8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life” by Alister McGrath


During our open forum for our laymen and women fellowship with the theme, Passion for God, I had a chance to share something about reading that leads to pursuing God. I wrote it down and explained it for about 10 minutes. If youre curious on what I shared to our fellowship, I’ll put it live here as a post on this blog soon.

Anyways, here’s Alister McGrath’s latest book, Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Lifepublished by InterVarsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or InterVarsity Press. Stay tuned to the review of this book.

“Lewis thus invites his readers into the Christian way of seeing things and to explore how things look when seen from its standpoint – as if to say ‘Try seeing things this way!’ If world views or metanarratives can be compared to lenses, which of them brings things into sharpest focus? Clues, taken by themselves, prove nothing; their importance lies rather in their cumulative and contextual force.”

Dawkins attributes his loss of any religious faith to two factors. The first was his growing realization that ‘Darwin provided the magnificently powerful alternative to biological
design which we now know to be true.’ This is a recurrent theme in Dawkins’s later writings: Darwinism offers an ex­
planation of what is observed in the biological world that is superior to belief in a creator God. The second factor is his belief that there is an ‘elementary fallacy’ within any argument from design, in that ‘any god capable of designing the universe would have needed a fair bit of designing himself.’ Darwin’s idea of gradual complexification from a ‘primeval simplicity’ seemed to make a lot more sense to him.”

“Christianity possessed the literary form of a myth, which for Lewis meant a story with deep imaginative appeal, conveying a set of ideas. Yet there was
a critical difference between Nordic myths and the Christian myth: only the latter was true. Pagan myths represented an imperfect grasping towards the truth, a goal finally attained in Christianity. “

“Christians take the view that believing in God helps us make sense of the world, offering a larger framework or big picture into which fits what we observe and experience. Dawkins argues that this involves adding an unobserved and intrinsically complicated entity – God – to the inventory of the universe. Science is about keeping things as simple as pos-
sible – which is one reason why Dawkins prefers atheism to Christianity. It seems a simpler and neater idea. “

“For Lewis, belief in God was neither a distraction from life nor a spurious means of finding consolation. Discovering God was about discovering his own true identity and recalibrating his reason and imagination in the light of this new way of seeing himself and the world. God is neither an object within our universe nor a mere abstract philosophical idea.”

” To have faith in God is not primarily to
give intellectual assent to an idea about God but to step into a greater picture of our world and become part of it.”

“In terms of their intellectual precariousness, both atheism and Christianity reflect the epistemic limits of human beings, who show a tendency to want to believe more – whether that belief is religious or secular – than the evidence actually warrants.”

“Like many readers of The Selfish Gene I often find myself wondering whether Dawkins’s optimistic conclusion isn’t
actually contradicted and subverted by the arguments that precede it. In some ways his analysis echoes the ethos of the Enlightenment: once you have understood something, you can master it. But can we master ourselves in this way? What if our genetic inheritance affects our will, so that we can recognize the hidden influence of our genes, while then discovering that we cannot break free from their influence?”

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