Yep, you heard that right. Famous atheist Richard Dawkins actually supports the distribution of King James Bibles in every public school in Great Britain.  (Find the full story here: 

Don’t get too excited, though; his motives are more subversive than supportive. Unlike the standard premises Christians might otherwise expect — “Even though I don’t believe it’s supernaturally inspired, it still inspires good moral ethics”; or even “it’s still classic literature” — Dawkins’ thinking is more cynical. He believes that if school kids and parents actually read the Bible, they will be turned off by its violence, misogyny, and bigotry.  

Besides recommending the book of my colleague, Dave Lamb, God Behaving Badly ( as a response to some of Dawkins barbed critiques, I see also a broader point here. It’s actually a point that Jesus observed a time or two, as well: “The sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8). Dawkins audaciously believes that if atheism and biblical Christianity are put on equal footing for consideration, atheism will “win” hands down.  Now, if a “son of this age” can have such foolhardy confidence in the defense of misguided falsehood, why can’t Christians have at least as much confidence in the truth?

What if we don’t have to secure for the Christian perspective an exclusive, privileged position in our society, but merely an equal opportunity for consideration?  By setting the bar lower politically, we may actually, counter-intuitively raise the level higher of positive consideration.

Truthfully, this is a strategy I adopt only by concession. Would that every American desire for Christian values to be upheld as the law of the land. But as long as that is not the case, and until such time as we no longer have to say each one to his neighbor, “Know the Lord” (Jer. 31:34), it is probably counterproductive to try to mandate uniquely Christian values upon Americans against their will.

I know: the consequences of allowing “diversity of values” to be implemented in the law could be devastating. But probably no more devastating than provoking a backlash against Christian values.

I confess to a sense of unease even as I write this, because this is a means of engagement of the culture that uncomfortably yields power willingly in the effort to achieve, instead, persuasion.  It’s a risky posture. But is it smarter?  And also more godly, more Christlike overall? What do you think? 

Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical.  He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention.  Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons.  See also

Add comment

Security code

Sign-up Today

Join thousands of students, faculty, and staff who are following Jesus into the world. You will receive notification when a new blog is posted, and be receive help in your place in life.

Follow Biblical

Follow us on the following sites and receive notifications on upcoming events and blog entries:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on Twitterg+_64_black

Latest Blog Entries

Written on 17 June 2016 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 02 February 2016 - by Kyuboem Lee
Written on 24 December 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 17 December 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 15 December 2015 - by Derek Cooper
Written on 03 December 2015 - by Derek Cooper
Written on 01 December 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 24 November 2015 - by Kyuboem Lee
Written on 19 November 2015 - by Chang Hoon Oh
Written on 12 November 2015 - by David Lamb

Previous Blog Entries

Contact Admissions

800.235.4021 x146

215.368.5000 x146

215.368.4913 (fax)

Stay Connected with Biblical

Follow us on the following sites:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on TwitterFollow Biblical on YouTubeg+_64_black
Or simply call us at...
800.235.4021 x146 or 215.368.5000 x146

Support Biblical by Giving

800.235.4021 x130

215.368.5000 x130

215.368.2301 (fax)