answer.
a)> I just love how he tries to make Atheists sound so stupid.
b)> We know the difference between the two quite fine.
They are not religious believers, so in one sense I suppose they are atheists, but they’re not principled atheists. If anything, they are what some scholars would call an apathetic atheist. Then there are those who have thought the thing through and really do believe that there is no god.
a)> This is such an irrelevant, time-wasting point. Why does it matter?
b)> Richard Dawkins put this together to shut this irrelevant, time wasting point to rest:
McGrath continues ranting:
Look very carefully, that’s a position of faith: “I believe there is no God.” Actually, a lot of those are very, very reasonable, very, very gracious people who just say, “Look, I’ve thought about this. I don’t think there is a God. I know you’ve thought about it and think there is a God, and we respect that position.
a)> Not believing in God is not “faith-based” in the slightest.
(1) No religion makes any sense.
(2) There is no evidence for God, or any religions.
(3) The religious stories have evidence against them.
(4) Science and what we know to be real makes sense.
b)> People who don’t speak up and speak against religion obviously don’t care about other people enough to do so.
c)> If they don’t believe in God, then they don’t believe in any religion, but might just be border-line “deists”.
d)> If someone doesn’t believe in God, or any religions, but say they will still respect other people:
(1) The lack of belief shows they aren’t brainwashed at least.
(2) They really haven’t paid enough attention to religion and how harmful and destructive it is if they still respect it!
“Actually we understand how you’ve come to that position, but it’s not one we share.” And these people are generally very good in discussion and debate. [They are] very honest about the weaknesses of their own positions.
a)> He is basically saying that he likes people who don’t completely disagree the possibility of things that christians say, but dislikes Atheists who don’t agree with him at all and have good arguments.
b)> No rational, or unbrainwashed person could believe christianity, or any other religion.
(1) Being Atheist means the person is thinking rational.
(2) Being Agnostic means that they are open to the possibility that evidence might arise at some point, but they aren’t aware of any.
McGrath continues more misleading ranting….
Also I think a very important point is [that] they are absolutely clear that it is rational to be a Christian. They just take the view that it’s more rational to be an atheist.
a)> Nonsense. Complete nonsense.
b)> If there was anything rational to the person about any religion then the person would be religious.
c)> In the words of Hughe Laurie in House:
“If you could reason with religious people then there would be no religious people”
Then we come to the New Atheism, and it’s in a different ballpark. It ridicules rather than argues. It aims to portray religious believers as idiots.
a)> We point out what religious people don’t want to hear. The truth.
b)> His version of “ridicule” is what New Atheists call “pointing out rational truths”.
c)> When anyone can show me where I am being stupid I will usually thank them. They are doing me a favor.
d)> He believes any form of criticism is a vicious attack.
(1) They are helping me be a better person if they tell me FACTS that aren’t right.
(2) The religious people should be thanking me for doing them a favor.
It claims a monopoly on rationality. It’s a very aggressive and very arrogant form of atheism. I think it’s interesting to note that most of its chief critics are not Christians like myself but other atheists who find themselves embarrassed and humiliated by its arrogance and its intellectual superficiality.
a)> As someone who sees that McGrath really is an irrational, dishonest and misleading person, I see the following truths he is really meaning:
(1) So he would rather we simply didn’t do as GOOD of a job as we are doing.
(2) He doesn’t like the fact that we exist, like soldiers with bow and arrows don’t like fighting soldiers with machine guns.
(3) He doesn’t like the way we have logical facts and arguments the way rapists don’t like women who can beat up the rapist.
Brian Auten again….
BA: That’s helpful. Moving on here just a little bit, I want to explore the importance of theology in the work of Christian apologetics. One of your newer books is The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind – that’s the U.S. Title. The UK title is Mere Theology, and in it you give an overview of the purpose and the place and the relevance of theology. So what’s your goal in that book?
Now more of McGrath:
AM: My goal, I think, is to make believers into thinkers and thinkers into believers. All I’m really doing there is I’m taking one of the things that Christ says very, very seriously. He says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
a)> Nothing he said has anything to do with the other here.
(1) He is associating being religious by rational thought.
(2) With kissing the rear end of an imaginary, invisible being, that has no evidence, or rational reason for believing in it.
b)> Again he has demonstrated how he is both not intelligent, he’s very misleading and very dishonest.
He keeps talking again….
In many ways I’m saying to my readers, as I saw now to my listeners, “Look, part of our discipleship is to supplement a discipleship of the heart and a discipleship of the hands with a discipleship of the mind. We need to go deeper into our faith to appreciate it, to understand it, to really take delight in its ideas and how they make sense of life.
a)> He is saying “we must take a deep look into our religion to confirm your belief”.
b)> He then mumbles gibberish that makes no sense.
He then continues again….
That’s good for us. It really brings a new depth and quality to our own faith, but it also enables us to engage our culture and be able to explain to people why Christianity makes sense, to help them grasp why it’s so important and realistic. In short, it really allows you to do good informed apologetics.
a)> He is saying that it is good to show how christianity is true.
