One Thing Atheists and Christians Can Agree On

One Thing Atheists and Christians Can Agree On

 

No doubt many have run into an atheist who is adamant about the non-existence of God (usually, in a more specific sense, the Judaeo-Christian God of the Bible). Whether it is all religions or just Christianity in general, they tend to reject what they believe is blind faith and fairy tales. Of course, they are entitled to their opinion. And there is no small shortage of satirical and philosophical rhetoric that some of them use to “refute” the existence of God. But, if you pay attention to the arguments they use to defame, blaspheme, and misalign God, there is one thing that Christians can agree with them on – the god they believe doesn’t exist really doesn’t.

A Strawman Argument is a logical fallacy that someone sets up as a misrepresentation, exaggeration, or complete fabrication of someone else’s position in order to make their own argument seem more reasonable. In this case, many atheists misrepresent their understanding of God/gods and portray them in such a way as to make their own argument seem reasonable, logical, and justified. But, in doing so, they not only set up a strawman, but they commit the most common and widely violated of all sins – idolatry. How? Well, it’s simple.

Anytime you hear an atheist speak, you will usually hear them mock God’s love in contrast to His justice (hell). Or misrepresent His “inability” to answer prayer. Or maybe you might hear how they don’t agree with Him creating intelligent human beings, yet require them to use “faith” to trust in Him (as if faith is absolutely blind). These are just a few of the many. But even if there is an answer to every misrepresentation they have about God, the most important thing is to reveal that although they don’t believe in God, they have inevitably made one up in their own mind! They have set up a divine strawman by which they can reason against over and over so that they can justify their suppression of the truth (Rom 1:8). So even though atheists may suppress the knowledge of God, and know that the true God of the Bible exists, in order for them to ease their conscience and justify their sin, they must create an image of god that suits themselves. A god that that they can deny, vilify, and reject by the approval of their own thoughts and imaginations. Most of their arguments do not work if they don’t do this. Whether you set up a idol to worship to go to war with, it is still idolatry.

Hopefully this strikes you as a much different approach then just providing scientific evidence for God’s existence. This is a mixed approach between revealing their sin and pressupostionally showing them another reason how and why they reject God. Next time you hear a false representation of God, you should disarm the atheist by telling them something like this, “Boy, I’m glad that the god that you are talking about doesn’t exist, because if he did, I would be an atheist too.” Because when you really get down to the nitty-gritty, what atheists do is exchange the truth of God for a lie (Rom 1:25) just like everyone else who does not know Him. And since eternal life is defined by knowing Christ intimately (John 17:3), other than the fact that the typical atheist is just suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, we must engage them by showing them that they are just like every other religion in the world (yes, atheism is a religion) that believes in false gods. Except theirs is just a deified punching bag that they can throw philosophical blows at in order to make themselves feel superior, more intelligent, and morally justified in their sin.

While other world religions offer sacrifice to their gods in order to appease them, atheists repeatedly sacrifice their false representation of God on the altar of reason, logic, and scientific method (systems of thinking our Lord Jesus Christ gave them) in order to appease themselves.  But hey, at least now when we speak to atheists, Christians can agree that the god they are talking about truly doesn’t exist. Because once they are introduced to the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, and are regenerated by His Spirit, they will no longer speak defiantly, but devotedly; no longer with a heart of war, but of worship.

Let’s pray for the atheists that we witness to and bring the light of the gospel to them.

Below is an quick example on dealing with these kinds of atheists in conversation.

-Until we go home

 

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Disclaimer: DefCon does not support Peter Kreeft. Only the quote used in the link window.

Please Pray for Michael

When I am not busy working, raising my family or blogging, God allows me to share the gospel with people in evangelistic endeavors. One such effort was inspired by Tony Miano of Living Waters (who has recently been blogged about here and here). In the picture you see here, I constructed a cross with the words “Are You Ready?” on it. The original intent of Mr. Miano had been to use such a cross in his town as yet another tool to share the gospel. Many other evangelists, including myself, made similar crosses and a small but growing group has been taking the gospel to the streets in this unique manner. But the point of this article is not to brag on our evangelism technique.

Meet Michael. He is the point of this article. I met Michael today on a street corner in my home town where I was out with the cross trying to evangelize. As you can see, Michael spends a lot of time walking the roads and sleeping in the outdoors. When I saw Michael walking down the street towards me, I prepared to hand him a gospel tract, but I doubted he would be willing to stop and talk with me. I was quite surprised when he stopped directly in front of me and asked “Are you a crosswalker?” I explained to him that I was attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people. What followed next was a half hour conversation where Michael explained he had become disillusioned with the “physical processes of life” and was looking to determine if he was something more than a biological machine that simply existed for itself and then died.

I was blessed to be able to share with Michael that he had been created for God’s glory. That because of his sin, Michael stood guilty before God and would be condemned to Hell. Yet, God in His mercy, poured His wrath out on Jesus Christ so that the righteous law of God could be satisfied. I explained that through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, Michael could receive salvation and spend eternity with the God who created him. I explained that God created him so that God Himself could be glorified by redeeming him out of his sinful state. While Michael did not immediately repent and place his faith in Christ, he stated he was very glad to hear that redemption was possible.

After talking for a half hour, Michael and I had to part ways. It was such a blessing to talk with Michael. It was a reminder of how desperately the world needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, that forgiveness is indeed available to wretched and vile sinners. So often we get caught up in discerning false religions and teachers, or we get caught up in the political machinations of the government to shut down the church’s influence, or even in discussing the watering down of the Word that is going on in evangelicalism. And while those can be worthwhile endeavors, the first and primary effort of every Christian is to share the gospel. The souls of people like Michael depend on our daily obedience to the command of Christ to go forth and preach the gospel to every creature. Let us not fail in this, but let us make every possible effort to share gospel with people so that souls might be saved.

Please pray for Michael. Pray that God would keep him safe as he continues to walk the roads and pray that God would lead him to true repentance and faith. Pray that we will one day meet Michael in Heaven.