Matthew Parris is an atheist. He’s so much of an atheist that an article he’s written has been published on Richard Dawkins’ own website.
Now, Richard Dawkins, for those who might not know him, is the guy who hates belief in God so much that I once heard him in a debate against Tony Blair, of all people, arguing that the cause of all suffering in this world was a direct result of people’s religious beliefs.
Firstly, clearly that’s not true. But secondly, it’s therefore interesting that on his own website he’s published this article, entitled As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God. Here’s a great quote:
Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.
But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.
- Breaking news: Richard Dawkins doesn’t like religion or ‘Islamic barbarians’. Well, he kept that one quiet (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Book: The God Delusion (jameskennedybeijing.wordpress.com)
- -Richard Dawkins Loses Debate Against Former Archbishop Rowan Williams (answersforthefaith.com)
- Fancy going to the atheist church? (samisaacson.wordpress.com)