I came across an article by Randal Rauser titled “Apologetics and the Indoctrinated American Atheist.” There was little that was new to me as I read it, but a quote by Alister McGrath got my attention.
McGrath, now a theologian and Christian apologist, was commenting on what changed his views on Christianity as a young British atheist in the 1960s. “While I had been severely critical of Christianity as a young man, I had never extended that same critical evaluation to atheism, tending to assume that it was self-evidently correct, and was hence exempt from being assessed in this way.”
That is a stunning confession by a former atheist and goes to the heart of the atheist claims of being based solely on rational thought. Atheists make irrational truth claims about things they cannot prove all the time. They claim there is no God and no afterlife without a shred of evidence.
I have said, “The question is not whether reason supplants faith; the question we should be asking is your faith reasonable, because everyone has a belief system that cannot be proven.” Tim Keller has said essential the same thing, “Everyone lives by a set of beliefs that cannot be empirically proven.”
Human beings are complex creatures and within each one of us this paradox exists; the ability to reason and to exercise faith. So the issue is not whether you believe, but what you believe, and is what you believe reasonable? The Scriptures tell us “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,“ Hebrews 11:6.
Ravi Zacharias has said, “God has provided enough evidence to make it reasonable to believe Him; yet has left enough out that we cannot come to Him by reason alone; we must come by faith.”
There is enough observable design in the natural realm to deduce an intelligent designer, but He has designed things in such a way that it still requires faith, a trust in His Word, to know Him. And if one is unwilling to even admit He exists, how can that one expect to know Him.
Paul says the knowledge of God is inherent, “that which is known about God is evident within them,” Romans 1:19. Atheism is not so much a denial of God’s existence as it is an expression of their frustration that God does not act in a way that they think He should.
They would serve God, if they could do so in an advisory capacity, but refuse to yield to a God they believe is not as smart as they are while failing to consider their perspective could be limited. C. S. Lewis said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Belief is a choice and will make all the difference in what you see.