Monday, August 22, 2016

The Irrational Hubris of Atheism

Last week I was reading statements made on a site for secular humanists.  One particular author made the statement I had heard many times before, that he became and atheist when he decided that God was not necessary.

This reminded me of the time when I was four years old and decided to run away from home. I suppose that I was angry at my mother because of some limit she had placed on my freedom. I packed my tiny red and white suitcase and, in full view of my mother's watchful eye, traveled to the end of the driveway. There I sat on my suitcase and petted my cat, Lovey, while I considered the unlimited options for my future.

I had obviously decided that my mother and father were no longer necessary. Staying with them just cramped my style. Without them I would have unlimited freedom.

Of course, as a four year old I had no idea why parents were necessary. I didn't understand human reproduction and genetics so as far as I was concerned I didn't owe my existence to them. The story of the stork or babies in a cabbage patch would have been a fine story of origins for me.

I did not understand economics and how it happened that we had a house to live in, clothes to wear and food to eat. How hard could it be for me to live on my own? I had my suitcase packed with what I supposed would sustain me. (Of course my mother never took her eyes off of me and would have intervened immediately if I had offered to go into the road. Poor Lovey unfortunately did not have the same level of supervision and eventually met her end in that very street.)

So God is not necessary, you say?  Well what do you know about it, really?

The modern theories of the origin of the universe and the origin of life and of evolution are simply "just so stories" to placate people who want to run away from God. They may satisfy someone who is determined to disbelieve in personal God and allow him to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist" but what does it have to do with the truth?

What do we know, apart from divine revelation, about our personal existence or the nature of life or the matter of morality and human conscience? The modern atheist is confident that he knows enough, when in fact he knows nothing at all except that he exists and does not like the constraints placed on him by the idea that there could be a God to Whom he might need to give an account. There is nothing new about this.

(Romans 1:28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

Monday, August 15, 2016

Where There Is Life...

The saying says, "Where there is life there is hope." I suppose that this means to suggest that any circumstance short of death contains the hope that things might get better.

As a statement of an optimistic outlook, it leaves much to be desired. Over a million Americans attempt suicide every year and over 40,000 of them succeed. Maybe someone had hope for them while they were alive, but their own hope collapsed under the weight of cynicism and despair.

Perhaps the saying would be more accurate if it was turned around. "Where there is hope there is life." People need hope to live.

They hope that things will get better. They hope they will discover existential purpose and find meaning. They hope that the bad guys will be brought to justice and the good guys will be rewarded. They hope they will find true love and friendship. They hope they will escape debilitating disease and ultimate death.

As long as they have hope, they keep plugging along. But when everything crashes in on them, they begin to lose hope and the resilience they needed to go on.

This is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is such an important message.  This good news says that Jesus conquered sin and death.  By his resurrection from the dead we have "a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3). While there are frustrations and difficulties now, our future in Christ is salvation in a perfect world. Life has meaning because there is a personal Creator who brought us into existence on purpose. God has in Christ provided for both justice and mercy.

Hope is what people need and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best source of hope.

(1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.