Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth


November 2011

Science vs Religion?

Why does the science versus religion debate exist anyway?  For me I find that science informs my faith and helps me to better understand the world the God has placed us in. I’m not a scientist myself, I don’t have a particularly high level of formal education, but I enjoy scientific discussion and seminars.

In recent years Dawkins and Hawking have made extensive efforts to write God out of cosmology. I don’t have any problem with atheists, I respect their position and ask them to respect mine. My problem with Dawkins especially is his aggressive standpoint and his insistence that their are only two possible standpoints, i.e. his own or the wrong one.  He loves to tell us that ‘only a fool’ would believe in God.

Well, there are multitudes of scientists in all fields working today who have a Christian faith, there are many more who are muslims and many more again who are theists, a hell of a lot of fools according to Richard!  Point of fact there are multitudes of atheist scientists who disagree with Dawkins on some major points, yet more fools again I guess.

I’ll come clean here and admit that I’ve never read one of Dawkins’ books, although I’ve heard several of his talks.  Richard Dawkins once said that he refused to read any books on theology as they were all rubbish (my paraphrase), I reserve the right to hold the same attitude towards his books.

I’ve enjoyed listening to and reading several seminars/books that have debated Dawkins and I would recommend John Lennox, Keith Ward or Alister McGrath.  I recently found the Christians In Science website which has a library of downloadable MP3 files on a variety of topics, some great stuff to listen to there. (be warned – the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired in many cases).

One of my favourite talks on that site was Alister McGrath’s ‘Has Science Eliminated God‘. you can download the MP3, PowerPoint and notes here.

I’m just about to start McGrath’s book, ‘Why God Won’t Go Away‘. I’ll try to post some thoughts on that another time.


The Beatitudes Explode

Sunday morning (20th November) my nephew got to preach. Ed is a student at the Baptist college in Bristol, now in his second year. Very often, in my mind, he is still six years old and his life is still revolving around his next Transformers toy.  (To be fair he’s still into transformers, even though he’s 22).  I’m often a bit nervous when he gets up to preach, I am never quite sure whether he’s going to have something good or not!  Yesterday I need not have worried.

Our church pastor has been talking about the Sermon On The Mount for the last few Sundays, so Ed decided to give us his take on the Beatitudes. He started off by talking about our understanding of the beatitudes for the point of view of the consumerism-based society we live in – i.e. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom Of Heaven’ could be interpreted as ‘I want the Kingdom Of Heaven, therefore the price to get that is that I have to become poor in spirit’.

he went on to explain how the crowd that Jesus was preaching to was made up of  Jews and gentiles from all walks of life, and Jesus did not start with a disclaimer, the message was not for a certain group of people, it was, and still is, for everyone.

If you’ve got sixteen minutes to spare, I recommend listening to Ed, you can find the MP3 at, from there you can stream it or download it and listen at your leisure.


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