Friday, August 6, 2010

I received a letter from the national director of a youth outreach organisation which I support. In it he cites two instances he encountered that seems to reflect a growing new atheism among students.
It seems to me this new atheism is more like  an old anti-theism. These are not just people that don't believe that there is a god, they seem to be against god or anything with the mystical or metaphysical for that matter. They are out to wage war against what they call a myth. There are apparently four horsemen of our  apocalypse among them charging their attack. The attack seem to be directed at the christian religion more than any other religion. I suspect it is more because the "turn-the-other-cheek" community is an easy target - large, visible and clumsy for the most part.
I don't think we feel their effects so much in the local church especially the church here in the country of my origin. This is largely because we are among a populace that is ethnically asians and most asian cultures have a meta-narrative and asian tend towards believing in the mystical if not mythical.  However, this is fast changing as the education of our nation's young focus on math and science along with its influences that chiefly come from the West, challenging those perspectives The two instants the national director mention only goes to show that this mood is growing. 
I think it was Alister McGrath in his chapter in Beyond Opinion, who made an interesting observation: This new atheism is almost like a fundamental movement of modernity that had its birth in the Enlightenment worldview. Yet the mood of the times we are in (globally) is one of post-modernity.
The take-away for the christian as we a bombarded from one side by anti-theistic atheists and from the other side by exclusive post modern inclusivist.  Are we able to give a reasonable answer to why we believe what we believe. How competent are we when we are faced with questions or indictments from those quarters? We don't have to go to theological grads school to do so, but we do have to study some and read some. At some point even ask the difficult questions to ourselves. We have to do something.

No comments:

Post a Comment