The Atheists are Coming!

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The Atheists are Coming!

3 March 2010 Hits:4004

The Global Atheist Convention is coming to Melbourne in March.  The theme is “The Rise of Atheism” and amongst the long list of speakers is world-renowned author Richard Dawkins whose book The God Delusion has been an international best seller.

I read The God Delusion a year or two ago and Dawkins makes some very good points.  However, his stated purpose in writing the book did not work on me – “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down” (Page 5).  It didn’t work because I used to be an atheist and, for the past 32 years, I have been a Christian.  I feel that I have a certain qualification to compare the two and Christianity comes up trumps every time!

The fact is that even the staunchest atheist cannot say unequivocally that there is no God – because no one knows everything.  Maybe God exists outside their knowledge.  The truth of this was recognized in the British atheist advertising campaign of early 2009 that stated, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Note the word “probably.”  I appreciate their honesty!

And now the Atheist Foundation of Australia is starting its own advertising campaign proclaiming “Atheism – celebrate reason.”  It’s an interesting statement.  Is it reasonable to state there is no God?  In The God Delusion,  Dawkins quotes Douglas Adams, the staunch atheist best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Adams says, “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”  It’s a cute saying but it is flawed because a garden is only beautiful if it has someone who not only designed and made it in the first place but also has someone to maintain it.  I don’t believe in fairies, but I do believe the Universe had a designer and a maker, and I believe that Divine Being also gave the human race the responsibility to maintain it.  Sometimes we do well; other times we don’t.

After reading The God Delusion I picked up another book, this time by a former skeptic turned Christian believer.  Ron Williams, a Sydney lawyer-turned-author who came to faith in Christ via parenthood, prodigious reading and a life-changing illness, wrote God Actually.  This book is the written record of his search for truth, and some amazing truth is recorded in it.  For example:

“The first remarkable thing about [the Big Bang] is the rate at which it happens … if the expansion rate were any faster, the matter in the Universe would not have aggregated into galaxies, stars and planets; if the rate were any slower, the Universe would have collapsed back into itself within the time required for stars to have created carbon.  In either case the conditions for life would not exist.”

“Consider another phenomenon: the relative sizes of the sun and the moon, and their respective distances from the earth.  The diameter of the sun is about 400 times the diameter of the moon.  However, the sun is about 400 times further away from the earth than the moon is.  This means that…during a solar eclipse the Sun is almost exactly obscured by the moon.”

“Think of an experience from your childhood.  Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there.  After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you?  How else would you remember it?  But here is the bombshell, you weren’t there.  Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place.”

If you are searching for truth and meaning in life I encourage you to read God Actually.  It may help you to celebrate reason and to know that there probably is a God so that you can stop worrying and really enjoy your life.  After all, that’s why Jesus came to earth (John 10:10).

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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4 replies on “The Atheists are Coming!”

Peter Ksays:

Hi Rob

I found this article interesting and I’m glad that you have had the courtesy to read “The God Delusion” I have not yet read this book, however I’ve heard exerpts from Richard Dawkins and fellow evolusionists, and also those proponents of creationism and Intelligent Design.

The one thing that has been apparent from Richard Dawkins is the elevated tone and scorn heaped on those from the creation stand point, and equally deafning at times those that defend the Genisis account of Earth and mankind beginnings.

I am hypothisising that at some point Richard Dawkins has had an interaction or response from a Christian that has rankled him, as there seems to be a bit of venom that is more than difference of opinion, I have experienced that venom before and not intially understood why that person was treating me that way, upon reflection I realised that unintentionally I had offended that person, this individual was wounded from a previouse experiance.I apologised and it was accepted.

My point, when we hear or respond to the Richard Dawkins of the world it may be worth asking this, what really sits behind there overt opinion and how was it formed, secondly will I respond in kind to their bluster or ask ourselves, “if I respond in kind could I latter share Jesus with them”

Just a thought
Pete 🙂

Marianosays:

With the bus ads reading “Atheism – celebrate reason” atheists have, again, come very close to quoting that which the Bible has stated for almost 3,000 years, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD (Isaiah 1:18).

Also, the supposed most erudite atheist in the world are gathering in Australia for their convention while refusing to debate Christians:
http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2010/01/yet-again-most-intelligent-well.html

Reason? No, merely self-aggrandizing and self-professed pseudo-erudition.

Michaelsays:

Great article!
About a year ago my brother-in-law who was a Christian decided to become an aethiest. He sat down with me and explained why he had made his decision and looked for a reaction.
I turned to him and said, “I just hope that you become a truly great aethiest”.
He was a bit confused by my reaction and asked me why I said that.
A true aethiest is one that is not afraid of genuine inquiry. This means that they should not fear having their view of the world challenged and even to change it if presented evidence. This also means that they should not fear attending church to test their hypothesis that there is no God. 🙂

vijihepzisays:

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Thanks
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