David Robertson counters Dawkins

David Robertson

Rev. David Robertson is the Free Church minister at St. Peter's Church in Dundee.

Dawkins Letters1David is originally from the Easter Ross area and from Brethren stock. Apart from leading his own congregation, he finds time to write books, articles, letters to newspapers and edit the Free Church Monthy Record. Last year David spoke at Border's bookstore in Inverness at the launch of his book entitled "The Dawkins Letters".

After some ill-thought-through interventions from others in the media,
David Robertson wrote an open letter to Richard Dawkins on his church website. This found its way onto Richard Dawkins website, where it generated the largest response of any posting before or since. The "ferocity, weakness and shallowness" of the responses, as described by one bookseller, spurred David to write his book. It is a series of letters from Robertson to Dawkins—a series of ten letters that call Dawkins to account for the errors and inaccuracies within his book.

David is not alone in the work of defending his view and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis spoke last year in both Stornoway and Inverness.

He has suggested that the Dawkins event in Inverness would have been a more balanced if there had - at the same event - someone who could give the contrary viewpoint.


Ed footnote:
Whether or not the existence of God can be proved; and leaving aside the matter of creation, a relationship with God through a surrender to His son Jesus Christ has totally transformed countless millions of people's lives over the past 2000 years. You can read about some of these at  on this web site.

For others <click here>.


Christians Together, 06/04/2008

Editor 13/04/2008 13:39
A message thread developed from the above article whereby a site user abused the message facility to further a personal grievance.
The thread has accordinly been deleted in its entirety.

Please report any further messages of an offensive or personal nature to

Additionally, those who are registed site members can, provided they are logged on, use the "red flag" facility to remove any inappropriate messages. By so doing the moderator is also advised.

As this site is visited by those who do not share the Christian faith, it is worth remembering that the way in which discussions - disagreements even - are handled, reflects on the faith that we profess.


Footnote: David Robertson has affirmed that he is prepared to come to Inverness to participate in the debate surrounding Dawkins views; and this prospect will (d.v.) be developed.
Dave Lynch (Guest) 13/04/2008 17:00
I asked twice in the previous debate who would be debating opposite Mr Robertson, has this been arranged yet.
Editor 13/04/2008 17:06
No. Due notice will be given. But please don't make any assumptions regarding what nature the format will take.
Dave Lynch (Guest) 13/04/2008 21:07
Did I make an assumption? I was asking a genuine question.
Editor 13/04/2008 22:08
The event might or might not be a debate: the format will be depend on a number of factors.
Editor 14/04/2008 11:44
A former Dawkins supporter has engaged with David Robertson and offered an apology to him on the Free Church message board.

Hi, David, Confession time! I have just spent a year on RDNet. And a lot of time on the thread "Fleabytes". I have now left this site with no intention of returning.

There are many reasons for this, but there is one main reason. With the exception of people like MPhil, epeeist, Steve Zara, mikejswalter and perhaps some others, the people there seem to be a joyless bunch.

Also I have been totally disgusted by "bile and hatred" that is regularly spewed forth there. I recently made reference to you (positively), and whilst the reaction provoked was more or less to be expected, the intensity, the "ganging up " against me was quite horrifying. (Admittedly, I have little experience of Internet fora, and I am told that things are much worse elsewhere. So be it.)

Some self-styled Russian guru, apparently, on discovering that his prediction of the date for the end of the world was erroneous, tried to commit suicide in an almost clownish manner. Apart from the inevitable mocking and jeering from the RDNetters, a couple of posters expressed their regret that the guru had failed to put an end to his life.

In expressing my shock, I pointed out to my fellow atheists, "Whatever else you may think about DR, you would NEVER ever hear him mocking an atheist who had made a clumsy attempt at suicide." (Words to that effect.) And the reaction was even worse!!!! My problem is this : I'm a sad atheist. I would like for God to exist.

I had many happy experiences first as a Mormon then as an Evangelical (though, surprisingly, the latter were the looniest!), until one day I realised that whilst I needed the context of a religious group, I actually didn't have a belief in God, I had no experience of "faith". Struggling to "believe" had become painful and wearisome to me. So discovering Dawkins' books ("Climbing Mount Improbable" was the first) brought an immense relief to me. "Of course, I can't believe, because there is no God." It was almost like a revelation! Years have past since that time. I still miss "religious groups". I miss preaching(Yes, I was quite good at that!) But I can't "believe". I already have the explanations from atheists, psychologists, scientists (and my postman).