(1) Except that there is no way to show christianity is true.
(2) All evidence has been shown debunked, or meaningless, or a scam.
b)> I can see why he wouldn’t like New Atheists because they simply point out all his dishonesty and how he really is saying nothing.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: Excellent. Some people would see a dichotomy between having a vibrant spiritual faith and being theologically engaged with their intellect or taking an intellectual approach to one’s faith. Do you think you’re trying to dispel this false dichotomy and encourage that a rigorous, intellectual approach to the faith can actually cause your spiritual walk to be more alive and more vibrant?
Back to McGrath….
AM: It certainly can. But I can understand why some people might be a little anxious. As they will say, and I think absolutely rightly, “Look, faith is relational. It’s about a deeper relationship with God…with the risen Christ.” And I agree entirely.
a)> He is not saying anything about the fact that christianity has no evidence, or rational reason to believe in it.
b)> He is just saying “believe in an invisible imaginary friend.”
c)> How do you believe in something if it’s imaginary?
I’m not saying that we develop a discipleship of the mind to displace, or replace this very important living and loving relationship with God. I’m saying that as you fall in love with someone, you want to know more about them.
a)> McGrath’s not saying anything.
b)> You can’t have a relationship with something that doesn’t exist, you can only have a “delusion.”
c)> The only way to believe in something that doesn’t exist is through brainwashing.
You talk to them, you get to know them, you begin to echo what they think. And in many ways I’m just saying that this is an extra layer of the Christian faith.
a)> Yes this is nothing but FAITH.
b)> This is actually the same thing he’s describing as a stalker’s mentality.
c)> This is delusion and insanity, nothing else.
It’s a layer which I think has become more important in recent years. For example, the rise of the New Atheism has really made it all the more important that we’re able to give good intellectually informed accounts of what Christians believe and why, in the public sphere.
a)> Belief is irrelevant.
b)> Evidence is all that matters and they don’t have any.
c)> Anything they try to pass off as evidence has been debunked.
I take great delight in noting that this is happening. I’m thrilled by some of the books I’ve seen recently and by the quality of some Christian speakers that I’ve heard.
a)> I’ve heard no good arguments and if I did, I would have done 1 of 2 things:
(1) Remembered them.
(2) Destroyed them.
b)> He’s simply doing nothing but telling us there are good arguments when in fact there are not.
More of the same from McGrath….
So I think what I’m saying is, look, this is not an attempt to break any of the traditional thinking about faith by downplaying the importance of prayer, or of meditative Bible reading, or of spending quality time with God.
a)> So now he’s saying “don’t stop deluding yourself if you can’t find that evidence, because there really isn’t any evidence, or logical reason to believe”.
b)> He’s also saying “I have no answers either, but will keep implying I have some but will say nothing.
McGrath keeps talking trash….
I’m simply saying maybe in our day and age this has become important. Let’s recover this older way of thinking, not to displace relationality with God, but to supplement it and be able to meet the challenge of this age.
a)> This really does make NO SENSE.
b)> He was saying before to present good arguments to New Atheists, but makes none.
c)> Now he’s saying to simply believe on blind faith like they did in the good days.
Brian Auten again….
BA: One of the things that you do in the book is, you do offer (later) a critique of some of the New Atheist ideas. How do you see a strong, theological emphasis, with believers helping the cause of Christianity, as it counters this New Atheism or presents a stronger intellectual front, if you will?
a)> He actually has a book on this? Seriously? I will definitely have to write a book review on that and destroy it.
b)> If the book is as dishonest, misleading and stupid as the things he says here in this interview and in his debate with Hitchens then I can hardly wait.
McGrath speaks again….
AM: One of my favorite apologists is C.S. Lewis, and Lewis I think helps us understand that the Christian faith projects a very powerful rational or intellectual, a very powerful moral, and a very powerful aesthetic vision. In other words, it captivates you at every level by its wonderful vision of reality.
a)> C.S. Lewis’s whole philosophy was “better safe than sorry”.
(1) He feared hell and didn’t want to take a chance,
(2) He had no rational reason for believing in christianity.
(3) He simply was deceived and brainwashed by his religious friends such as JR Tolkien.
b)> There is nothing realistic, or rational about christianity, or any other religion and anyone who says that there is is lying.
And I think we need to recover that…to actually be excited and challenged by the vision that the Christian faith offers us.
a)> Christianity offers nothing but lies and delusion to brainwashed, weak and gullible people.
b)> Christianity like all religion is actually very harmful and the brainwashing causes BRAIN DAMAGE.
(1) If someone continues to believe things without evidence they are becoming conditioned to believe other things without evidence and becoming more vulnerable to other brainwashing.
(2) Brainwashing is never a good thing.
(3) Brainwashing children is child abuse.
c) It’s no different than any other religion. All the thoughts, logic, feelings are the same.
