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Atheism

 

Atheism

God has clearly revealed his existence to men. Suppose a student were to write on a physics exam that he did not believe in atoms because he could not see them. Would not the professor be justified in failing him? The existence of atoms is clearly undeniable on the basis of their recognized effects. Everyone familiar with Hiroshima knows that atoms exist; they are known from their effect. Likewise, men are responsible to acknowledge God and his eternal power by the effects that are clearly revealed in the Creation.

 

Dilemma of Atheism

The atheist’s dilemma is that when he feels very grateful and wants to give thanks, he has no one to give it to.

 

Response to  Atheism

The best reply to an atheist is to give him a good dinner and ask him if he believes there is a chef who prepared it.

 

Atheism’s Oversimplification

           Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should have never found out that it has no meaning: Just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. ‘Dark’ would be without meaning. ―― C.S. Lewis

 

Impact of Evolutionism

            In commenting on the medical challenges faced during the rapid urbanization of U.S. cities in the late 1800s, Columbia University historian John Garraty said the following about the negative influence of Darwinism upon medical science: “Efforts to do something about high infant mortality rates in poor districts ran into resistance from Darwinian evolutionists who argued that any attempt to reduce infant mortality might lead to the survival of too many ‘weaklings’ and thus to racial degeneration.”

 

Humanist Manifesto

        ”Humanism” is a term widely used within the church to describe the prevailing philosophy of today-the world’s mold that Christians have to resist deliberately. But what, specifically, is “humanism”? Probably its clearest definition and most aggressive repudiation of Christianity appears in the Humanist Manifesto II, which contains the following basic tenets:

        We believe that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species.

        Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.

        We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stem from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute; neither faith nor passion suffices in itself.

        No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.

 

Desire for Salvation

        The well-known scientist and author Carl Sagan, in a PBS documentary titled “Chariots of the Gods,” commented on the new optimism that there is life elsewhere in the universe: “It’s nice to think that there is someone out there that can help us.”

        Unfortunately, this remark implies that for Sagan there is no God, and so his hope of help from other beings is a blind hope, a hope that assumes that other beings exist and that their race will not be affected with the depravity that is so evident in all human endeavor. And that they would be interested in helping us.

 

Dilemma of Atheism

The atheist’s dilemma is that when he feels very grateful and wants to give thanks, he has no one to give it to. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Response to  Atheism

The best reply to an atheist is to give him a good dinner and ask him if he believes there is a chef who prepared it. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Atheism’s Oversimplification

Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should have never found out that it has no meaning: Just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. ‘Dark’ would be without meaning. ―― C.S. Lewis

 

Humanist Manifesto

”Humanism” is a term widely used within the church to describe the prevailing philosophy of today-the world’s mold that Christians have to resist deliberately. But what, specifically, is “humanism”? Probably its clearest definition and most aggressive repudiation of Christianity appears in the Humanist Manifesto II, which contains the following basic tenets:

We believe that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species.

Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.

We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stem from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute; neither faith nor passion suffices in itself.

No deity will save us; we must save ourselves. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Desire for Salvation

The well-known scientist and author Carl Sagan, in a PBS documentary titled “Chariots of the Gods,” commented on the new optimism that there is life elsewhere in the universe: “It’s nice to think that there is someone out there that can help us.”

Unfortunately, this remark implies that for Sagan there is no God, and so his hope of help from other beings is a blind hope, a hope that assumes that other beings exist and that their race will not be affected with the depravity that is so evident in all human endeavor. And that they would be interested in helping us. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

ATHEISM

An atheist said, "If there is a God, may he prove himself by striking me dead right now." Nothing happened. "You see, there is not God." Another responded, "You've only proved that He is a gracious God."

Unknown


As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.

Gary Thomas, Christianity Today, October 3, 1994, p. 26.


George Bernard Shaw is perhaps most renowned as a free thinker and liberal philosopher. In his last writings we read, "The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith." Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.

Heywood Broun.


Some years ago, when the news broke out that Joseph Stalin's daughter had defected from Communism and Russia, many people were startled. Her statement given to reporters who met her plane in New York, told why she defected: "I found it impossible to exist without God in one's heart. I came to that conclusion myself, without anybody's help or preaching. That was a great change because since that moment the main dogmas of Communism lost their significance for me. I have come here to seek the self-expression that has been denied me for so long in Russia."

That woman's struggle was a terrible one. To leave Russia, she had to leave two children in Moscow and realize that it would be, as she said, "Impossible to go back."

Source Unknown.


Pascal said there is within every person a "God-shaped vacuum." He's right. Historians Will and Ariel Durant observed in their summery volume, The Lessons of History, that There never has been a significant example of morality apart from belief in God." 

Morning Glory, February 5, 1994. 


Near the end of his life, Jean-Paul Sartre told Pierre Victor: "I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God. Protested fellow philosopher and long-time companion Simone de Beauvoir: "How should one explain the senile act of a turncoat?" 

HIS Magazine, April, 1983.


