Atheistism #3: Denying Their Faith

I’m not sure why we continue to let atheists define faith for us. We’ve all heard the popular: faith is believing in something you know isn’t real. Unfortunately, it’s been said so many times that there are a good many people who actually believe it.

The truth of the matter is that if people believed in something they knew wasn’t real, they would be believing a lie, and they would know they were believing a lie. But this isn’t the case.

Christian faith is believing in something that they are certain is real. But this definition falls slightly short because there’s an obvious difference between being certain God is real, and being certain the keyboard I’m writing this with is real, because I can see the keyboard, but I can’t see God. But there is evidence of both! Evidence of this keyboard exists because you’re reading the words that I’ve produced with it. Likewise evidence of God exists because we see the complexity and beauty of the universe in the heavens and our DNA. The fact that life exists is all the evidence I need. Further, we have the Gospels, so not only do we see His handiwork in existence, but we have His Word telling us Who He is! And finally, there is individual revelation (subject for another post).

So, we can refine the definition of Christian faith to read: believing in something that we are certain is real, based on good solid evidence.

The unbeliever can say they aren’t convinced by the evidence, but to say there isn’t any is just a denial of reality.

So let’s take a look at one of the fundamental beliefs of the atheist. As an atheist, there is no supernatural, so that means that everything in existence has come about through purely natural means. That includes life.

For me, the existence of life is a key piece of evidence for God’s existence. I’ve thought about this long and hard using the critical thinking skills given to me by God , instead of the cloned thinking provided by liberal educators. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no way life could have gotten to the point it’s at without supernatural intervention. I’ve even imagined conceding the initial “spark,” but I immediately run into complications. Basically, in order for the first life to survive, it needs the ability to take in energy. I think that an atheist would agree with me in saying the first life wasn’t immortal. So that means when it rose from the dead, it had to already have the ability to take energy from outside itself and convert it into something usable. I don’t think it would have had time to evolve this system as evolution involves reproduction which would involve a lot of energy. I just can’t comprehend the amount of built in energy that would be required to evolve that synthesis system. Which brings me to the second problem: reproduction. In order to evolve, a life form needs to be able to reproduce. The initial life can’t evolve if it can’t reproduce. So the first life would have had to have had the ability to “synthesize” and “reproduce” right out of the gate. And that occurred naturally?

What are you smokin’!?

The atheist response? We don’t know, but we’ll figure it out.

This is a common response, but has anyone stopped to think about what kind of statement this is? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a statement of faith! It’s a statement that says Science will someday tell us what we don’t know now.

So is the atheist’s definition of faith still valid? Faith is belief in something they know isn’t real. Well, they believe that life began purely by natural cause, and they believe this is reality so their definition of faith doesn’t fit.

So we could say that their definition of faith is belief in something that you are certain is real. But like the Christian version with the same definition, it isn’t quite enough. Like the Christian, they can’t prove their statement, Science will know, unless they are allowing their god “Science” omniscience regarding future events and knowledge.

Do they have evidence? They can’t claim that Science will reveal everything, because it hasn’t so far, and they have no scientific gospel peer-reviewed journal from the future. Lab experiments can’t prove life occurred naturally millions of years ago because lab experiments are forms of intelligent design (planned for by intelligent people in specifically designed, controlled environment) and can’t be guaranteed to work the same in the wild. Is there evidence that life began naturally? Well, there are all those theories. So, I’ll give them that, even though they’re weak as far as evidence goes.

So, we can refine the definition of atheist faith to read: believing in something that we are certain is real, based on some evidence.

Of course, the atheist will still argue there’s no evidence for the supernatural. At which time we need to correct them: there’s no repeatable, scientific evidence for the supernatural. And then we need to add, just give it time; one day science will find it.

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Atheistism #2: Hung Up On Contemporary Evidence

We’ve all heard it before, the atheist exclamation, “We don’t believe that life rose from the dead (Resurrection) because of the lack of contemporary evidence.” But what is contemporary evidence? While contemporary could mean from the same period, the evidence wanted is from the same time, in other words, they want actual evidence from 30 to 34 AD (the approximate time period of Jesus’ public ministry). In other words, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Existing documentation regarding Jesus centers around the four Gospels, but also includes writings from Josephus, the Jewish historian, Tacitus, the Roman historian, and others. While these writers were born after Jesus’ death–four to twenty-three years–they lived close enough to have talked with eye-witnesses. There are also a wide range of dates given to the writing of the Gospels. Theists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 40 to 90 AD, while atheists generally acknowledge scholars who date the Gospels from 100 to 150 AD. In either case, the extant copies are exactly that: copies. In other words, the actual dates are all speculation. By moving the some of those dates ahead by a mere six years, the first writings line up exactly with the time of Jesus’ death on the Cross.

