Alister McGrath discusses "Coming to Faith through Dawkins"

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How can doubt and disbelief become transforming faith? A conversation with Alister McGrath

August 21, 2023 -

Alister McGrath joined The Denison Forum Podcast to discuss his latest book, "Coming to Faith through Dawkins."

Alister McGrath joined The Denison Forum Podcast to discuss his latest book, "Coming to Faith through Dawkins."

Alister McGrath joined The Denison Forum Podcast to discuss his latest book, "Coming to Faith through Dawkins."


How the atheist writings of Richard Dawkins led Alister McGrath—and many other intellectuals—to the Christian faith

Dr. Alister McGrath was an atheist when he entered Oxford University to study natural sciences. Through a series of influences he switched to theology and became a Christian. In his new book, Coming to Faith through Dawkins, coauthored with Denis Alexander, McGrath compiled twelve essays from fellow scientists, an engineer, a graphic designer, a journalist, and others who were led to question their atheism by reading the work of atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins. 

In our conversation, McGrath explains how he and others from around the world admire much of the scientific work of Dawkins. But Dawkins’ sometimes-scathing attacks on religion led them to discover the credibility of Christ and Christianity—and eventually to their personal conversions to faith.

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Summary

  • Introduction 0:01
  • Coming to faith through atheism 2:42
  • The current state of faith in the UK 5:00
  • Motivation of the New Atheists 11:53
  • Johanna Erasmus and the journey of faith 18:13
  • The most transformative essays in Coming to Faith through Dawkins 26:58
  • The myth of a conflict between science and faith 32:58
  • The story of a young atheist turned Christian 37:41
  • Open about faith lead to job loss? 44:00
  • The role of science and faith 49:07
  • The power of intellectual pursuit and personal story 52:22

About Dr. Alister McGrath

Dr. Alister E. McGrath is a former atheist who studied natural sciences at Oxford before switching to theology and becoming an Anglican priest. He served as the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford from 2014 to 2022. He holds three doctorates from Oxford in molecular biophysics, theology, and intellectual history. McGrath is also the author of the international bestseller The Dawkins Delusion?, as well as C. S. Lewis: A Life and his latest book, Coming to Faith Through Dawkins: 12 Essays on the Pathway from New Atheism to Christianity.

About Dr. Mark Turman

Dr. Mark Turman is the Executive Director of Denison Forum and Vice President of Denison Ministries. Among his many duties, Turman is most notably the host of The Denison Forum Podcast. He is also the chief strategist for DF Pastors, which equips pastors and church leaders to understand and transform today’s culture.

About Denison Forum

Denison Forum exists to thoughtfully engage the issues of the day from a biblical perspective through The Daily Article email newsletter and podcast, The Denison Forum Podcast, as well as many books and additional resources.

Transcript

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