n the busyness of all my preparation for this week's Shepherds' Conference, I almost forgot Monday is my day to post. Sorry this is 6 hours late. I got up early this morning to write it, after staying up late to watch the tail end of the Olympic closing ceremonies.
And let's not forget to say congratulations to Challies and all the other hosers up north who read our blog, eh?
Last week I proposed a series of posts answering the points in this popular atheist meme, which is currently plastered all over the internet. (Incidentally, I don't want to hog this project; Dan and Frank are welcome to jump in if they like. Or not. I never tell them what to post. My original intention was to deal with the atheists' "Ten Signs" myself on the days I post, but I would also be happy if Frank wants to apply his golden wit or Dan his trademark thoroughness to the project.)
Anyway, as I said last week, some of our atheist neighbors have treated this Top Ten List as if it contains all the best ironclad arguments against Christianity. Atheists generally cultivate a totally unwarranted air of intellectual superiority. I'm pretty sure it's part of the job description (Psalm 14). But if these are the best reasons someone can come up with to reject Christianity, I'd say whoever compiled the list is desperate to justify a bad worldview. (Which we know is in fact the caseRomans 1:28-32).
This morning I'll give my thoughts about the first two of the atheists' allegations, with this caveat: I want to come back to #1 at the end of this series, because I think it's foundational to the not-so-subtle argument our atheist friends are making. This morning I'll reply to it in abbreviated fashion, then when it's time to wrap the series up, we'll revisit it.
And by the wayone of my goals here is to keep all my answers as brief as possible. There's no need for me to write a long essay in response to a trifling point:
Well, yes (except for the histrionic assertion that I "feel outraged" when I see people trying to do what Romans 1:21-32 says we all try to do).
This is, after all, one of the fundamental truth-claims of Scripture: "For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): 'I am the LORD, and there is no other'" (Isaiah 45:18; cf. vv. 5, 22; 46:9; Joel 2:27).
Belief in the God who made that decree has been the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity for millennia. It's not as if some acne-faced postmodern twenty-first-century apologist invented the God of Scripture out of thin air as a rhetorical devicelike the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But the allegation seems to want to dismiss the God of Scripture as if He were no more important to human history, human belief, and human understanding than Tinkerbell. You'd have to be hopelessly jejune or intellectually dishonest to think an argument like that carries any weight.
And surely you need to come up with a better first argument than "You always think you're right and everyone else is wrong." When I was 7 and my sister used that argument, I knew she had run out of real, substantial arguments.
Indeed, the atheists' List o' Ten instantly gets even weaker:
The accusation utterly miscontrues creationist concerns. (Furthermore, it implicitly seems to want to deny basic scientific facts that are not even in dispute.)
What's most troubling about the evolutionary hypothesis is not the claim that humans descended from other primates but the assertion that homo sapiens is even now nothing but an advanced apemorally and spiritually equivalent to an animal.
The scientifically demonstrable (!) biblical truth that we "are dust, and to dust [we] shall return" (Genesis 3:19) has nothing to do with the dignity of man. On the contrary, it illustrates how ignoble we truly are. Our fallenness (and the fact that we all are prone to do evil) further underscores how vile we have become as a species. Biblical Christians don't chafe at or ignore that truth; we emphatically affirm it.
The "dignity" of the human race, however, is bound up in the fact that we bear God's image. And that is just what materialistic evolution denies. Contrary to atheistic claims (but supported by a century and a half of the political fruits of Darwinism) the materialists' denial that humanity bears God's image removes society's moral foundation and breeds all kinds of evil. That's more "dehumanizing" than all the other stupid atheist ideas combined.