Have you not heard of the madman who lit a lamp in the bright morning and went to the marketplace crying ceaselessly, "I seek God! I seek God!" There were many among those standing there who didn't believe in God so he made them laugh. "Is God lost?" one of them said. "Has he gone astray like a child?" said another. "Or is he hiding? Has he gone on board ship and emigrated?" So they laughed and shouted to one another. The man sprang into their midst and looked daggers at them. "Where is God?" he cried. "I will tell you. We have killed him--you and I We are all his killers! But how have we done this? How could we swallow up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the horizon? What will we do as the earth is set loose from its sun?"  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1889

Nietzsche's point was not that God does not exist, but that God has become irrelevant. Men and women may assert that God exists or that He does not, but it makes little difference either way. God is dead not because He doesn't exist, but because we live, play, procreate, govern, and die as though He doesn't. 

C. Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict, p. 181.


STATISTICS AND STUFF

According to the teaching of our Lord, what is wrong with the world is precisely that it does not believe in God. Yet it is clear that the unbelief which he so bitterly deplored was not an intellectual persuasion of God's non-existence. Those whom he rebuked for their lack of faith were not men who denied God with the top of their minds, but men who, while apparently incapable of doubting him with the top of their minds, lived as though he did not exist. 

John Baillie, in Our Knowledge of God.


Of course, like the wary schoolboy who scoffs at ghosts yet whistles while passing a graveyard, some atheists would seem to protest too much. The publications of an organization called Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. include The Born-Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible; The Pillars of Religion: Ignorance, Inadequacy, Indoctrination; Why I Am an Atheist; and its bestseller Atheism, The Case Against God, promoted as an excellent manual for beginners.  

From Thinking and Acting Like a Christian, D. Bruce Lockerbie, p. 27.


POEMS

In the book Gaily The Troubadour, published in 1936, Arthur Guiterman wrote the following poem. Reading his observations, you wouldn't guess it was written 60+ years ago.

First dentistry was painless;
Then bicycles were chainless
And carriages were horseless
And many laws, enforceless.
Next, cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless
And coffee, caffeinless.
Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy hatless,
The proper diet, fatless,
Now motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religions, godless.

 

Arthur Guiterman, Gaily The Troubadour.

 

EVOLUTION

Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternate pathway that would not have led to consciousness. 

Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, Scientific American, October 1994, p. 86.


The French Mathematician, Lecompte de Nouy, examined the laws of probability for a single molecule of high dissymmetry to be formed by the action of chance. De Nouy found that, on an average, the time needed to form one such molecule of our terrestrial globe would be about 10 to the 253 power--billions of years. "But," continued de Nouy ironically, "let us admit that no matter how small the chance it could happen, one molecule could be created by such astronomical odds of chance. However, one molecule is of no use. Hundreds of millions of identical ones are necessary. Thus we either admit the miracle or doubt the absolute truth of science." 

Quoted in; "Is Science Moving Toward Belief in God?" Paul A. Fisher, The Wanderer, (Nov 7, 1985), cited in Kingdoms In Conflict, C. Colson, p. 66.


It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into anything. 

G.K. Chesterton in The Quotable Chesterton.


Near the end of his life, Jean-Paul Sartre told Pierre Victor: "I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.

Protested fellow philosopher and long-time companion Simone de Beauvoir: "How should one explain the senile act of a turncoat?" 

HIS Magazine, April, 1983.


Do fish complain of the sea for being wet? Or if they did, would the fact not strongly suggest that they had not always been, or would not always be, purely aquatic creatures? If you are really a product of a material universe, how is it that you don't feel at home there? 

Bruce Shelly, Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 29.


I cannot make peace with the randomness doctrine; I cannot abide the notion of purposelessness and blind chance in nature. And yet I do not know what to put in its place for the quieting of my mind. It is absurd to say that a place like this is absurd, when it contains, in front of our eyes, so many billions of different forms of life, each one in its way absolutely perfect, all linked together to form what would surely seem to an outsider a huge, spherical organism. We talk--some of us, anyway---about the absurdity of the human situation, but we do this because we do not know how we fit in, or what we are for. The stories we used to make up to explain ourselves do not make sense anymore, and we have run out of new stories, for the moment. 

Lewis Thomas in Harvard Magazine, quoted in June, 1981.


Poems

Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
Discussing the things that are said to be--
Said one to another: "Now listen you two
There's a certain rumor, but it can't be true'
That man descended from our noble race-
Why, the very idea; it's a disgrace.

No monkey ever deserted his wife,
Starved her babies and ruined her life.
Nor did ever a mother-monkey
Leave her babies with others to bunk,
Or pass them on from one to another
'Till they scarcely knew who was their mother.

And another thing you'll never see
A monkey building a nest around a coconut tree,
And let the coconuts go to waste,
Forbidding all other monkeys to have a taste.
Why, if I build a fence around a coconut tree,
Starvation would cause me to distribute to you.

Here's another thing that a monkey won't do:
Go out at night and get on a stew;
Or use a gun, a club, or a knife
To take another monkey's life.
Yes, Man descended, the ornery cuss!
But Brother, he didn't descend from us."

Resource, July/August, 1990.