Dawkins v. Lennox and assumptions

Last week I watched a DVD debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox called “Has Science Buried God?” Both men came well prepared and did a decent job of keeping their cool. I couldn’t do one of those debates, not simply because I don’t know enough and don’t think as quickly on my feet, but because of the emotional component.

Dawkins at times came off as a tad bit belittling, but for a man without the Holy Spirit, he did quite well and didn’t go too much beyond calling his opponent “petty” for believing in the resurrection.

The DVD is well worth the watch and I hope to show it sometime in our community group. You can click here for the free audio of this debate and two previous debates between these two lads.

During the course of the debate something did come out which I found a bit enlightening and it had nothing really to do with the material-though it was great.

Lennox claimed people were made in the image of God, assuming Dawkins would know what that meant. Even though Lennox had done his homework on Dawkins, Dawkins didn’t do all his homework on Lennux. He responded, “What do you mean, ‘We’re made in the image of God? Does He look like us?'”

Lennox took for granted knowledge of this distinct Christian (or Judeo-Christian) belief. While Dawkins probably should have known this, he obviously didn’t. Fortunately he asked the question during the debate.

I think this serves as a good lesson for all of us not to assume everyone is familiar with basic Christian beliefs, even the well read and learned who write books attempting to debunk Christianity! Such terms like “image of God” may have once been understood (not necessarily believed) some years ago, but more and more folks have no clue what they mean. And if one is not in a debate, but instead preaching, sharing the gospel, or conversing, he must not take for granted the many who are not “in the know” and may not ask or have the chance for clarification.

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