Stephen Fry’s recent angry outburst about God has been circulating on social media.
It occurred during an exchange on an Irish public TV programme, ‘The Meaning of Life’. Asked to explain his unbelief, Fry described God as an ‘evil, capricious, monstrous maniac’. Given bone cancer in children, how can we have any respect for a sovereign, creator God? ‘How dare you create a world in which there is such misery?’ Fry indignantly asked. How could such a God expect us to worship him?
Thick and fast
Responses to Fry came thick and fast. Christian apologists and columnists have written various articles. From Russell Brand to Rowan Williams, almost everyone has had something to say. Fry himself claimed to be taken aback by the response. Speaking on Radio 4 he revealed, ‘I was astonished that it caused such a viral explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m most pleased that it’s got people talking. I’d never wish to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious and goes about their religious ways.’
Plenty of useful responses have been made to Fry’s comments. In fact, most of the published replies from Christians like David Robertson, Krish Kandiah and Martin Saunders have been respectful and robust. Even Russell Brand’s video reply has been sensible. I have not come across any ‘offence’ being taken, only reasonable replies and thoughtful counter-arguments. Fry’s outburst ignores the clear biblical teaching that we live in a fallen world. Bone cancer and child death do not reflect God’s original intentions for creation.
Why such passion?
A deeper question is: why does the existence or non-existence of God generate such passion? (click here to read more)
Chris is lecturer at Moorlands College and pastor of Alderholt Chapel. His books include Confident Christianity and Time Travel to the Old Testament published by IVP.