Recently I was at a house group and, although I wasn't asked for my opinion, discovered I was the only person in the room who didn't take Genesis 1-11 literally, or even literalistically. It was made very clear to me that it was the sort of church leaders who take the view that the Bible isn't entirely history who are the problem with the whole church today.
I managed to keep quiet for the whole of a discussion of a David Pawson video on Islam until someone said that if we were descended from apes there wouldn't be any apes left so we can't be. At this point I cracked and said that was, sadly, not correct and I'd explain why if they wanted to know. I shouldn't have. Or should I? Who knows? But I did get the feeling I was spoiling the simple faith of some nice people. Or would have been if I had gone on.
Richard Dawkins has no problem spoiling the simple faith of nice people but they probably ignore him anyway so he won't get very far. In trying to end the faith of religious people chapter three of his book rubbishes the traditional proofs for the existence of God. They were rubbish anyway so it is a good job he did. He also rubbishes a proof for the existence of God which he desribes as 'the oddest case I have seen.' If it is that odd why bother with it? None of us do.
Three times in Acts it is said that Paul 'proved' that Jesus was the Christ. Each time the New International Version of the Bible uses the word 'prove' it is translating a different word. One means drawing out, one means demonstrating and a third means showing from the book. Proof is OK as the word to use if one has a legal model in mind - on the balance of probabilities - but not scientific. It is not a litmus test.
So you can't prove God. We knew that didn't we gang? In chapter four Dawkins turns his attention to the 'God of the gaps' theory. God is not what we get at the end of our human understanding. Well the news for Mr D is that Bishop John Robinson took this theory apart in the 1960s in his eponymous book. I'll read the chapter anyway but for me it hasn't come close yet to convincing me that the great stories Christians tell aren't the very best way to live life to the full. I almost hope he can do better soon because it is beautifully written.