A Question I Was Asked:

What Right Do 'Alternative Comedians' Have to Attack Our Beliefs?

The Question:

It is terribly offensive that the new group of 'alternative comedians' here in the UK seem to have decided to attack the Christian Faith. This has now happened a few times. Why do they get into areas they plainly don't even understand?

UK Apologetics Reply:

The short answer is that if one seeks fame, popularity and higher earnings it can help to be outrageous.

But I totally agree. All one can say is: put such attacks down to where they come from. These people are (supposedly, at any rate), comedians. Most (if not all of them) have never studied religion in general, or Christianity, nor even philosophy (as far as I am aware), that makes them unqualified to even understand the issues, never mind be polemical about the subject.

It used to be well accepted that only those who have extensively studied a subject are qualified to be critical of that subject. Personally I would take more notice of a critique of Christianity coming from one who has extensively studied philosophy, religion, or, preferably Christian theology in particular. People should stick to their own subjects and not stray into subjects which they plainly don't fully grasp. The disrespect of certain 'alternative comedians' is truly dreadful, but that is what they are: 'alternative comedians.' Let's remember that.

In the same manner, Richard Dawkins is unqualified to issue rants against Theism and Christianity. Why? Because he is a biologist. A while ago he wrote, 'The God Delusion,' in that book he did all Christians a favour because the book was panned on all sides (even by other atheists). Why? Because Dawkins unwisely strayed into areas of Christian theology which he plainly does not even correctly understand. The book made it very plain that this God-hating man does not grasp philosophy and certainly does not grasp Christian theology; therefore he is unqualified to issue polemical attacks on Christianity.

Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, even stated, "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist..." There were several reactions of that sort. Andrew Rilstone wrote a brief but very amusing review of 'The God Delusion.' He stated,

'It is very, very hard to know where to begin in reviewing or responding to the book. It doesn't contain anything which I can recognise as a point of view or train of thought: it just fires off a random series of nasty remarks about Christianity and anything else which happens to come into the author's line of fire. I felt that I had spent the afternoon sipping latte in the company of one of those terribly sophisticated sixth-formers who is planning to leave home while he still knows everything.' (Andrew's full review, which is quite brief, is here).

So my point is: put such attacks on the Christian Faith down to where they come from. Are comedians qualified to attack Christianity? Are experts on motoring and automobile technology qualified? Are actors qualified? Is the guy in the post office qualified? Frankly, if somebody were to say to me, "I believe that the Bible and Christian theology are a nonsense," I would riposte with: 'May I just ask how many years you spent studying and researching these subjects? How deeply did you go into Hebrew and Greek? How many theologians have you read? Can you give me a listing of their names? If the response to that is something like, "I haven't studied any of it because I just know it is all nonsense," that person is effectively owning up to being an intellectually lazy person who just shoots off angry, polemical and insulting comments from a safe position of total ignorance. We don't have to take such people seriously. They don't take us seriously; that's fine, it's their right, but there is even less reason for us to take them seriously! Of course, from a more respectful position, one might say 'I don't understand Christianity, can you help me?' Every single one of us would seek to help a person with such an inquiring and humble attitude. But let us never forget that Jesus Himself often refused to answer angry and hostile questioners according to their own terms of logic/argument.

We must be careful not to 'cast pearls before swine' (Matthew 7:6). If we go into theology with somebody with an arrogant, sneering attitude that could one day serve as a powerful witness against them. If somebody is genuinely inquiring, certainly answer them but don't go beyond their question unless they request it and would plainly welcome it.

Robin A. Brace. March 24th, 2013.