Posted by: searcygr | March 17, 2009

McGrath’s Belief Plus Awe

As we heard in class yesterday and as is stated in his book, Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life, Alister McGrath is an atheist turned Christian.  After I first learned of McGrath’s conversion, I was impressed by this example of a man of science turning from atheism and realizing that theism and God were not discountable and also had something valuable to offer.  In reading his book, I was ready to hear in detail what made McGrath’s conversion possible.  However, I was left unsatisfied after reading the portion of McGrath’s book where he implied that his conversion took place after extensively reading theology and philosophy texts.  Was there not more to it than this?  What were the thoughts occurring as he read and reflected upon these texts?      


After concluding McGrath’s book and reflecting upon the many conversions that take place between atheism and Christianity and vice versa, I was unimpressed with McGrath’s conversion from atheism to Christianity.  I came to realize that he is only one person, a scientist or not, who experienced a conversion.  I am left pondering how many scientists and others have been raised Christian but have taken on an atheistic worldview.  I am sure that this is more common than the conversion that McGrath experienced.  In sort, I have come to see McGrath’s conversion toward Christ as one man rowing against the flow of a river while hundreds drift by on a yacht with the current.  Because so many have experienced an opposite conversion to McGrath, his conversion, partly because it was not explained in detail, has left me much less impressed than I hoped to be.  McGrath’s experience merely shows that conversions can take place in either way, although I am sure that the vast majority of scientists experience changes away from religious belief toward atheism.


On a totally different note, yesterday as we spoke of the awe that one can experience in understanding science, I mentioned that studying science has given me a greater sense of awe.  Also, I stated that I have a guilty pleasure of watching nerdy youtube videos.  Here is my favorite, showing the inner workings of a cell.  I believe that this video shows well the intricacies and events occurring in each of our cells.  How amazing that these activities continuously occur without our knowledge!  To me, this video depicts how science can lead one to an even greater sense of awe.


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