Professor Fish, and the book by Terry Eagleton which he is reviewing, claims that Christians don’t believe what their most vocal critics say they believe.
When Christopher Hitchens declares that given the emergence of “the telescope and the microscope” religion “no longer offers an explanation of anything important”. Eagleton replies, “But Christianity was never meant to be an explanation of anything in the first place. It’s rather like saying that thanks to the electric toaster we can forget about Chekhov.”
Is it really true that Christianity was never meant to be an explanation of anything? A great deal of recent apologetics in response to atheist criticism has taken the form those atheists are missing the point. No true Christian believes in <idea>. Where <idea> is, variously,
- a personal God
- a God who intervenes in the world
- biblical claims about actual events and truths about the world
I suspect that if Eagleton were correct and Christians have stopped believing what the bible says, there would be less calls for atheists to assert themselves.
But I suspect that Eagleton is wrong and, outside a handful of Christians in academia, the vast majority believe in exactly those things.