That God, the all powerful creator of the universe couldn't think of a better way to forgive humanity's sins than to have himself put on earth, tortured and executed in atonement for the sins of humanity? What kind of a horrible, depraved notion is that?
Atheist evangelist Richard Dawkins shares the message of Easter with the Australian people via the Q&A program. Dawkins knows the gospel, but rejects it as "horrible and depraved." I mean what sort of God would suffer and die for the sins of the world?
From the transcript of the program:
RICHARD DAWKINS: The New Testament - you believe, if you believe in the New Testament, that God, the all powerful creator of the universe couldn't think of a better way to forgive humanity's sins than to have himself put on earth, tortured and executed in atonement for the sins of humanity? What kind of a horrible, depraved notion is that?
. . . . That's why Christ came to earth, in order to atone for humanity's sins. If it's extreme, it's not me that's being extreme, it's the new testament that's being extreme.
TONY JONES: No, well, I'm going to jump in here, because is that not a story of sacrifice and therefore has something admirable attached to it which is the opposite of what you suggested?
RICHARD DAWKINS: Do you think it's admirable? You think it's admirable that God actually had himself tortured for the sins of humanity?
TONY JONES: That is the Christian view obviously.
RICHARD DAWKINS: That is the Christian view. If you think that's admirable, you can keep it.
Out of the mouths of babes and atheists . . .
MARILYN SEWELL The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
My goodness, a second atheist who knows the gospel better than some church leaders.