But, I think there is an issue here that has become particularly important in the light of the circumstances you’ve just mentioned, and it is this: at the moment the New Atheism challenges religious beliefs. In other words, it’s operating at the level of ideas. Now, you and I and everybody listening to this knows perfectly well there is far more to Christianity than its ideas.
a)> Christianity like all religions does 3 things quite effectively:
(1) It divides people
(2) It controls people
(3) It deludes people
b)> Christianity is a scam and a lie, put together to make money and sell an imaginary cure to an imaginary disease.
c)> The only way people can believe the nonsense and lack of evidence of it is through brainwashing in one form, or another.
More of McGraths words….
It’s all about the emotions, the relationship with God and so on, but at this moment in time, it’s the ideas that seem to be the point of debate.
a)> Still nothing about evidence.
b)> He’s saying “it’s all about the emotions”, which means “it’s all about deluding yourself”.
It may be in twenty years-time it’s going to be something else, but at the moment it’s the ideas. And therefore, I think we do need to try and recover the sense of showing why Christianity makes sense, critiquing the idea of atheism, and really just rediscovering the rationality of the Christian faith.
a)> In 20 years time Atheism, or non-belief will have defeated religion.
b)> Christianity still makes no sense and never will.
c)> Atheism makes sense because of what we know already and what science explains.
d)> Christianity is just like all the other religions that make no sense.
He keeps going….
I think that there’s a real need to do theology properly to help us do good apologetics.
a)> The only way to do apologetics properly is to deflect, mislead and delude people.
b)> Unfortunately he’s doing a great job of that!
More of the same….
Just let me give you some examples of the ways in which this helps. I think it’s very easy to form the incorrect judgment that basically apologetics is a set of techniques. “Here’s how you answer this question. Here are six very good reasons for believing in God and so on.”
a)> This what he says above is a lie.
b)> Apologetics is about misleading, lying, brainwashing and deflecting from any real issues.
c)> There are no good reasons to believe in christianity, or God.
d)> There’s nothing logical about christianity either.
A good, theological framework makes it clear that apologetics is a work of grace, in which we are not simply developing techniques – we are being shaped by God; we are being equipped by God. It really emphasizes that there’s a “Godward” dimension of apologetics.
a)> This said absolutely nothing.
b)> He is showing “true apologetics” by timewasting, deflecting, being misleading and lying when you consider the fact that he said he was going to tell us something, but never did.
He rambles on….
And that’s so helpful as a corrective to the idea that apologetics is just about learning techniques. But more than that I think, good theology helps us to deepen our vision of what the Christian faith is.
a)> Apologetics is about brainwashing techniques, deflection, lying and all around being misleading.
b)> Apologetics is not about evidence, it’s about feeding a delusion that has no evidence, is based on myth and that people are born conditioned to have a co-dependence to it, or conditioned when older through human weakness.
c)> The christian faith is about this:
(1) Fear. That makes no sense and is unprovable and defies all logic.
(2) Mental enslavement and not thinking for yourself.
(3) Telling you that you are a horrible person and that the only way you can not be is to believe in a delusion that has no evidence and that you must believe in it to be true, even though it makes no sense whatsoever.
More ridiculous words from McGrath…,
It enables us, if I can put it like this, to look at each element of the Christian faith and appreciate it in its own right.
a)> What is there to appreciate about the christian faith?
b)> There is nothing in christianity that a law abiding Atheist who knows right and wrong even remotely needs.
c)> Everything about morals and right and wrong are from the following:
(1) “The golden rule”
(2) Proper upbringing.
(3) The laws put into place in different sections of society which determine WHAT society wants right and wrong to be.
And then to ask, “What might its apologetic significance be?” And it helps us to work out how much there is in the Christian faith that’s able to capture the imagination, or the emotions, or the mind of our audience.
a)> He actually speaks the truth here when you realize that apologetics is just about brainwashing people to delusion.
b)> These are the things that he mentioned that were true:
(1) Christian faith uses imagination (God is an imaginary friend for grown-ups).
(2) Christian faith uses peoples emotions to weaken their logic and become vulnerable to reason through emotional weakness.
(3) Christian faith uses fear to create more fear.
c)> Apologetics is about:
(1) Being told to believe an emotion, not facts.
(2) Being told to believe myth rather than science.
(3) Being convinced you need to believe in a lie for strength, while being made to stop having INNER STRENGTH of your own.
(4) Being made a slave of a lie instead of a freethinker of reality.
More ranting and dishonesty…..
And that’s why I think theology is so important. It’s good for each of us because it deepens both our understanding, and our appreciation for our faith, but it also helps us work out how to connect up with our culture and to explain to them the vitality and relevance of faith.
a)> What he fails to mention is how if his religion is A LIE (it is a lie) and there is no God (there isn’t):
(1) What would the significance of his religion be?
(2) How would life be any different?
(3) I ask a bunch of hypothetical questions here:
– Specifically questions in 2 j-m in the above article I wrote.
b)> Atheists such as myself prove that religion is not necessary.
