Friday, November 15, 2013

Waddya Got to Prove Anyway?

Is Atheism a lack of belief which
makes no claims and so has no burden of proof?
What about Christianity? Do we, as Christians, have
a burden of proof? Is it wise to try to prove God?

If you have never been mocked by a fool, you have never preached the Gospel to the masses. 
Over the past few months I've run into more and more self proclaimed Atheists on Twitter who are militant activists going around nagging Christians and spewing anti-Christ hate.

They are almost always elitist in attitude and yet (seemingly) never able address an argument as it is made. They dodge, use Ad Hominem, and Straw-Men but never seem to actually engage the real arguments.

When pressed about their belief or position they claim to have no belief or position. They quote Richard Dawkins who has a clever system to define Atheism in such a way that you get to keep the title Atheist without actually saying saying that God doesn't exist.

This position is justified by ignoring the philosophical definition of Atheism and Atheist, and adding a descriptive in front of the title which determines the knowledge level of the belief. They say that an Gnostic Atheist knows there is not God and therefore does not believe in Him. They say that an Agnostic Atheist doesn't know if there is a God, but still doesn't believe in Him. They say that Atheism speaks of belief, not knowledge. Therefore, these militant Twitter Atheists normally are the Agnostic Atheists, they "lack a belief" or so they say.

They want to claim the title Atheist but they don't want to have to defend it.

It has been said by Christian Apologists that when the Atheist claims to have a "lack of belief" in God that they are actually making a claim that to lack a belief in God is possible. Such a claim would stand in opposition to what Romans 1:18-23 says:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
So Scripture says all men know God exists, and that they know about Him from what He has revealed through Creation.

An argument about whether they know God exists often ensues when the Apologist brings up Romans 1.  Often the Apologist can simply quote the Atheist back to him or her. Often in 1 on 1 conversations with Atheists they will blame God for things that have happened in their life, or in the lives of others. This reveals their true knowledge and disposition. Other times they will simply be filled with open hate for Him and quoting them on the subject shows that they do in fact hate Him. Since you cannot hate something you don't believe exists this generally proves that the Atheist does in fact have a belief in God.

But what if they don't manifest hate so openly that you can quote it back to them? Are they right? Do they really lack a belief in God?

Well the answer gets quite complicated, but, the short answer is no. The long answer includes a discussion of what it means that the "god of this age" has blinded the minds of those who disbelieve. In short, when one disbelieves the Gospel the god of this age, Satan, then blinds their minds because God has turned them over to a reprobate mind. Rom 1:18-32; 2Cor 4:3-4 They haven't always been blinded, but those who have willfully disbelieved are now. It is not that they lack a belief, but they have disbelieved and now have been blinded.

This brings us to another topic they tend not to like. What you do has consequences. If you receive general revelation (the revelation God has given through Creation) God shall give you more, and more, specific revelation. He will go so far as to send and Evangelist to wherever you are in the world or History. If you reject it, He will let you reject it and let you suffer the consequences of doing so.

The Atheists try to twist this into God playing favourites, or this being some sort of way for the Christian to try to get out of having a burden of proof. But think of it this way. If you don't pass High School you don't get into University. It IS that simple, but it is actually even simpler. If you refuse to accept what is obvious and what anyone can understand so that you can continue to blaspheme God then He has no reason to send you more. You are without excuse, you choose to refuse God, and so you have it the way you wanted it.

So be careful what you choose to do with the evidence you do have. If you are shown something that is evidence for God and you immediately go looking for any answer - no matter how valid or invalid - to give you an excuse for not believing it then don't be surprised if you can't seem to find any evidence for God after that. You refused, and now you have been turned over to your own sin. That sin will drag you to Hell unless you repent.

Last year I did an article entitled The Drawing of God which was focused on the Reformed movement, but it may be helpful for this topic as well.

