The Word ‘New’

I’ve been having some discussions lately with some folk who are a part of “The New Atheists” – a term for a recent movement of confident and assertive atheism coming from a collection of writers that includes Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others.

Last night I actually watched a debate between William Lane Craig and Cristopher Hitchens on the question, “Does God Exist?”

It has been interesting, I have a lot of thoughts on the contour of the arguments and I’ll probably do a message on the topic in the near future, but one strange thing keeps jumping out at me.

The word “new.”

New is such a funny little word.  It is also incredibly powerful.

The social affect of having new in front of something is unmistakable.  It connotes freshness, vibrancy, youthfulness, improved, up-to-date and better.

I’m jealous.  The Christian always seems to have to give account for Crusades, the Catholic church and the Inquisition and other abuses of power and religion when talking about the faith.  We’re stuck with old and barely can get a fresh thought in between all the denials and condemnations we have to make for what others have regrettably done in the name of Christ.

Why can’t we be “The New Christians”?

It might be nice for us to have the word new for a change.  We are both Christians and, by definition, opposed to Crusades, Inquisitions and anything that differs from the example set by Jesus – regardless of what people or the church have wrongly done in history.

We don’t blame the atheist down the street for Stalin and the millions killed under Marxist Socialism.  Why should we blame the Christian in the pew for the Christian malpractice of the last 2,000 years?

Anyway, I’d love to borrow the force of the word new for just a little bit – it sure would make for nicer conversations.



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