(1) We’re happy with a world without God.
(2) We have inner strength and deal with life’s troubles on our own.
(3) We know what true right and wrong are because we know that all religions are lies and that all gods are lies and simple common sense and the golden rule allows us to figure it out for ourselves.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: Well, on a practical level, what kind of advice would you have for those who are defenders of the faith, so that they can have a stronger theological foundation? What sort of practical things should they be focusing on?
McGrath then responds….
AM: Well, let me make two very quick suggestions. They should read. They should read people who we know are good apologists. I’ve mentioned C.S. Lewis, and I’m sure we could easily add others to the list.
a)> He of course mentions someone who completely has a faith based belief and not one of any evidence, or logic.
b)> Pointless really for them to read unless they are able to read between the lines and see that they are really saying nothing.
He continues his meaningless advice….
And you need to read them with an agenda, and the agenda is: “What questions are they asking? How do they engage with people? What can I learn from this?”
a)> He actually means the following:
(1) How can you learn to deflect?
(2) How can you learn to make Atheists fear things that don’t exist?
(3) How can you learn to make Atheists think they are worthless and bad people?
(4) How can you learn to make Atheists second guess themselves to thinking that ridiculous non-sensical myths might have the possibility of being true?
In other words, see them as the masters – what can we learn from them? But secondly, and I think this is very important: we need to listen to our culture. Listen to the questions our friends ask us, to the anxieties we see when we read the newspapers or watch TV, and we need to ask, “How could I engage with that?
a)> How about these questions then?
(1) How do you know you aren’t brainwashed?
(2) If you knew for sure that your entire religion was a lie, would your life be any different?
(3) There is no evidence there is a God, or that Jesus was God, so how do you know you aren’t living a lie?
(4) If 2 billion people are believing a lie that wasn’t true, does that still make it a lie?
“A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it”
— Sir David Stevens
How could I, for example, take C.S. Lewis and engage that question? How could I provide a good Christian response to the questions being asked?”
a)> By doing the ONLY things christian apologetics does:
(1) Try to make Atheists sound stupid.
(2) To deflect from answering questions that don’t make sense.
(3) Lying, or bending the truth.
(4) Giving pointless non-answers:
He then continues….
Apologetics is really about making sure that the Christian faith connects up well with the questions our culture is asking. We need to know our faith. We need to know our culture, and above all, we need to be bridge the gap between them.
a)> Apologetics is about:
(1) Believing things without evidence.
(2) Believing there is evidence when there isn’t.
(3) Believing evidence isn’t important.
(4) Believing things that aren’t real, or true.
(5) Believing things that make no sense.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: That’s good. As far as the church body…the local church, how do you see this engagement with theology and apologetics playing a more dominant role? How do you think that we can practically encourage that in the church at large?
a)> Why would we want to encourage it?
b)> Why would we want to encourage anything that promotes hatred and causes people to live a lie?
c)> Why would we want to encourage people to waste their lives for nothing.
AM: Well, I think the pastor does play a very critical role here. And apologetics is not simply about reaching outside the church. It’s helping people realize why Christianity makes so much sense.
a)> Nothing about christianity makes any sense.
b)> The pastor is a brainwashed delusional slave of a lie also, so how is the blind leading the blind helpful?
c)> It doesn’t matter if apologetics reaches outside of the church, or not.
(1) What’s told in church about God and religion is a lie.
(2) What’s told outside of church about God and religion by apologists is a lie.
(3) Apologetics is just brainwashing either way, from people who are also brainwashed and also by people who know it’s a scam and a lie.
There are many people inside church congregations who are wrestling with apologetic questions. They’ve come to faith, but haven’t had all their questions answered.
a)> Again, that is the only thing that holds people to religion is BLIND FAITH!
b)> There is nothing real about any religion.
c)> The only reason people still believe on blind faith is because:
(1) Being brainwashed and mentally conditioned to disregard logic, prevents them from thinking anything else.
(2) Being mentally conditioned to believe they will be guilty of THOUGHT CRIME, which is the belief that God is angry at them for having doubt.
(3) They have been given the wrong information and lied to.
I think the pastor or the preacher needs to realize that if they want their people to be good ministers of the faith, apologists and evangelists, they’ve got to be equipped. They’ve got to be reassured about their faith.
a)> Again, it’s all about FAITH! That’s it though.
b)> When McGrath says “equipped” he of course means “skilled liars, misleaders, deflectors and people who discourage logic, or rational thought”.
He continues again….
They’ve got to be helped to be able to explain it and defend it in the secular marketplace. Now many, many pastors and preachers say, “I couldn’t do this.”
a)> Nobody can do this without lying and deceiving people.
b)> McGrath, WL Craig and John Lennox might be what people call “the best” but they have no proof of their religion except misleading deception.
He continues again….
