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Letter To An Influential Atheist
Roger Steer's Response

Dear Steven
Thank you for your opening statement in response to my book "Letter to an Influential Atheist".

  I am so pleased to have had some thoughtful responses to my book.  I am sorry that so far they do not include one from Richard Dawkins.

  I think you mislead anyone who reads your response but not my book.  My comments on the documentary evidence for the resurrection are not central to the thrust of my book.  My central point about the resurrection is that certain facts of history, including the birth and rapid growth of the Christian Church, are inexplicable if the resurrection did not happen.  My points about the documentary evidence for the resurrection were made in response to Richard's assertion that this evidence is poor -- I simply pointed out that there are as many surviving and early manuscripts recording the story of the resurrection as there are for other ancient documents the reliability of which is rarely questioned.

  On suffering, I acknowledge in my book that this is certainly a problem for believers in a God of love.  The Bible itself grapples with it in the magnificently imaginative Book of Job and puts a number of arguments both for and against orthodox belief in a Creator.  Since the Book of Job does not attempt to provide a neat answer to suffering but contents itself with drawing attention to the greatness, majesty and wonder of the Creator compared to Job's insignificance in the cosmic scale of things I do not intend to add to the points I made in my book -- which are mainly that suffering is a mystery, but that certain helpful things may be said ( which I attempt to set out).

  I do want to take issue with the following comment you have made in your response:   ... theists will continue to write books, saying "Science does not have all the answers, so God must have done it."

  This is not my position at all as I thought I made clear.  I am sure that readers of my book will agree that I never anywhere set God against science.  My position is the same as that of the many distinguished scientists who have and do believe in God: that as scientists pursue the truth about the universe they are uncovering more of the mysteries and wonders of God.  This is the very reverse of squeezing God out.  Readers of my book will note that I never anywhere question the theory of evolution by natural selection -- I take issue with Dawkins' atheism and point out along the way that his position is a hundred miles away from that of Wallace who he frequently quotes with the misleading implication that Wallace is on his side.

  I was interested in what you wrote about fine tuning which clearly interests you.  I simply comment that fine tuning is not of course a problem for the believer but just what they would expect of an almighty Creator.

  Thank you again for your response.  I do hope you will not be offended if I say that I pray that God will bless you in your pursuit of truth.

  Kind regards, Roger    

Steven Carr's Opening Statement

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