Richard Dawkins has done church 'a favour'

Six years after it landed on bookshop shelves, The God Delusion is still stirring debate among Christians and non-Christians alike.

But the bestseller should not be seen as a threat but rather an opportunity, says one church minister.

The Reverend David Robertson, of the Free Church of Scotland, argues that one of the most famous atheistic books of the day has opened a door for the church to share its message with the world.

He made the comments ahead of the Faclan Book Festival on the Isle of Lewis, which wrapped up over the weekend.

God Delusion author, Richard Dawkins was also at the festival to argue the case for the non-existence of God.

Reverend Robertson says the book is an opportunity because until its publication, millions of people had never seriously thought about God and the Bible.

He said: “Richard Dawkins has done us a big favour.

“A book about God and the bible has become a best seller and as a result has opened up a discussion that many people thought was over.

“I recently did a show with Marcus Brigstocke, the comedian, in which he declared – ‘Before I read The God Delusion I was an atheist, after I read it I was an agnostic – I don’t want to read it again in case I turn into a Christian’!

“I actually know of people who have been converted through reading The God Delusion and interacting with the discussion.

“Dawkins has opened the door. We have now have to walk through it.”