Atheists expect Christians to be ever present trying to reach them. They act like the prettiest girl in school who thinks the whole world revolves around her. Atheists expect to Christians to answer every contrived argument they come up with and to keep doing so over and over again no matter if the atheist engages with any level of intellectual integrity or not. Well Christian, if you are playing along with that you're not doing them any service nor are you engaged in Evangelism. You've simply become an entertainment system for the perishing fool on their way to the Lake of Fire. If they disbelieve that is their decision and they are responsible for it.
Is the Atheist responsible to what Scripture says?
The Bible says what it says, and and it is absolutely true. No matter if it is speaking on science, belief, or anything else. Does the idea that Atheists don't believe the Bible excuse them from all of this? Well Romans 1 says that they are without excuse. Are they really? Can we prove they are?

Enter the Kalaam Cosmological Argument. It's a simple argument. Simple to state. Simple to understand. If it were not true, it would also be simple to falsify.

Here it is:
Premise 1: All things which begin to existence are caused to come into existence.  
Premise 2: The universe began to exist. 
Therefore: The universe was caused to come into existence. 
We know Premise 1 is true to a very high degree of probability, so high as to realize that it is beyond absurd to presume it is not true. We know this inductively. Everything we have ever seen come into existence was caused to come into existence by something or someone else.

We know Premise 2 is true through deductive, and scientific evaluation. This has been proved repeatedly, and every theory to the contrary has failed testing with the Scientific Method. This is even true for a theorized Multiverse, if that were to exist.

Since we know both premises are true, and the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises, then we know that the Universe had a cause.

The real question is does each person have awareness of this fact? Yes, of course! We know this inductively. The universe is aging and wearing out. Things that age and wear out all had a beginning. If something is wearing out, it cannot have existed forever because it would have worn out all ready. Entropy is something no created thing can overcome.

To argue against the Universe having a Creator or Cause would require a deductive argument that overcomes millennia of observations which support that it does have a Cause.

Therefore the universe was caused, and we know it to such a high degree of probability that we are without excuse.
If someone has rejected all the evidence around them, and this evidence is so obvious that they are without excuse for rejecting it, it is not reasonable to simply pile more evidence up for them to reject. 
God says that if they reject the evidence they are given that He turns them over to a reprobate mind. Why would we try to do what God will not do? I say don't do it!

BUT is this just a cop-out? Is this a way for Christians to get out of answering tough questions? Apparently not, because there are many Christian's who are scientists doing amazing work answering the toughest questions and making accurate predictions where secular scientists are failing. The 1984 prediction of the planetary magnetic field strengths by Dr. Russell Humphreys is just one example of this.

We're not ducking the questions and we are engaged in hard science and vigorously test our ideas and theories by the Scientific Method.
If Christianity is true, then God reveals Himself.

Here's the thing; if Christianity is true then God really does reveal Himself. Then He really does convince and convict sinners of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. Then He really does tell the truth in His Word.

When the Christian reduces God to a theory to be proven he does two terrible things. He tries to usurp God's authority in revealing Himself, AND he starts with the premise that God not existing is a reasonable idea.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? 

Which is more extraordinary; to claim that God created the Universe and revealed Himself through the Scripture, History, and the Lord Jesus Christ, OR that the Universe which we know to have a beginning was uncaused, that established scientific laws which govern things like Abiogenesis, thermal dynamics, entropy, information and more were all violated by an uncreated universe and evolution?

I like how this video puts it: At least with Magic you have "magic" as an explanation.

Creation reveals the Creator; whether Atheists like Him or not. The only thing the Christian Evangelist ought to focus on is introducing people to the Creator. It is perfectly reasonable to consider the question of Who this Creator is. We see that through out History He has revealed Himself in various ways. In our age He has given His Son. We are to be like Paul, proving from the Scripture how that Christ must suffer, die, be buried, and rise again the third day. Having done this we are to show that Jesus is this Christ and that God has through His own Son provided for the reconciliation of the world back to Himself.

Those who insist on the claim that there is no evidence, or refuse to honestly examine the evidence, cannot be won over by more evidence which they will only ignore. Beloved Christian, you need not "prove" anything to the Unbeliever. You do not bear the "burden of proof." God does, and He has explained how He reveals Himself and who He will allow to be blinded.

Unbelievers need the conviction of Scripture.

Rom 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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