We are living is strange times where there seems to be a powerful drive among some intellectuals in the Western world to destroy belief in God. We have seen the likes of Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, Peter Atkins, and others propound what is known as “The New Atheism” (atheism is the denial of the existence of God). This is unlike the old atheism, which was live and let live. If you believed in God that was up to you and if I didn’t then that was up to me. In contrast the new atheism is aggressive, assertive, and politicized. It wants to stop Christians from studying science, wants to drive them out of educational positions, wants to remove all forms of religion from society and any ability by Christianity to shape the community around a belief in God.
Yet to rule out belief in God means that nothing makes sense and the outlook is utterly bleak and demoralizing both for us as individuals and for humanity as a whole. It also leads to confusion and provides no answers to the deepest questions of life. Even many atheists have come to such conclusions as the following quotations make clear:
“The world is simply there and we have no explanation.” (Bertrand Russell)
“We are just a bit of slime on a planet.” (Peter Atkins)
“We are alone in the unfeeling vastness of the universe.” (Jacque Monod)
“Atheism is a cruel long-term business…everything in me calls for God and that I cannot forget.” (Jean Paul Sartre)
Sartre recognized a yearning for God – a deep desire in the human heart for the God of creation. This is reflected in the words of Douglas Copeland, “My secret is I need God.” (he was the author of Generation X and rejected idealism and religion). Where do they think that yearning came from? Could it not be that created in the image of God we yearn to be like our Creator?
Atheism is described in the Bible as foolishness and sadly robs life of meaning, purpose, and significance. Because if we are just the result of the chance encounter of impersonal atoms coming from nothing and going to nothing. We exist in a sea of nothingness. What a hopeless outlook. However, if there is a God then everything changes and we can know Him and enjoy Him forever.
God’s Existence is Taken for Granted by the Biblical Writers
It does not seem to have occurred to any of the writers of either the Old or New Testaments to attempt to prove or to argue for the existence of God. Everywhere and at all times it is a fact taken for granted. He is the self-existent One and the source of all life. The sublime opening of the Scriptures announces the fact of God and His existence: “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1.1). The Bible further announces the fact that only a fool would deny the existence of God (Ps. 14.1). “The Bible everywhere assumes that God exists.” (Grudem)
God’s Existence is Taken for Granted by All People the World Over
Every culture, tribe and people have believed in a Supreme Being. This is clearly demonstrated in anthropologist Don Richardson’s book, “Eternity in their Hearts.” He powerfully lays out the evidence for even the most primitive and isolated tribes having this awareness of God (one Supreme Being). They could not have learned this truth from outside sources, from reason or argument, from Scripture or tradition. “All the evidence points to the conclusive fact that this universal faith in the existence of God is innate in man, and comes from rational intuition.” (Evans)
God Through the Bible Gives Us Certainty, Atheism Gives Us Uncertainty
Professor Anthony Flew was a life-long atheist and wrote a number of books in support of his opinion but in 2007 (to the fury of fellow atheists) he wrote a book entitled, “There is A God.” It was subtitled, “How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind.” He wrote, “I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent and omniscient Being.” That is a clear description of the God of the Bible and he called the process “a pilgrimage of reason.”
In a British radio program involving atheist professor Stephen Jones and presenter Richard Bacon many people phoned in with their views and questions. However, someone asked the following three questions which left Professor Jones floundering:
1. “You say you believe in the ‘big bang’. What went bang?”
2. “How did life come from non-life?”
3. “You weren’t there when the world came about so how do you know what happened?”
He could not bring himself to say the absurd words of Richard Dawkins about atheistic evolution, “We don’t need evidence. We know it to be true.” (Washington University in St. Louis USA). Dawkins’ approach is utterly unscientific and he has urged his followers not to answer questions but simply laugh at Christians, and mock them. No wonder Roger Carswell calls his booklet “The Dishonesty of Atheism.”
God formed everything by the word of command. He spoke and things came into being and so was the source of all life and all being. It is interesting that science has now come around to accepting (in the twentieth century) that the cosmos had a beginning. Prior to that it was assumed that the universe was eternal and had no beginning. If only scientists had looked at the Bible which talks of a beginning and also of information. Blind chance does not produce information but an eternal God who speaks the word is the ultimate source of intelligent, rational, reasoning ability to discern information and act upon it.
A clear and unbiased view of creation should be enough to make people understand the reality of God. The natural world is a book of information which gives people no excuse for avoiding the truth that there is a God. However, the greatest proof is a personal relationship with God through faith in the Lord Jesus. To know that by His grace God sent His only Son to die for our sins and by His power raised Him to life the third day is the ultimate proof and blessing of the reality of God.