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CHURCH NEWS - November 2007
One of the top ten best selling books this summer was ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins, reportedly the book that the majority of MPs chose for their holiday reading!
Dawkins’ message is uncompromising - some would say extreme. The take-home message of ‘The God Delusion’ is that God is not only a delusion, but a “psychotic delinquent invented by mad deluded people”. In his view, religion is not grounded in evidence and those who believe in God have lost touch with reality. Advances in science show we can live without God, there is no concrete evidence to prove the existence of God and it’s time we grew up and left all this nonsense behind.
Interestingly, many scientists disagree with Dawkins, finding his views naïve and ironically lacking in the impartial evidence he purports to uphold. For example, Dawkins points out the extreme (scientific) improbability of the existence of complex human life and ‘reasons’ that therefore the existence of God, an infinitely more complex being, must be even more improbable – but we are here!
The incontrovertible evidence is that we exist.
Though Dawkins would be the first to condemn speculation and supposition, many of his arguments seem to rely on it, and his knowledge of the Bible is technically flawed. There is little room for debate - any who disagree with his view are summarily dismissed, and described as malevolent … mischief-stirring, …obscurantist… sado-masochistic… repellent… barking mad… mendacious… obnoxious… vindictive… mawkishly nauseating and hypocritical. Hardly an impartial and balanced view!
Not surprisingly, reviews have been mixed. The reviewer in Prospect (a magazine that in November 2005 voted Richard Dawkins as one of the world’s three leading intellectuals) was shocked at this ‘incurious, dogmatic, rambling and self-contradictory book’ and other reviews have been equally scathing. So where does that leave us?
Sir Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society reminds us that “some ultimate questions lie beyond science” - and Sir Peter Medawar, a leading immunologist and Nobel prize winner writes: “That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer, and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer. I have in mind such questions as How did everything begin? What are we all here for? and What is the point of living?”
In our so-called secular society, more people are searching for God and for meaning and significance to their life, than perhaps at any other time, and anthropologists tell us that this is common to every race or tribe throughout history.
Deep within us all is this instinctive reaching out for the ‘other’ who we sense is there, but cannot quite grasp.
Christians believe that God has made himself known to us, through the scriptures, and ultimately and fully through the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. Just before he was arrested and led away to die, Jesus reminded his disciples that though he was going to leave them physically, he would continue to be with them in a new and different way, through the indwelling of his Spirit. In the intimacy of those final moments, this is what he shared with his followers -
“You must trust me because I am in the father, and the father is in me. If not, then trust because of all the things you’ve seen done... Anyone who has my commandments and keeps them – that’s the person who loves me. Anyone who loves me will be loved by my father, and I will love them and show myself to them ... My father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
(John 14 v.11, 21 & 23)
Millions of Christians have found this to be true, including many scientists and former sceptics and atheists – may it be our experience and joy also.
With love and prayers,
Confirmation Service in November
A Confirmation Service is planned for Tuesday 27th November at 7.30pm in the Sharnbrook Deanery – venue to be announced at a later date. If you would like to consider going forward for confirmation, or if you want to know more about what is involved in preparation, please contact Rev’d Christine Clark on 720234 for more information.
The Prayer Group
What is the Prayer Group?It is made up of members of All Saints Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What will you pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can I let you know if I would like you to pray for me? You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door. Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service.
The next walk and pub lunch will be on Saturday 17th November. Meet outside The Bell at 9.45am – transport provided to start of walk if needed. Everyone welcome, including children and dogs on leads!
The Alpha Coursewhich was due to begin at The Rectory in September had to be postponed. This will now run on Monday evenings from January 7th through to March 17th with a break for half-term on February 11th.
Is Christianity dangerous? Are all Christians as deluded as Richard Dawkins would have us believe? If you would like the opportunity to explore these and other questions in an informal setting, which begins with supper at 7.30pm followed by a talk and group discussion, then please call Christine on 720234.
Wed 14th 10.30am at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.
Wed 28th 10.30am at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane.
Wed 9th 10.30am at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Newton Bromswold.
Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 7th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.00am to noon.
Birthday Greetings To:
Georgina Ardley on 29th
And to everyone with a birthday in November!
Our Giving in November
will be shared between the British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society.
Many still depend on these two organisations for all kinds of help including medical care and your generous giving enables continuous support for those damaged in body, mind and spirit by the ravages of war.
Odell Church Flower Rota
4th Carol Ormond
11th Remembrance Sunday
18th Carol Ormond
25th Margaret Jones
3rd 10.00am Fairtrade Café, Village Hall.
13th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
14th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.
17th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers,meet at The Bell.
17th 11am-3pm St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar, Carlton Village Hall.
17th Irish Night, Village Hall.
19th 8.00pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.
25th 1-4pm HOCP Christmas Decoration making.
26th 10.00am Conservation Tasks Day, HOCP.
27th 7.30pm Confirmation Service.
28th 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane.
7th 10-12 Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Fm.
12th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.
Please send all entries for the joint Dec 2007/Jan 2008 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by November 12th 2007 at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
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