Richard Dawkins is the grand old man of atheism. He's been around forever and he's articulate. His book "The God Delusion" sells heartily. Even Sam Harris (I think) emulates Mr. Dawkins and hopes to grow up just like him. But I am not happy with Mr. Dawkins. I almost lost a spiritual brother to him, not for any noble reason, but because he tried to pass off as a chocolate covered caramel what was really a small turd.
The "turd" is his observation that Jesus' lineage is different in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. It's a glaring contradiction! He's amazed everyone doesn't see it and abandon Christianity on that account. Just count the names, for crying out loud, and see that there's 28 in Matthew but 41 in Luke!
Outraged that I'd been lied to for so long by the slippery mind-control Watchtower, I almost fired off my own letter of independence to them, but then I read how the "almost-lost" brother had "hit the books" and what he'd found. Yes, Luke lists 41 names to Matthew's 28. That's because Luke goes back to Adam, the first man, and Matthew only to Abraham! And yes, the two geneologies differ after David (King David). That's because Matthew traces Jesus through his mother's line and Luke through his father's. The Messiah, says prophesy, is supposed to be descended from David. Either way, the two gospels establish, whether through mama or papa, Jesus fills the bill.
C'mon Richard! This is Bible 101. This is straightforward. Sure, it could easily escape the attention of a youngster or someone not specifically looking for it, but how old are you? And this, you claim, is your area of expertise?! Look, I'm sure your book contains some hard-hitting challenges to those in the "God" camp. Such challenges can be made. But this is not one of them. This is schlock, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for making such strong assertions on something you know so little about!
I learned all this, by the way, through fellow blogger Tom Weedsandwheat. He came across, by sheer accident, some Witness youngster (everyone's a youngster to Weedsandwheat, who's half an ice-age older than even me) who'd decided that the God camp was wrong and the atheists were right. Atheists, for God's sake! (um... for unGod's sake) So he decided he'd better tell the Watchtower off. He had his letter of disassociation posted right there on the internet, building up courage to actually submit it to the brothers. The letter contained six blatant Watchtower "errors." He was worried about the consequences of his letter, but brave enough to face them. Disassociation would mean that few (or no) Witnesses would speak to him afterwards. And he was not sure exactly how matters would unfold.
So Weedsandwheat contacted his blog and told him. And suggested how to better submit the letter. Shorten it. Delete the six points. That way you have the option of discussing them or not at any subsequent meeting with elders. Look, it wasn't a good decision, Weedsandwheat opined, but if you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. Furthermore, Weedsandwheat challenged two of the points. Not vigorously, not snottily (indeed, the specific facts were not wrong, even as the specific facts of Dawkins' geneology rant are not wrong) but just....here's another light in which you might view the facts.
Next thing you know, this youngster has "hit the books," uncovered Dawkins' geneology ruse, (which he emailed to Weedsandwheat) torn up his letter, and deleted his blog! Trust me, Weedsandwheat had no idea such a thing would happen. In fact, he was even a little bummed about it, since he looked forward to posting a few times on this blog. Alas, Weedsandwheat likes to hear himself talk. One of the blog's commenters absolutely nailed it when he observed that Weedsandwheat reminded him of one "of the "too clever" witnesses that were in love with themselves." Right! He is that way. None of us can stand him. And I'm not worried about putting him down publicly this way. He never reads stuff he himself doesn't write.