This video clip is doing the rounds on Facebook at present and is causing a bit of a stir.
I first saw it on the Huffington Post website where it's become quite a sensation.
Neo-atheists are loving every second of this video whilst Christians seem to be a bit flustered by the fact that such an intelligent, likeable chap has come out and told the world straight that he thinks god is “utterly, utterly evil" and how dare he let a child have bone cancer. He even went so far as to say that he would tell god "How dare you, how dare you create a world where there is such misery that’s not our fault? It’s utterly, utterly evil.".
I'm sure the god Mr Fry is referring to is quaking in his boots.
However, there's one tiny little problem with Mr Fry's indignation (and most of the responses both Christian and neo-atheist). The problem is this: Who do we believe God is? Mr Fry et al clearly view god as some kind of superhero figure who can (or at least should) swoop down and sort out the mess, the pain and all the injustice on the planet. Tragically many Christians seem to share this misunderstanding of who God is.
I have to say that if God is indeed a superhero type figure then I agree 100% with Mr Fry et al and add my voice to the growing chorus of indignation concerning his lack of intervention. I will also renounce my faith and stop leading a church.
However, the God we as Christians worship is no superhero type figure!
Rather, he's the creator who set the cosmos in place, he created order and let the world run with the order he created. A simple reading of Genesis chapter one makes it very clear that God is a God of order. He has set rules in place (often referred to as mother nature by some and as science by others) and the world as we know it and the wider cosmos ticks along bound by those rules. And no I'm not talking about the 10 Commandments, as good as they are.
See, there's a problem with neo-atheism that causes classical atheism to hang its head in shame, and that problem is the basic misunderstanding of theology.
Here's a great example: Classical atheism acknowledges the bodily resurrection of Jesus, however it questions the meaning of this resurrection. This brand of atheism is sensible enough not to question a clearly documented historical event. However, it's very happy to question the meaning of the event and Christians' interpretation of the event.
Neo-atheism throws the baby out with the bathwater and questions the very validity of the clearly documented historical event. To make matters worse, they resort to playground tactics of ridicule and abuse to do so.
This brings me back to Mr Fry. I like Stephen, he's an interesting and entertaining chap who's done some great work. Sadly however, he shares the neo-atheist position of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and as such questions clearly documented historical events preferring instead to believe in a superhero god who has failed the world.
Well, Mr Fry, I agree with you, your god is simply appalling and utterly, utterly evil!