In this case you need to bring somebody in who can. But there’s a real need for the local church to see this kind of ministry as a priority in our present cultural situation.
a)> Since there’s no evidence and everything they say that is evidence is a lie, then all he is saying is “we need good liars”.
b)> All religions are about deceit and doing whatever it takes to increase their numbers, or saying whatever it takes.
Brian Auten asks again….
BA: Would there be advice that you’d want to give to lay apologists, that would help them to succeed in getting their congregations more interested in defending the faith. You mentioned there bringing in people who are good equippers, but what sort of initiatives do you see, or would you recommend?
AM: Well, let me recommend two very obvious things that we can do, and we use both of these at the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics, where we equip people to do this kind of thing. Number one: you read some passages from a leading Christian apologist. It might be Ravi Zacharias, it might be C.S. Lewis, or it might be somebody else. And again you’re enjoying reading, but your asking, “How can we use this to help answer the questions we are being asked?”
a)> They won’t help at all and won’t give evidence of anything, or help answer any questions.
b)> Only being misleading, being dishonest, or giving false information will convince people of anything.
And secondly, you get a group of people together and you say, “Look, we’re going to talk about a question tonight. (For example, why does God allow suffering?) And what we’re going to do is to work our way towards a good answer that we can give to our friends.”
a)> Of course the answers all make absolutely no sense that they put together.
b)> It is the equivalent to putting a bunch of people in a room and saying “explain how a serial killer who is also a torturing rapist can be a good person?”
And as you talk about this, you will find that your understanding of the answers you can give becomes much much greater because you’re listening to other people, reflecting on how they would answer it.
a)> There are no answers that are truthful that are evidence of anything.
b)> There is nothing that makes any sense that they can say.
c)> There is nothing that makes christianity any more believable than any other religion.
He keeps going….
Apologetics is about collaborative. It’s about sharing ideas, sharing insights, and beginning to realize that there are some very good answers that can be given to the questions people are asking.
a> No there isn’t. There are only lies, dishonesty, deflection and answers that are faith based.
b)> All collaboration does is make people feel comfortable with their delusion by meeting other people with the same delusion.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: I want to pick up on a thought you mentioned there, about apologetics being collaborative, and it reminds me of something I’ve heard Gary Habermas say about apologetics being something we do in a community. Would you mind expanding on that a little bit more, and how you see that playing out as we move forward in that field?
McGrath responds again….
AM: I think that there are people who are, how should I put it, lone rangers. They just become very good apologists, and that’s wonderful. But if you take someone like C.S. Lewis, Lewis worked with a group of people. Above all, the people we think of as “Inklings”, and they helped him develop his answers. They would say, “That’s not good enough. You’ve got to do better. What about this?” And in interaction with people like them, he developed better answers. They both challenged him by saying, “You need to do better,” and they helped him work out better answers.
a)> A thing to remember is that after every question, or answer, an apologist comes up with, the Atheist, or collection of Atheists will do the following….
(1) Answer the questions.
(2) Show the apologist answers to be meaningless, or irrelevant.
(3) Expose the lies.
And that’s why I think apologetics is best done collaboratively, where we share our ideas and approaches, we kick them around, we fine-tune them if you like, and at the end of the day we all emerge from that having better answers to give to our culture.
a)> There still is no evidence of God.
b)> Nothing that proves Jesus was God.
c)> No proof that the only reason they believe isn’t because of brainwashing.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: That’s good. Now we’ve been speaking about theology and its apologetic applications if you will, but let me ask you about another subject which is related, and to which you’ve put a lot of your energies, and that’s natural theology. Would you mind describing that briefly, and then explain what role you think that plays for Christian apologetics today?
Well this should be good….
AM: Well, the idea of natural theology can take various forms, but they all have one thing in common, and that is that in some way we can use the natural world around us as a kind of navigable channel to helping people find God.
a)> This answer is meaningless and says absolutely nothing.
b)> Very typical time wasting apologist deflecting answer that is completely pointless.
In other words, you’re arguing from the creation to the creator. In many ways, it’s picking up the theme of Psalm 19 verse 1: “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord.” “You see the glory of the heavens? Well doesn’t that point towards the greater glory of God?”
a)> A quote from the bible is as meaningless as proving that scooping my cats litter box is what causes blackholes.
b)> This is one of the main problems I have with religious brainwashers like McGrath and WL Craig.
(1) They say absolutely nothing but make it sound good to the brainwashed people who hear what they want to hear.
(2) They actually think this is a good enough answer to tell people.
(3) That people actually accept these answers.
And it picks up on where a lot of people are in our culture. They have a very real sense of respect for nature, a love for nature, they appreciate the beauty of nature. One of the things we can do is to try and say, “Look, what you are doing is admiring or loving something that God has done. Might not God himself be even better still?” So it’s using nature as a jumping off point. It’s not saying [that] nature is God, and it’s certainly not saying that nature tells us everything we need to know about God. It’s rather saying that nature can be a gateway, or a starting point for some very important discussions about God.
a)> I’m just in awe of how people like McGrath who are completely educated in biology and evolution and how things function in the universe, can feed this nonsense to uneducated people.
b)> I’m in awe of how McGrath claims to be so brilliant, yet here he is pretending to not know basic science in order to support, or imply his deceiving goal.
