Alister McGrath

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Devil's in the details
Well I think you make some very interesting points...
—Alister McGrath's favorite phrase

Alister McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford and Gresham Professor of Divinity.[1] He is a sophisticated theologian who spends his time tearing off the mask of nature to stare at the face of God studying theology.

Early life and views[edit]

He claims that he used to be an atheist and a Marxist.[2] He believed atheism and science were complementary worldviews, but changed his view and became a Christian.

Arguments and refutations[edit]

Debate with Richard Dawkins[edit]

All quotes and arguments come from the debate between McGrath and Richard Dawkins.[3][dead link]

  • "I think the issue of where God comes from is a very significant question, but from a Christian perspective, that isn't really the question that is to be asked. The idea is that God was there before everything..."
Clearly a case of special pleading.
  • "Again you've raised some very interesting questions, and again you've highlighted some tensions inside Christian theology, and certainly, the way of approaching things that I would want to adopt would be this: Not to begin with a predetermined or preconceived idea of God, 'God must be simple' or 'God must be complex', but rather to try and infer what god must be like on the basis of what God has done or in terms of what God has revealed Himself to be. And thus, I think the point they should make actually might be driven to some extent by a preconceived idea of what God must be like."
Highlighted parts show how McGrath contradicts his premise in the very next sentence. This is a self-refuting idea.
  • He inconsistently argues that God will choose to save some people from disasters, yet not others, but will not intervene to stop the other people from dying in the disaster.

The Dawkins Delusion[edit]

In 2010, he released (through Veritas Books) The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, his critique of The God Delusion.[4]