I would appreciate YOUR take on this problem. Why yours? Well, here is the naughtiest confession of all: whenever I saw one of your long posts on the Fleabytes thread, answering Paula Kirby's "Review" of your book, I gleefully printed it out and went into the kitchen to (guiltily) read it with my coffee and ciggies. (The way some people will read News of the World when they think nobody is looking!) I am no scientist. I am no philosopher. I am no theologian. I'm just a nostalgia-ridden atheist.

The God Delusion? Sounds right to me. But it doesn't make me happy. Or contented. I'd rather spend a month on a Desert Island with a bunch of Christians than with a bunch of (RDNet) atheists. But that's just human. How do you address this kind of situation? How you encountered it previously? Looking forward to reading your reply. Richard, (the one who composes music and bleats, not the other one)

David has reponded at -

But the above is posted here to give additional exposure to the message.

David has responded at -
Editor 16/04/2008 20:03
Pray for Richard, whose most recent posting to the FC forum (see link above) said: -

I have just lived through perhaps, in a way, the most astonishing 48 hours of my life.
What I have to say would take up pages of Forum space - but the essential is this : the words are perhaps trite, but it is as if my eyes have been opened. I am still a little too overwhelmed by the intensity of the experience to be able to capture it in words.
(I keep repeating to myself, "How come I didn't see that before?" but I'm not expecting any answers in the near future and it doesn't matter one jot.)
I suppose that I have been unconsciously evolving (please excuse the "E" word!) in this direction for some time, but it was David's simple questions which helped break the fetters on my perceptions of the apparently insoluble dilemma : reason v spirituality.
Because my whole problem was there. Today it seems perfectly obvious to me that there is no real conflict!
It's gone!
David's question incited me to question myself, and in all honesty I had to find my own answers.
Not Dawkins' answers.
Not Russell's answers.
Not Spinoza's answers.
And it was by forcing myself to look for these answers (24 hours of pure hell, but that is another story for another day) that over a very short period of time, the essential became joyously, almost hilariously, clear.
The first stage was the awareness that the vast halls of science and reason are no wider than the space between my ears!
Bang! - the "prison walls" burst open.
Second stage - the message of Christ seemed to light up (it's an image, I'm not having visions or hallucinations ....yet!) every particle of my being.
A Saviour.
A universe with sense and meaning.
The need for proof and "evidence" (n'en déplaise à RDNet!) seemed, all of a sudden...derisory.
I felt an almost instinctive reflex to reach out for my good ol' "Ah, yes, but..." life belts - BUT I DIDN'T NEED THEM ANY MORE!

I could go on for pages. And in fact I will do so - but in a separate document, which I will send by e-mail to anybody who requests it. (Except for yourself, David - you're going to get it whether you like it or not!)

David - thank you for having had the persistence and determination to show up on RDNet.
RDNet - thank you for having shown me the limits of materialism and "rational thinking". I will happily continue to use these for driving to work, preparing a cassoulet and being operated on for my hernia.
But for the essential, for that which gives freedom, I shall henceforth be looking elsewhere.
I wrote : " I need to be able to say, "There's more to it than just that" and to be able to say it not simply because my human condition makes me need to believe that there's "more to it", but because I can open myself to the possibility that there "can" be more to it. "
It wasn't a prayer.
But what I am experiencing at the moment has all the ingredients of "an answer to a prayer". Smiley
And what is so wonderful for me, is that I can apply all my psychology to it (and I know more about psychology than one might imagine), I can turn the cold, unrelenting spotlight of "rational thinking" on it - it doesn't make one jot of difference.
I'm not about to forget the week-end 12/13 April 2008.
"We love Him, because He first loved us."
Of course.
Thank you.

PS When the Lord uses a human mouthpiece, is there scriptural justification for it always having a Scottish accent or is that just a coincidence? Wink
Juxtamonkey (Guest) 09/06/2008 12:46
where it generated the largest response of any posting before or since.

Absolutely a lie. Please visit Please feel free to search the hundreds of articles and threads that have produced more many more comments and posts, before and since April 2008.

As you can see at the top of this comment, it states that an inappropriate remark was made and that the thread has been deleted in its entirety. Not only has Mr. Robertson called me pathetic, he is now censoring posts for which his criticisms and harassments have been tolerated and viewable for all to read. I invite those who read this website to take a look at the RD site for yourself.

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on most articles is restricted to CT site members. Comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>

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