Thursday, October 27, 2016

Why I Am Not Atheist

One of the blogs I enjoy reviewing out on a regular basis is by Tim Challies. He is the publisher of where his catch phrase is “Informing the Reforming.”  I find many of his articles thoughtful, but I especially enjoy his regular “A La Carte” segment where he provides links related to an eclectic variety of interests. Recent links have included:

“Scientists are just beginning to believe what the Bible tells us in Genesis 6:3. ‘Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.’’ With that, God declared there would be no more Methuselahs, and new research published in the journal Nature is bearing that out.”

There is some stunning underwater footage in this video from Indonesia.

Turns out previous estimates were kind of low. “For decades, astronomers had put the number at 100 billion to 200 billion. But new research using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories shows that number is about 10 times too low. That means there are at least 1 trillion galaxies out there ― and possibly as many as 2 trillion.”

This is incredible HD footage of an Arizona Monsoon.

As a long-time listener to CCM, I tend to agree with this article. (Which had this link to another article I found relevant: The Moment I Began to Lose Faith in Contemporary Worship Music It was strange how it happened, the time I began to lose faith in contemporary worship music.)

Back in May, Tim did a series of articles on “Why I Am Not…” The first article was “Why I Am Not Atheist”.  After giving a brief description of his life’s belief, he provided two answers. The second was a list with brief descriptions of four basic apologetic style reasons: He sees evidence of God in existence, design, humanity and in the Bible. But what 
caught my attention was his first answer:

“First, according to the Bible, I am not an atheist because God determined I would not be. See, it’s not that I have any spiritual, intellectual, or philosophical inclinations within me that nudge me toward God. Rather, I have all the makings of a very convinced atheist—an inclination away from authority and toward independence, a questioning mind, and a restless spirit. But God chose to reveal himself to me and to draw me to himself. In his own way and for his own purposes he revealed himself, his existence, his goodness, his power, and I responded with faith, with belief. Ultimately, then, I am not an atheist because God showed me himself.”

He then went on to state, “That is the first answer and the second cannot be separated from it: I am not an atheist because of things I believe and decisions I have made. God works through, not apart from, human agency and ability. And in that way I am not an atheist on the basis of evidence I have observed and conclusions I have made.”

As one who is skeptical of some of the theological framework for Calvinism, I find statements such as, “I am not an atheist because God determined I would not be” somewhat troubling. If you are an agnostic or atheist, how do you feel about such statements? If you are a Christian, what do you think? If God works through human agency and my response is on the basis of observations and conclusions I have made, then how does that correspond with God choosing to reveal himself and draw me to him because he previously determined it?

You can read the entire article for yourself here. Tim does not have a comments section, but he does have a “letters to the editor” policy if you’d like to address your thoughts to him.

Don’t take my word for it, read the article, don’t wait for the movie.

Have a little hope on me, Roger

No comments: