We all know that top secular atheists writers like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, have successfully removed the “Son of God” Jesus from his divine pedestal, to being at most a failed apocalyptic prophet ; and belief/faith in Jewish tribal God Yahweh his Father to being nothing but an delusion. (1)
It is to be expected however, that Christians would find it hard to stomach works from these hated atheists; who inadvertently ridicule their faith and scorn and mock their ancient obsolete beliefs with scientific theories, facts, and logic. If atheist scholarship is anathema would they listen to someone from within their own ranks?
How about a courageous Bishop, (no ,not Arch Des Tutu) a modern Martin Luther who would like to start a new Reformation. How about respected theologian and retired Bishop John Shelby Spong who describes his credentials as such : " I have immersed myself in contemporary Biblical scholarship at such places as Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Yale Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School and the storied universities in Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge.”
Taken from his book (2)
Martin Luther ignited the Reformation of the 16th century by nailing to the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517 the 95 Theses that he wished to debate.
The issues to which I now call the Christians of the world to debate are these:
1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.
2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.
3. The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.
5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.
6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.
8. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.
He mentioned more points, but I have referred to enough for debate.
Well I would say that is checkmate to atheism - you see we are not so foolish after all. Intelligent and intellectually honest Christian scholars and theologians are also arguing for atheism.
They realise that Copernicus, Newton and Darwin have stuck a mortal blow to Biblical literalism and have turned the Bible into an ancient obsolete book of fiction.
(1) Books by Richard Dawkins :
The Selfish Gene.
The Extended Phenotype.
The Blind Watchmaker.
River Out of Eden.
Climbing Mount Improbable.
Unweaving the Rainbow.
A Devil's Chaplain.
The Ancestor's Tale.
The God Delusion.
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True.
Books by Sam Harris:
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason.
Letter to a Christian Nation
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (forthcoming)
(2) Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile