Can a secular writer understand believers? A New York Times columnist has doubts
How clearly do nonbelievers see believers? That's a question posed by New York Times columnist and blogger Ross Douthat in the wake of a discussion of atheism and belief by New Yorker magazine writer Adam Gopnik.
While Douthat, a Christian, said he expected to be "pained" by Gopnik's portrayal of believers, "I didnt expect to be quite so puzzled by his depiction of contemporary belief." Gopnik tries to offer a "sympathetic" view of theism, Douthat said, but ends up presenting, in Douthat's view, "a peculiar and telling misreading of what theists actually believe."
Douthat writes, "That misreading follows from the fairly stark distinction that Gopnik tries to establish between the God of popular belief — the God of miracles and commandments, signs and wonders, heaven and hell — and the God of more intellectually-minded modern believers."
Instead, Douthat attempts to show that theists can thread the needle and develop a refined view of God: "Gopniks failure to grasp that fairly elementary point — that the possible conceptions of God are not exhausted by the lightning-hurling sky-god and the mostly-irrelevant chairman of the board — suggests, not for the [first] time, how little they know of religion who mostly secularism know," he concludes.
- Ask Angela: Fiancee struggles with newly...
- A conversation with Mormon convert and 7-time...
- 6 science-fiction and fantasy movies inspired...
- Over half a million people attended Ogden...
- Famous Mormons featured in new BYU commercial
- LDS apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson turns 90
- Should I stay or should I go? How faith adds...
- How to get 'Meet the Mormons' in theaters...
- Ask Angela: Fiancee struggles with... 25
- Here's how U.S. churches are changing... 15
- Ted Cruz was booed off stage for... 14
- Should I stay or should I go? How faith... 12
- Americans link violence with Muslims,... 11
- A conversation with Mormon convert and... 9
- The biggest band in the world is also... 7
- Famous Mormons featured in new BYU... 5