Unworthy of the universe?

It’s not new, but the Dawkins-Lennox debate on The God Delusion is compelling viewing. 

In his closing remarks, Professor Lennox explains the central tenet of the Christian faith, the historical event of Christ’s resurrection. In response, Professor Dawkins says: 

“Yes, well that concluding bit rather gives the game away, doesn’t it? All that stuff about science and physics and the complications of physics and things … all it comes down to is the resurrection of Jesus. There’s a fundamental incompatibility between the sort of sophisticated scientist which we hear part of the time, from John Lennox, and it’s impressive and we are interested in the argument about multiverses and things. And then, having produced some sort of a case for a kind of a deistic god perhaps, some god the great physicist who adjusted the laws and constants of the universe, that’s all very grand and wonderful and then suddenly we come down to the ressurection of Jesus. It’s so petty, so trivial, it’s so local, so earthbound, it’s so unworthy of the universe.”

Professor Dawkins then compares this with Darwin’s achievement:

“… [that] wherever you see the organised complexity that we call life, that it has an explanation which can derive from simple beginnings by comprehensible, rational means. That is possibly the greatest achievement that any human mind has ever accomplished.”

Is this not an unusual juxtaposition? Jesus’ death and resurrection is so simple we can ignore it, but Darwin’s thesis is so simple, it’s possibly the greatest achievement that any human mind has ever accomplished. Clearly Professor Dawkins has little time for matters that do not require human intellectual achievement to arrive at them, regardless of whether they are historically accurate. Judging from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, this is not a new argument:

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.  1 Corinthians 1:20–25 (NIV)

As for the charge that Christ’s death and resurrection is unworthy of the universe, Professor Dawkins misses the point. The point is that Christ’s death on a cross is unworthy of God:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5–11 (NIV)

Jesus, in spite of being God, humbled himself for us and died on the cross in our place! This is the single most important event in all of history, far outstripping the creation of the universe and all that Professor Dawkins holds dear. He who has ears, let him hear.