Re: Christian Since I was little, but now starting to doubt.
Hi CS, thanks for sharing how you're feeling. Glad you're here
I remember my days as an atheist as if they were yesterday - I was no fence sitter, I can tell you that! I would engage in debates with the few Christians I knew, occasionally using similar lines of argument to the author in the article... But really, none of them were why I didn't believe in God - and honestly, I have to say that I believe that any hard-line atheist, such as the author here, is just the same. The reason not to believe in God is not simply because you can pick little holes in the Christian worldview, or because you can cobble together a roughly cohesive intellectual argument against Him - it's because to "naturalism" (using the word in the same sense in which the author does), the very concept of God is staggeringly, overwhelmingly, obscenely ludicrous. It's as simple as that.
If, as the author, you only consider it reasonable to believe exclusively in the natural world, that which the physical sciences can observe, analyse, and attempt to explain, then for someone to suggest that not only are you wrong in that every human being has a supernatural "spirit" and "soul", but further, that there is an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful uncreated Father - before, behind and above and beyond all of creation - this is a fairytale of epic proportions! It is no mistake that the Bible reminds us time and time again that the world will decry us as fools for believing as we do. Understand this - the naturalist worldview, held by the author and every well-known atheist, can never come remotely close to conceding that there even might be a God. Were his article entirely honest, it would read simply:
But, of course, that's not a particularly satisfying argument for an intellectual to make! So, there's all these other arguments tramped out, but here's the point -they're nothing more than smoke and mirrors, a grandiose and impressively wrapped giftbox to disguise the fact that at heart all that really informs this worldview is nothing more than "Because it's silly." Maybe you can't see it like that - but having walked that path myself, I'll only ever be able to view it that way...
Originally Posted by Richard Carrier
So, the preamble over with, on to the actual arguments, then. I shall paraphrase them slightly;
1 - God doesn't behave as I expect
So many arguments against Christianity amount to this, "If God exists, how come he doesn't do this? Why are things as they are?" If we aren't starting from the viewpoint that God is a joke, and instead see Him as a being of perfect intelligence whose perspective lends him an absolute awareness of everything ever and omnipotence lends Him the ability to behave and respond perfectly to all that has ever been, we wouldn't dream of saying "If I were Him, I'd do things better!" An infant might insist it make more sense for his father to drive at 200 miles an hour, or that his bed should be made out of cookies, or any of myriad other fanciful notions - not one of which is grounds for him denouncing his father a fool. Existence is unfathomable and God's actions often inscrutable because we fall astronomically short of being able to comprehend either. Accepting this in humility and with respect for God should really be the starting point - from which God is desperate to have you bring to Him all those infinite issues and queries you have, about life, the universe and everything!
2 - You can't prove it!
This is a misleading argument, because whenever it's used it encourages the reader to think that there's no evidence pointing to Christianity as Truth - when in fact, all it ever demonstrates is that the precise evidence they have determined essential is not available in the exact manner and means they demand. This attitude can be taken about literally ANYTHING. It proves nothing...
As it is, there really is a weight of evidence that supports the argument for Christ, and I'd also like to encourage you to read the highly readable and worthwhile books "The Case for a Creator" and "The Case for Christ" as recommended by Mark.
Way more important than that, though - please, pray about this, talk to God relentlessly, don't give your time to reading things which reinforce the views about Christianity which this world is desperate to drum into you - spend as much time as you can with Him, and with those who know Him.
I'll be praying for you too.
Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.