The other day I received an email in our ministry inbox from an anti-theist. The reason I say anti-theist is because the person would be considered a lightweight in contrast to folks like Michael Ruse, John Gray, Alex Rosenberg, Kai Neilsen, or Brian Lieter.
The purpose for emailing me was to take me on about something that I said in the Truth Matters program I was on back in March of this year. As it has been the case ever since I stopped allowing comments on my YouTube video, I get these humorous accusations from anti-theists telling me that I am dishonest and afraid of the dialogue.
The real reason is that I don't like having to follow the venomous vitriolic rabbit trail seeking someone who wants to have a civil exchange. This is the reason why I have an email at the end of the videos, so as to give an opportunity for the viewer to contact us. By the way, I always welcome comments (so long as they abide by our comment policy) at the bottom or sending an email. I promise to keep it cordial.
So what was the objection from my anti-theistic "friend?" His objection goes something like this: "we can't see air, but we know its there - ..... we can TEST air. Can we TEST god in the same way? If not then mentioning air is utterly useless as an analogy" - Deconverted Man.
So in this posting, let me share some things on how to respond to this.
First, the one making the objection is arguing for naturalism. What I mean by this is that in the atheist and anti-theistic mind, all that we see around us is all that there is and nothing beyond that. In the video, I mentioned that you cannot prove with indubitable certainty that God exists using our senses. There is something beyond the senses that moves us to investigate beyond to find things like the beginning of a universe, the design of the universe, and even the morality within the universe.
Second, this naturalistic worldview is argued with brute fact tenacity. What is brute fact? Well first off, it is an informal fallacy in logic, also known as the faulty appeal to authority. This is a tactic of many anti-theists, where make some brute fact statements that try to make you think that they are an authority on the subject being discussed. When anti-theists commit this fallacy it is an attempt to make you and I shudder in fear and the thinking that we might not have all the facts. Don't let that shake you. Be confident in your evidentially forensic faith. If you don't have an evidential/forensic faith contact us and we can assist you.
Third, we understand the term "God" in the discussion. What I mean by this is that when the anti-theist uses the term "God," it generally refers to something within the bounds of their naturalistic mindset. The skeptic has to push themselves to thinking outside what we can see around us. Otherwise they will come up with this foreign God that is not the God of the Bible. It happens all the time!
Instead of going right to Genesis 1:1 (which I believe), you need to begin to think about what God is like when it comes to His attributes and present God that way. I promise you that it will sound like the God of the Bible. Here is what I used with Deconverted Man to describe God,
"When I referenced God in the video, I was, and am now using this word, “God,” as referring to One who is, the spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, moral, personal, intelligent, sustainer, Creator and First Cause of the existence and Designer of the universe. God is the uncaused Cause."
Sounds like the God of Genesis 1:1, doesn't it? It is the same God who created the air that we can test empirically.
In conclusion, atheists will try to put the burden of proof on you and I, when they make their objection. A fourth thing I did with Deconverted Man was to asked him to give me what he means by "God" and prove that god to exist. Of course it never faith, he forced the burden of proof back on to me, so I gave my definition that you see above.
Don't be surprised when the anti-theists best argument is to throw a few names at you and leave the conversation. That is what he did. Reason is on the side of faith, because we do have a reasonable faith rooted and grounded in reality.
Nota bene: I was fortunate to find a video/interview where Deconverted Man gives his testimony on how he because a skeptic (at best). Guess what? He is a former Christian who claimed that he was into apologetics, studied logic, and was ready to take on the world for Jesus.
What happened? I can only guess, but most likely he is one who probably fell in love with the arguments for the Christian faith rather than the One who gave us the evidence that discloses more of what He is like. Folks we live a life that in the power of resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings and we apply a forensic faith that is not just about going and responding to arguments that come our way. It is life to be live that is attractive to where people should ask what we have and why we live the way we do day in and day out.
Rob is ready to help your church, your ministry, your organization step up to meet the new and rapidly growing challenges faced by Christians in North America and the Western world. He is available to speak to your church, or participate in or hold conferences, break out sessions, training events and other venues.