Monday, September 17, 2007

Faith

I am in Leeds now--more on that soon!--but last week I was in Oxford for a week visiting my brother Ted. One of these days, Ted and I were eating a packed lunch in a park in Oxford. As we sat, we noticed an elderly couple with two little dogs walking by. Suddenly the dogs bolted for us; they were interested in partaking in the food we had, I think. Their lady master was a little embarrassed, and eventually lured them back with some doggie treats. Meanwhile, her husband stood next to her - seemingly deep in thought.

When the couple walked by, Ted asked me if I knew who the elderly man was. I couldn't say I did so Ted, who had known all along, informed me that it was Richard Dawkins - one of the most famous atheists in the world and author of a today-bestseller about why he believes God is a delusion.

As I thought about Dawkins and, in contrast, my desire to build God's Kingdom as part of His story, it struck me that this pleasant-looking man was doing the opposite. In his most recent book he stated that he hoped that religious leaders who read the book would finish it as atheists.

Whatever his motives, Dawkins has contributed to reducing the faith of many - maybe that of tens of thousands of people. And as Dawkins walked into the distance in that Oxford park with his wife and two dogs, I was reminded that faith takes work, and that my faith, since I am a Christian, is a relationship. In contrast, it also reminded me how easy it is destroy faith and relationship. It's like a great cathedral: it can be destroyed--blown up or demolished in some way--in a day; but it may take years of diligent work to build.

So I guess I would end with the encouragement that, well, anything worth having is worth fighting for. Especially truth. And how can anything be more true than Truth Himself?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
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