One of the best selling books at the beginning of 2007 is one which attempts to say how deluded we are to believe in God in the first place. ‘The God Delusion’ is written by Richard Dawkins who has been one of the most outspoken atheists in the country for a long time. The strange thing is that I suspect I agree with about 85% of what he writes. There are some very bad arguments for believing in God and he sets these out and disposes of them. There are some very bad examples of how some believers in God have behaved and he sets these out and exposes them. This is not that surprising since the toughest things Jesus said were to religious people who had got things very badly wrong in what they taught and in what they practised.
In responding we have a problem in that God is literally unimaginable. Our perceptions of him and stories about him can only be very partial reflections of what he really is. Until, that is, we come to Christmas and find that we can say simply and clearly that we can see exactly what God is like in Jesus. God believes in us and commits himself to us by sharing our humanity whether or not individuals bring themselves to believe in him or commit themselves to him. We do not have to invent our ideas about God when we encounter him in Jesus. We pray that this will draw us not into bad arguments but into a truer understanding of God. We pray it will lead us not into the worst but into the best of Christian living. Canon Peter Mullins