Richard Dawkins wrote:
I am starting to think that the onus is on those who espouse 'serious theologians' to nominate at least ONE who is serious enough to be worth bothering to engage. It cannot be John Haught (see here). Nor can it be William Craig, whose idea of a moral theological argument is that infanticide is just fine because you are doing the children a favour by sending them straight to heaven. Nor can it be John Lennox, who masquerades as a scientist while believing Jesus turned water into wine. And now we see that it cannot even be the Archbishop of York. Where are we to turn for a theologian worth arguing with? Who, indeed, are these 'serious theologians' about which we hear so much. And what is this 'serious theology', ignorance of which is held to be so reprehensible?
If believing that Jesus turned water into wine is sufficient to be not taken seriously by Dawkins, then he is requiring that people water Christianity down in order to be taken seriously.
But C. S. Lewis wrote:
Do not attempt to water Christianity down. There must be no pretence that you can have it with the Supernatural left out. So far as I can see Christianity is precisely the one religion from which the miraculous cannot be separated. You must frankly argue for supernaturalism from the very outset. . . .
The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.
C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 99..
The obvious question, though, is why someone can't be a scientist who believes that Jesus turned water into wine. Science attempts, or so we are told to map the activities of nature, (though I wouldn't dismiss at least the possibility that science might not discover laws of supernature as well, if it pushed on far enough), while a miracle involves the activity of someone who is outside of nature. So, we all know water doesn't turn into wine naturally. An omnipotent being surely would have the power to turn water into wine, and that is the agency through which Jesus presumably did this. I take it that Sir Isaac Newton believed that Jesus turned water into wine. Is Dawkins going to claim that Newton was only masquerading as a scientist since he holds that this is sufficient grounds to say that Lennox is only masquerading as a scientist?