He continues again….
All of these need to be shaped and resourced by the Biblical witness, but even the Biblical witness itself very often suggests we can begin with people’s interest in the natural order and then use that as a way of leading them beyond that to discover God himself.
a)> Another completely meaningless non-answer, devoid of any point.
b)> Also another completely meaningless statement that is devoid of any knowledge, or usefullness and tells us nothing.
Brian Auten asks again…..
BA: What other sort of scriptural precedents or appeals to natural theology do you see and how you would encourage people to go about using arguments from natural theology?
McGrath answers again….
AM: Well, I think if we look at Romans chapter one, or of course Paul’s very famous address in Athens – the so-called Areopagus speech of Acts 17…In the case of the Athens speech, Paul, in many ways, is facing up to the fact that his Greek audience doesn’t know anything about the Old Testament; so, how can he explain who Christ is? In many ways, his answer is to appeal to the doctrine of creation – the idea [that] there is someone who’s made this whole thing, and in some way this God can be known.
a)> So he is using the bible (a book of fiction) to prove a point? Seriously?
(1) Also the gospels were written 40-60 years after Jesus’s death, not reliable, or relevant to quote.
(2) It’s a completely pointless quote regardless, because it proves nothing.
(3) Acts was not written by anyone who was even there and didn’t know anyone who was.
(4) Acts and the gospels are nothing but hearsay with no credibility.
Ask someone who is 100 times the biblical expert that McGrath is:
Atheist PhD Bart Ehrman:
And what he ends up saying is, “What you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” In other words, “You have this deep sense [that] there’s something else there. Well, I will tell you who it is and how you find Him.” I think this is very helpful because, as you rightly say, there are many people who have this sense that nature is pointing towards something greater, but they don’t know how to find it. And I think our privilege can be to help them use nature as a gateway to discover the greater reality behind it.
a)> Nature is not evidence of God.
b)> Nature is simply things functioning and changing through time in the universe.
c)> Nature is evolution, physics, chemistry, biology and how it all adapts and changes.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: Well, let’s shift gears back to the discipleship of the mind for a few minutes. When it comes to the discipline of learning, what sort of advice would you want to give to Christian apologists who are seeking to be better equipped to defend their faith?
McGrath then says…
AM: I think one thing we all have to recognize is that we can’t be good at everything. And therefore, I would say to people that it really helps to have a good knowledge of your faith and the questions people are asking.
a)> It’s called “faith” cause it’s not knowledge.
b)> If there were truth or evidence for something you wouldn’t need “faith”.
McGrath continues again….
And it also helps to be able to say, “Given my own educational background or my own professional expertise, I could be helpful in this area.” For example, using literature in apologetics, using science in apologetics or indeed, thinking about the psychology of apologetics.
a)> I’ve heard nothing about how anything makes his religion based on any real divine truth.
b)> Everything he says is a total NON-ANSWER and completely FAITH BASED!
And so I just say to anybody listening to this: try and work out what it is that you could do. I will say – very clearly – that the deeper you go, the more excited you’ll become and you will probably be overwhelmed by the idea of what you can do and how you can take things further.
a)> More completely meaningless words that say nothing.
b)> Since there is nothing that makes God, or christianity true, then the only thing that apologists can do is deflect, mislead and lie.
McGrath continues again…..
But in many ways, I think the core advice I would give you is this: first – try reading some apologists, and don’t just read them for fun. Ask: “How do they understand apologetics? How do they do it? What can I learn from this?” Then secondly, listen to the questions you hear people asking around you about faith. And ask yourself, “Is there any way that my own background [or] my own expertise might be helpful in this respect?” Because again, apologetics is collaborative, and maybe you’ve got something to contribute to the rest of us that might be very exciting and very important.
a)> He already said all this.
b)> It was as meaningless and devoid of any content then, as it is now.
c)> He is incapable of course of telling us anything in the lines of evidence, or anything of any significance.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: You mentioned C.S. Lewis, and obviously he’s influenced you as well as countless others, but what other apologists have been strong influences in your own pursuit?
AM: Lewis has been particularly influential for me, because his own apologetic method actually operates in a number of different levels…the reason, the imagination, the emotions. So I find him particularly interesting, but of course there are others. I enjoy reading Ravi Zacharias. I particularly feel that he’s got a very good sense of where many university students are. I enjoy reading William Lane Craig.
a)> They all are strictly FAITH BASED ONLY apologetic arguments!
b)> Faith isn’t a reason to believe something, it’s the lack of reason and EVIDENCE to believe in something.
c)> William Lane Craig is a deceptive misleading, dishonest scumbag.
(1) He admits to believing without evidence, or if all arguments he had were proved wrong:
(2) I exposed Craig’s misleading dishonesty already on my blog:
– With much more to come.
