The Wall Street journal commissioned both Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?" "Neither knew what the other would say. Here are the results."
Armstrong:Despite our scientific and technological brilliance, our understanding of God is often remarkably undeveloped—even primitive. In the past, many of the most influential Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers understood that what we call "God" is merely a symbol that points beyond itself to an indescribable transcendence, whose existence cannot be proved but is only intuited by means of spiritual exercises and a compassionate lifestyle that enable us to cultivate new capacities of mind and heart.
But by the end of the 17th century, instead of looking through the symbol to "the God beyond God," Christians were transforming it into hard fact. Sir Isaac Newton had claimed that his cosmic system proved beyond doubt the existence of an intelligent, omniscient and omnipotent creator, who was obviously "very well skilled in Mechanicks and Geometry." Enthralled by the prospect of such cast-iron certainty, churchmen started to develop a scientifically-based theology that eventually made Newton's Mechanick and, later, William Paley's Intelligent Designer essential to Western Christianity.
When I came across this article back in 2009  I thought Armstrong was an atheist because the atheists on CARM thought she was and they were quoting her now and then. Here I observed her quoting Paul Tillich ("God Beyond God) so I began reading her and realized she is merely a liberal theologian, in the vain of Paul Tillich. The Atheists on CARM were making the same mistake Armstromg warns Armstromg in this very quote. Dawkins makes the same mistake, although he did not not have the benefit of seeing her essay:
Dawkins: Well, if that’s what floats your canoe, you’ll be paddling it up a very lonely creek. The mainstream belief of the world’s peoples is very clear. They believe in God, and that means they believe he exists in objective reality, just as surely as the Rock of Gibraltar exists. If sophisticated theologians or postmodern relativists think they are rescuing God from the redundancy scrap-heap by downplaying the importance of existence, they should think again. Tell the congregation of a church or mosque that existence is too vulgar an attribute to fasten onto their God, and they will brand you an atheist. They’ll be right.
Even though it says they didn't see each other's statements he was for some reason commenting upon a liberal theological view,which he clearly does not understand. Notice the central thought in his statement is actually disproved by her statement. The central thought here, which is a mistake in concept, is that liberal theology is fudging on the notion of being real. His central thought in that quote is that liberal theology doesn't really see God as reality but a metaphor for some unreality, and that the only modes of being are science and nonexistence.
"Despite our scientific and technological brilliance, our understanding of God is often remarkably undeveloped—even primitive." That describes Dawkinsm, he understands modern science well but not theological concepts. She is not saying God is some fuzzy unreality but what she describes is really mystical consciousness. It has to be exercised, it's subtle. It's not unreal it's more real. It is true reality and all the definite things we can point to about God are illusory and metaphor for that very reason, because they are rooted in the solid world that we know which is not ultimate reality. It is reality thought, she;s not saying it's illusion but is not ultimate reality. But Dawkins sees reality as tangible only.Unless science can quantify it it's not real.
The real giveaway is her statement: " whose existence cannot be proved but is only intuited by means of spiritual exercises and a compassionate lifestyle that enable us to cultivate new capacities of mind and heart." That says we can't prove the existence of God,so he is not amenable to scientific display. He can;t be this iron solid thing whose existence we can dig out and control. She does not say God is unreal. No she says we can know he's real but only by means other than scientific. We can know by subjective experiential means. Dawkins is into scientism, he doesn't do subjective or experiential. In Other words he is not a subtle thinker.
We know this because he doesn't like sophisticated ideas.We now he does not because of whathetellsusabout thati thesttatment: "If sophisticated theologians or postmodern relativists think they are rescuing God from the redundancy scrap-heap by downplaying the importance of existence..." So for him these subtle ideas just because existence is not important. So he must think sophisticated theology is denying God's reality. He's not into consideration of modes of existence or sophisticated ideas.
\Another Amusing aspect is where he says "it's going to be a lonely road," that is a sophisticated belief is not popular. The argumet he is making is appeal to popularity,Not that he thinks atheism is popular but he imagines Christians are stupid so they think apparel to popularity is good, But if we take him at his word then that argumet cuts aist atheism too.
When I first posted about those quotes I got one comment:
I love Karen Armstrong, and that was a wonderful piece, but I don't see her arguing that. That people, especially guys like you, see aspects of the divine whether or not it actually exists is absolutely true. But there is nothing in that piece that suggests that is that she thinks "he [the big guy in the sky] doesn't have to exist to know that there is a God and that some aspect of being is divine." She merely describing what people think, not actively promoting that point of view. You're reading into the passage something that isn't there, and even if it were, wouldn't be a good argument anyway. Exactly how does the notion that we tell ourselves comforting stories to help us cope with life an argument for the existence of the divine in any form?
Well it's true that I am going on what I now know about her background. I think it;s pretty clear from what I quoted of her above that he is more than just repeating what others think. I think she says more than enough to indicate that she has at least studied mysticism if not experienced it.
We now realise that the great religions of the world are not monolithic institutions but that they all contain several spiritualities – many of which are found right across the board of the world religions – which reflect different attitudes of mind towards our ultimate end. Mysticism is one such spirituality, found in all religions and is a startling example of this deep unity of the religious vision.
That is called "Karen Armstromg on mysticism and Being a mystic (or not,)" she is calling herself a recalcitrant mystic, Of course when the commeter says: "Exactly how does the notion that we tell ourselves comforting stories to help us cope with life an argument for the existence of the divine in any form?" He assuming the Dawkamemtalist view. That kind of unthinking certainly that you just assume this of our opponent is a sure sign of stupidity. Like the guy on "Life of Brain" I ought to know because I've made that assumption so many times myself.
Mystics often have different beliefs which inevitably affect their experience. They will describe their interior journeys in terms of the orthodox traditions of their faith: Jews, Christians and Muslims, for example, believe in a personal God while Buddhists feel that this is an unreligious idea and prefer to speak of an ultimate but indescribable Reality....But the actual experience of all mystics is strikingly similar: all encounter a reality in the depths of the self, which is, paradoxically, Other and irrevocably separate from us....
The best atheist thinkers see Armstrong as representative of a Tillichian sort of liberal belief in God they do not classify her as an atheist, Even though they tend to write off that view.
The criticism I would make of her statement is that she writes off the Newtonian sort of faith too easily. Robert Boyle was Newton's best fried,he discovered air pressure and was a major scientific mind of the era. It was really Boyle's project more than Newton's to bring science to Christian apologetic. But Boyle was not just a believer in some big man in the sky. He cm to his belief through an experience, probably a mystical experience, triggered by a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon for mystical experiences to be connected to nature or natural surroundings, There is no reason why we can't have both strong arguments for God (although not actual proof) and deep experiential knowing that makes belief stronger than any scientific evidence. all it takes is subtle reflection.
 "Man Vs God" The Wall Street Journal, (Sep 22, 2009)
 Untitaled, Metacrock's Blog, (Sept. 27,2009)
 Karen Armstrong, "Karen Armstrong on Being A Mystic (or not)" Adventuress a Recalcitrant Mystic. website, (Dec 2016)
 Herman Philipse, God In The Age of Science, Oxford, London: Oxford University Press, 2012, 3
 "Robert Boyle Converted in a Thunderstorm," Christian history institute, blog, (Dec 29,2018)