Am I acknowledging the earlier dates because I’m a Christian? Maybe, but I would argue that atheists do the same and acknowledge later dates because they’re atheists. We both have scholars that we find more “trustworthy.” But, it’s more than just listening to scholars; the arguments for later dates just don’t seem plausible to me. And what about the lack of Roman documents from the time, for example, Pilate’s execution order? Simply put, the documents existed at one time, and may still exist. We just haven’t found them yet.

But the problem I have with the claim that there’s no contemporary evidence for Jesus rising from the dead, is that there’s no contemporary evidence that life rose from mud either, however, that doesn’t seem to be a roadblock to belief for the atheist. Well, we can argue that there was no contemporary evidence because the protein, or whatever you want to call it, wasn’t keeping records at the time, but the fact of the matter remains, there is no contemporary evidence. But atheists don’t believe anything without evidence! There’s reasonable evidence to believe that life rose from mud, without the assistance of God, they say. Well, show it to me!

The problem is, they can’t, because there is no contemporary evidence! Sure there are theories, and a few lab experiments that point to possibilities, but lab experiments don’t prove everything. An experiment that works in a lab doesn’t mean it will work in the wild. In fact, to me, a lab experiment is more of an intelligent design concept since it’s set up by intelligent beings to work under specific conditions.

In fact, no where in history, has a person witnessed life arising from mud. There are no eye-witness accounts, and no hearsay. History is silent on the matter, as opposed to say, the Resurrection. But it’s reasonable to dismiss the Resurrection because those documents were written a few years later, possibly even seventy in a worse-case scenario. Compare that to the non-existent contemporary evidence for life arising from mud, based on the same requirement for Jesus, and the atheist claims: reasonable!

But not only is belief in life arising from mud reasonable, it’s proof that God isn’t necessary (as if a lack of necessity determines lack of existence).

I find the atheist claims absurd, but that doesn’t matter. I should follow scientific claims blindly, because I’m not a science expert. I shouldn’t question them, because, after all, scientifict claims are infallible.

If you’re going to live by contemporary experience, live by it. Don’t pick and choose when to apply it.

The atheist isn’t using science to prove that God doesn’t exist, he’s using science to support his bias presupposition that God doesn’t exist. The claims are supported because there is no alternative.

So, in the end, the atheist doesn’t believe that life could rise from non-life in the form of a dead man, but believes that life could arise from non-life in the form of mud. Yeah. That makes sense.

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Atheistism #1: Context Fail

One of the things we are taught about good Bible study, is that we need to keep things in context and while atheists are particularly bad at it, they are even worse at keeping the Bible, as a whole, in context. Atheists present Biblical stories as impossibilities, but they’re looking at it through their own worldview instead of that of the Bible.

An atheist can claim all sorts of impossibilities when discussing Bible writings, but by placing those writings in his definition of real world, one without God, he has taken those writings out of context. After the atheist has taken the Biblical narratives out of their context, they then proceed to make claims such as: we know people don’t rise from the dead, people aren’t born from virgins, and people don’t get swallowed by whales. While these statements make perfect sense in a world without God, that is not the world within the Bible. The stories are recorded in the Bible where God does exist, and in that world, where God is capable of creating the universe, these so-called impossibilities are not problematic.

Where the Christian and the Atheist differ, is that the Christian sees the world we live in and the world of the Bible as one as the same. God exists in the Bible, and God exists in the real world, therefore, God can raise a man from the dead and God can produce a Son from a virgin. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale/fish in the context of a world created by God. In the context of this world, it is not unreasonable to think that a being big enough to create the universe would have the ability to stuff a man in the belly of a fish for refusing to follow his instructions.

While it would seem unreasonable if this world were different than the one portrayed in the Bible, it is not unreasonable when the two are the same. Atheists pride themselves on their education. Too bad their education didn’t teach them about context.

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Never Argue With An Atheist

Warning! Contains “mature” language!

Introduction

I hate to generalize, but if you’ve ever read writings or dialogs involving atheists, I’m sure that you would have noticed the utter contempt for those who don’t see the world as they do, and a lack of civility and tolerance. Last week, I thought I would attempt a reasonable conversation with an Atheist, but was quickly reminded that that is not possible. Continue reading “Never Argue With An Atheist”