I really admire the way in which he demonstrates the coherence of the Christian faith. And there are others as well, but those will just do us for a starting point. I think the important thing I would want to say to anybody listening to this is, “Look…maybe there’s a dialogue partner you could find.” In other words, you read something and you say, “Oh, he’s on my wavelength,” or “Oh, she’s really good.” If you find that person, they can help you grow.
a)> Nobody however that has the following:
(1) Proof of God.
(2) Proof Jesus was God.
(3) Proof they aren’t brainwashed.
b)> Craig is nothing to be admired.
(1) Craig is a liar who knows he’s lying.
(2) Craig is a master misleader and manipulator and dishonest scumbag.
So, one of the reasons you’re reading apologists is to try and find somebody who you think might be somebody who you could journey with and grow in your understanding in doing so.
a)> The reasons they’re reading apologists is because:
(1) They want to convince themselves and assure their own belief, but end up just accepting all the faith based arguments.
(2) Because they have no good arguments against what Atheists say.
Brian Auten asks questions again….
BA: Are there any particular areas that you think may be lacking in the field of apologetics today, that you would want to see reinforced or developed to a greater degree?
AM: I think I’ve been hugely encouraged by the way apologetics has developed in the last twenty years. I think people really are rising to the challenge, and there are some obvious areas.
a)> The lack of evidence is an obvious area.
b)> The fact that they can’t prove they aren’t brainwashed but Atheists can prove Atheists aren’t brainwashed.
– I show that here:
(1) We believe what we know is true, that’s it. You can’t be brainwashed to things that are scientifically verified and are true.
(2) We don’t believe any religion because they don’t make sense, while science contradicts everything religion says.
(3) We know the 14 truths to be real because scientific research has shown us, not nonsensical disproven myth.
For example, we need my psychologists. We need more sociologists to help us here. And what I’d want to say is, if there’s anybody listening to this that feels like, “I’m in a field of study, and I can see ways in which my discipline could help.” Then start thinking about making those connections.
a)> Yes he is right, those would be the right kind of people apologetics needs because those are the people who know about brainwashing.
b)> At the same time, if they are religious themselves then they too are brainwashed and therefore biased and infected to be blind to it!
This is how apologetics is going to grow. Go to the conferences. Get in touch with apologists and see what you can do to move things forward.
a)> What he is really saying is “I have no idea what to do”.
b)> It’s very simple. Just do the following.
(1) Prove you aren’t brainwashed.
(2) Prove God is real.
(3) Prove your religion is the correct religion after doing (1) and (2)
But I think more importantly, what we need to do is make sure we always keep in touch with where culture is. And one of the things apologetics always needs to do is to develop what I’m going to call “culture watches.” In other words, people who deliberately look at the way our culture is going. They read newspapers. They look at the lyrics of popular songs, and they try to ask, “What are the anxieties and concerns of the moment, and how can the Christian faith connect up with those? There is a lot be need to do, but I’m so pleased with how much has been done in the past two decades.
a)> This is mostly a “non-answer” he says, but what he really means is:
(1) How can we prey upon peoples fears. (Not pray).
(2) How can we make people hate themselves and become vulnerable to christian influence.
(3) How can we cause people to doubt themselves and ignore common sense.
Brian Auten asks another question….
BA: Well one more question, and this is for believers listening who would say, “You know, God has gifted me with a thinking mind, I’m drawn to the academic world, and I want to serve Christ as a Christian academic and defend the faith in that arena. Do you have any advice for how they should approach their studies and think with a longer time perspective?
AM: Well yes I think that you need to do this intentionally. It may take a very long time. At Oxford University we have a Christian mind course which tries to help especially young to mid career professionals work out how to integrate their faith and their professional competencies.
a)> So in otherwords a school that teaches the following:
(1) How you can waste your life on a lie that you have been indoctrinated since birth, or brainwashed later in life to believe.
(2) How you can never reach your true potential because you wasted it on doing this thing where you brainwash other people for a living so they will waste their time and their lives.
(3) How you can become the ultimate tool for rich evangelists, who need people like you to bring them people to join with money, so that they’ll donate and make them rich.
b)> The worthless apologist class that McGrath is mentioning for people to enroll in will make money too.
And what I want to say is we really do need people who can do this, and it’s not going to happen over night. I’m hoping that when people listen to this they will say, “Look, I’m at the research stage. I’m at an early stage of my career, but I know it really could be important.” And I want to say to you hang in there. Try to make the relating of your faith and your professional work a priority because we need Christian voices in those disciplines, and we need Christian answers to the questions raised by those disciplines. You know, you could be the person who helps us move ahead here.
a)> He’s really saying:
(1) We need amazing liars.
(2) We need amazing deceivers.
(3) We need people who can really get inside peoples heads and totally screw with them.
b)> This is the scariest part about religion is that religion has taken on a life of it’s own. Like a cancer.
Brian Auten asks questions again….
