God Has Spoken 1: Reflections on J.I. Packer’s Book

“Theology is for doxology.” J.I. Packer

As I find myself in the middle of a conversation that is dominated by Evangelistic Atheists (EAs) on the one hand and the heirs (wittingly or unwittingly) of American Fundamentalism on the other hand, I find myself disagreeing with both sides with respect to how they frame the debate and on their assumptions about the nature of Christianity. I have described their almost symbiotic relationship in a series of posts entitled  An Unhappy Marriage.

As one who grew up reading and watching Carl Sagan and other modern scientific apologists, I too imbibed a particular views of Christianity especially with respect to the nature of revelation and of the Christian Scriptures aka the Bible. I accepted their understanding of the nature of Scripture and of Biblical Revelation. This view was reinforced by some Christian relatives, televangelists, and pop-culture in general. For instance, my grandfather was into End-Times charts and, as far as I know, I was the only one of his grandchildren that enjoyed these theological conversations. Like Carl Sagan, I was much more into extra-terrestrials but was fascinated by people’s beliefs in and the idea of supernatural beings as well.

For the most part, those who engage in evolution vs. creationism or science vs. Christianity debate seem to share similar views on the nature of Scripture. Obviously, atheists reject that any text ought to be authoritative in the way Christians hold the Bible to be authoritative but many atheists tend to grant that people like Ken Ham and other heirs of American Fundamentalism are normative with respect to how Christians do and ought to read Scripture. Continue reading “God Has Spoken 1: Reflections on J.I. Packer’s Book”

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Credulous Skeptics & Mythical Memes 1: Jesus Did not Exist

Credulous Skeptics and Mythical Memes 1: “Jesus Did not Exist”

In this series, I question the veracity of and logic behind some of the popular memes employed by Evangelistic Atheists (EAs) and self-proclaimed skeptics in their supposed war on ignorance. For the most part, I seek minimal claims and suggest an appeal to agnosticism or caution on the part of self-proclaimed skeptics. That is, I simply  ask skeptics to be consistently skeptical by being skeptical with respect to some of the extreme claims that seem to support their generally anti-theistic tendencies. Yet, these extreme claims often undermine their credibility and raise questions about their status as bona fide skeptics. Continue reading “Credulous Skeptics & Mythical Memes 1: Jesus Did not Exist”

Shh . . . Don’t tell the theists! An Atheistic Evolutionary Argument for the Conspiratorial Perpetuation of Theism

Even in recent history, committed atheists are a relatively small number of the world’s population and some statistics show that as atheism rises in a particular culture so does superstition. Despite their small numbers, some committed atheists are a very vocal minority which in other posts I have referred to as “evangelical atheists” or EAs. That is, some atheists feel it is their duty to spread the good news of atheism.

The assumption is that if theists are awakened from this perceived delusion the world will be a better place, somehow. Public figures like the comedian Bill Maher seem to think that theism is the root of all evil and holds humanity back from our true potential.

Yet, I question the wisdom of awakening humanity from its religious dreams.

For the sake of argument, let us say that the atheists are correct. Let us say, there is no god, there are no gods, etc. Let us say that there is nothing but the material world and that what we call mind is simply an emergent quality that ultimately has a physical explanation.

Of course, if the atheists are correct, then belief in the supernatural, in gods, angels, demons, astrology, ghosts, bodhisattvas, etc. (let’s lump them altogether for the sake of argument) are a byproduct of our biological evolution. Indeed, our imaginations, our ability to imagine the past and future, to think in abstractions, to use metaphor, seems to be something that gives us a distinct advantage as a species.

So, what if theistic beliefs likewise gives us a survival advantage? Are Evangelistic Atheists engaging in a dangerous experiment that could threaten the survival of the human species? Continue reading “Shh . . . Don’t tell the theists! An Atheistic Evolutionary Argument for the Conspiratorial Perpetuation of Theism”

An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)

In this series of posts, I am noting the shared presuppositions of most Young Earthers (YECs) and a particular though common subset of atheists which I am referring to as evangelistic atheists. Evangelistic atheists (EAs) are those who think atheism and atheistic reasoning are “good news” and that as they spread this good news theism (superstition) will decline and the world will become a better place through scientific discovery.

In the west and for obvious reasons, the primary target of evangelistic atheism’s polemical rhetoric is aimed at Christians. In my experience which includes reading, conversation, on-line interaction (i.e. not usually conversational), being a student in anti-Christian contexts, and my own youth which included an element of anti-Christian skeptical agnosticism most evangelistic atheists seem to assume and, indeed, insist that true Christianity is Protestant Fundamentalist Christianity.

Related Posts: Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with YouUnhappy Marriage I: Atheists are from Mars and Young Earthers are from Earth

I am likely stretching my analogy of the Unhappy Marriage to the breaking point but who cares its a blog. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)”

An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You

“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am stuck in the middle with you.” — Stealers Wheels

We are all fools. One type of fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

“Answer a fool according to his folly.” Sometimes, you have to set aside your ultimate aims and simply meet people where they are. You can’t just point an atheist to a Bible verse. That’s like quoting your mother to your wife in an argument.

As I suggested in my previous post, we all have biases, prejudices, and presuppositions. In fact, it would be difficult to function in the world without them. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You”