In an interview on Youtube, Professor Richard Dawkins was asked what he would say to a person who has met the risen Lord Jesus Christ, walked with Him for over 50 years and has received an anointing of the Holy Spirit in the same way as the apostles? His reply was that he accepts the man’s sincerity, but if he lived in India he would be saying the same thing about Krishna, if born in Afganistan it would be Allah, Viking Norway it would be Votan, and in Olympian Greece it would be Zeus or Apollo. His opinion was that the man was hallucinating (‘to experience a seemingly real perception of something not actually present, typically as a result of a mental disorder or of taking drugs’).
The believer in the Lord Jesus does not hallucinate, because he builds his faith and relationship with God on a book, the Bible. Does that mean that people like the Hindus, Muslims, the former Vikings of Norway, and the Greeks of old, had authoritative books on which to base their beliefs? The Hindus have the Upanishads and Vedas, and Islam the Koran. The other faiths do not have books since they are long gone. To compare the books of the different gods, let us subject them to some tests.
What evidence does the book contain that it comes from a supernatural source? The God, or gods should give some indication why we should accept the book and believe it. The Bible stands out from all other religious books as unique for the following reasons:
- The Bible is the only book, written over a period of 1500 years by some 40 writers. All 66 books (in some way) contain the message that God is setting up an eternal kingdom, and is gathering citizens for it through the Lord Jesus.
- Not only that, but the Bible passes the test of history. It contains ancient history from 2000BC to 100AD. The God of the Bible shows that He is strong enough to influence history. The history that is related can be checked against secular history. None of either the Koran or the Vedas can compare.
- Another outstanding feature of the Bible is that it is a free religion. This is proven by the fact that there are atheists, communists, Hindus, witches, ancestor worshippers, Satanists, Humanists, Muslims and a myriad of other types of believers living in so called Christian countries. This is in sharp contrast to Islamic countries where there are strict laws to see that no one defects.
If a person says that he has a relationship with the living Lord Jesus, we are talking about an historical person who lived during the times of the Romans, was killed, resurrected and ascended (R Muncaster, Evidence for Jesus, Harvest House Publishers, 2004, p 111-128). The life changing message of Jesus (in the Bible) went from a small beginning after a preaching circuit of 3 years with 12 disciples (one a traitor), all over the world. Jesus did not promise His followers heaven on earth. On the contrary, He predicted troubles and persecutions for them, and according to tradition most of the early disciples suffered martyrdom. Yet the message supernaturally spread over all the continents, reaching different nations, tribes and languages.
Does any person who receives such an answer from a learned professor (Richard Dawkins) have to feel slighted? No! Jesus warned that His disciples would be hated and persecuted (John 15:18-25). Do we have to give any special attention to what the professor has to say about hallucinating believers? No! He is an atheist, but hasn’t yet given us his authoritative book with a revelation in history that there is no God. Until he does so, we have no reason to believe in his statements or opinions. When it comes to religious beliefs, we rely only on a written, supernatural revelation from above. We have one, the Bible. Rest assured: neither God nor Jesus is threatened by the unfounded belief that there is no God.