BA: You mentioned the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. What kind of people is this geared for and who would you encourage to get involved with that?
McGrath answers again….
AM: Well the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics was founded back in 2004 in recognition that we needed to intentionally help apologists develop their techniques and above all to help people who thought maybe they could become an apologist get started. And we’ve been thrilled by its progress. We’ve grown and grown and grown, and today we are very pleased by the quality of people who come to us for our courses and the people who we are able to help in so many ways. We’re based at Oxford, and I think we do three main things. We run a nine-month course in Christian apologetics in both theory and practice. We run conference throughout the world where we help people to develop their own techniques and approaches, and we also write publications. If you search for Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics on the web, you’ll find out all about us and the kind of things we do.
a)> It’s very scary that people don’t see how completely evil these courses are.
b)> Sad that they need courses like this to fuel and infect their cause, since you’d think that simple reality would be good enough.
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: Great. Now just shifting gears again Professor McGrath; I wanted to ask you about some of your works of fiction. This includes a series called The Aedyn Chronicles. And in fact I found the first book of this series free on Kindle, and that was today. I don’t know how long it will be free on Kindle, but there are a couple more books in this series. Can you tell me more about this series and your goal in writing fiction?
AM: Well I do feel very strongly that one of the weaknesses in contemporary Christian apologetics is that we are very good at arguments.
a)> How is being good at arguments a weakness, this makes no sense.
b)> Christian apologetics isn’t arguing, it’s this instead.
(1) Simple dismissal of arguments by not addressing them.
(2) Turning everything into faith based arguments and answers.
(3) Convincing people they are worthless and nothing without God, or religion in their lives.
(4) Selling people an imaginary cure for an imaginary disease.
But the real problem is that for many people when they come home tired from work, they’re not going to pick up a book which deals with abstract arguments for the existence of God, but they will read novels. And in many ways fiction is the gateway to the soul for many people these days. I’ve often said to people that we need to write more Christian novels. We need to develop an apologetics of the imagination to get through to these people. And I felt I just couldn’t keep saying, “We need to do this.” I had to at least try to do it myself. So in many ways these novels are an attempt on my part to say, “Look, I’m going to try and do this. Now that I’ve tried it, maybe other people will as well.” And my hope will be that we will identify some really good Christian writers who can develop the kind of ministry that C.S. Lewis had with the Narnia Chronicles 50 years ago. We really need that and I think we really need to encourage people to try and see why fiction, for children or for anyone, can really serve an important role in today’s apologetic task.
a)> So he’s now admitting to subliminal brainwashing of people.
b)> Wouldn’t his main victims be kids?
c)> How do people not see what a sick person McGrath is?
Brian Auten speaks again….
BA: Back to C.S. Lewis. You’re working on a project that deals with the works of Lewis. Would you mind talking about that project and any other more recent books or projects that you might want our listeners to be aware of?
AM: Well thank you. The big project I’m working on right now is a biography of C.S. Lewis. It will come out in 2013, which of course is the 50th anniversary of his death. And what I’m trying to do is to really speak to people who have discovered Lewis through his films or his reputation but don’t quite know why he’s so significant. And I’m trying to explain who this man is, why he is so interesting, explaining his ideas, his arguments, his stories, and really I think trying to introduce him to a new generation. It’s a wonderful project, and I’m enjoying writing it enormously.
a)> If Lewis wasn’t an apologist would McGrath even care?
b)> He believes if he can get people interested in Lewis, he can get people reading his books, which he believes subject people (mostly kids) to subliminal ways of thinking towards being brainwashed to religion.
There’s a book that’s coming out very soon in the UK and in two months in the states. It’s called, Why God Won’t Go Away. And as you might expect it’s a critique of the new atheism.
a)> Well, I guess I’ll just have to find a pdf of that and expose it for it’s stupidity, lies and misleading tactics, which will obviously be there since watching his debate with Hitchens and reading this podcast interview.
b)> People would really pay money for such a vile piece of literature? Really? Sickening.
96) Let’s hear more about this….
It’s saying that we’ve dealt with your critiques of Christianity. Now we’re going to start asking you some hard questions like what are your positive beliefs? In many ways this takes the critique of the New Atheism further, and I really do think it will be uncomfortable for them. It really challenges their own positive approaches and positive beliefs. I think it helps us see that there’s something wrong here. The subtitle of the U.S. edition is, Is the New Atheism Running on Empty?
a)> Well it looks like New Atheism has definitely found itself a new punching bag.
b)> Definitely someone to keep an eye on this McGrath character is.
c)> Right up there with William Lane Craig and John Lennox with what is wrong with this planet!
Then finally Brian Auten says….
BA: Well I definitely look forward to that work as well as your biography of C.S. Lewis. Thank you so much for joining me. It’s been excellent.
McGrath then finishes….
AM: It’s been a great pleasure.
a)> What a truly disturbing human being Alister McGrath is.
b)> Very sad knowing that people like him exist.