Why I am Not an Atheist, Part 3

Atheists Change the Meaning of Faith.

By Jon Kauffman

Several atheists have tried to convince me that atheism is true. Most atheists are not evangelical atheists and most of my atheist friends do not try to convert me. I have been asked by several atheists why I am not an atheist. I am answering that question.

I am thankful for outspoken atheists. As a result, many have gone to great lengths to explore the validity of the Christian faith. Biblical scholars have used textual criticism to demonstrate the Bible to be extremely reliable in relation to early manuscripts. Many apologists have developed the historical evidence available. Christian scientists have written many books demonstrating that science and the Christianity are compatible.

Definition of Faith

How do atheists define faith: Peter Singer says, “And what is faith? It is just believing in something for which you have neither rational arguments nor good evidence.”

How does the dictionary define faith: 2. a. 1: belief and trust in and loyalty to God. 2: Belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion. Meriam Webster.

Also: The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition or statement for which there is not complete evidence; belief in general. The Century Dictionary.

How I define faith: I agree that faith is a belief and trust in and loyalty to God. Belief in God is based on the evidence. Faith comes when evidence ends and give us confidence to reasonably believe what is logically based on that evidence. But faith is more. Whenever we believe something that is a logical extension to the evidence, we are practicing faith. Almost everything we believe is based faith

Example: A paleontologist may find a jaw bone and tell us many things about that animal. If we follow the evidence, more bones found later may prove some of his theories incorrect and change our view of that jaw bone. We can have faith that the conclusions reached by the paleontologist correspond to truth about that animal.

If we follow the evidence, we can have faith that Jesus rose from the dead. The evidence is strong enough that we can easily believe that beyond a reasonable doubt the resurrection occurred. Millions have believed. Based on the fact of the resurrection, we can by faith follow the teachings of Jesus in the way we live. Because we are human our knowledge of the truth about God is very limited.

Everyone has faith. Each of us has a worldview. Our worldview is what we think is really true about our world, ourselves and about God. That worldview is determined by our experiences, the culture in which we live, the evidence we see in theology, philosophy, and science. As our knowledge increases our world view may change.

We are very small human beings, on a tiny planet earth, on a small galaxy that is one of billions. From a scientific perspective we know almost nothing. From a spiritual perspective we know almost nothing. Almost everything we think we know is based on faith.

Atheists pretend the evidence does not exist.

Atheists pretend that the New Testament is not reliable. “How Badly Was the New Testament Corrupted?”, Dan Wallace at SDSU.

They pretend evidence of Israel in Egypt at the time of the Exodus does not exist.

They pretend evidence for reality beyond the material world does not exist.

They pretend scientists who disagree with them are liars.

They pretend evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus does not exist.

They claim changes Christian’s experience are only psychological. They do not understand. We cannot understand until we have experienced it.

By blind faith atheists believe the blind watchmaker can create the universe and life and fill the gaps.

When atheists begin looking for truth, they find God.

We know that atheists such as C. S. Lewis, Alistar McGrath, Jane Fonda, Lee Strobel, David Wood and Michael Guillen and many other atheists became Christian due to the evidence.

The historical evidence strongly suggests that Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus became Christian before their deaths.

Anthony Flew became a deist.

When we become Christian, the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Many people experience drastic changes in their lives and in their behaviors. As we develop a relationship with Jesus our personal experience provides more evidence.

Great archeological finds.

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

In this world of unbelief, the mountains and hills are breaking forth into singing and giving us evidence. The boyhood home of Jesus has been found in Nazareth. The site of Sodom has been found. A great deal of evidence for Israel in Egypt dated from 1850 BC to 1450 BC has been found. More evidence demonstrating the reliability of the Bible as a historically accurate document is being found by archeologists every year.

The New Testament often refers to the Evidence.

Writers of the New Testament thought we can only believe if we have evidence. They often referred to the evidence.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our[a] joy complete. 1 John 1: 1-4.

Only by the evidence can we figure this out.

“There is evidence that God exists and that the Christian faith is true.” John Lennox

If we want to believe in Jesus and follow Jesus, we can see by the evidence that we can believe and follow Jesus.

If we do not want to believe and follow Jesus, we can easily come up with one more excuse explaining why we should not believe.

If we pretend evidence does not exist and do not include that evidence in forming our world view, how is it possible to have a faith or a world view that corresponds to reality?

If Jesus is not risen from the dead than our faith is useless.

8 “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:6-11

Referenced in this post:

 “Is Atheism Dead?” by Eric Metaxas. If only I was as intelligent and witty as Eric Metaxas perhaps, I too could write such an entertaining and well thought out book.

“Believing is Seeing: A physicist Explains how Science Shattered his Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith” by Michael Guillen, PhD.

“Against the Tide, Finding God in an Age of Science” John Lennox, Kevin Sorbo.

“The Universe Next Door, A Worldview Catalog” by James W. Sire.

How Badly Was the New Testament Corrupted?”, Dan Wallace at SDSU.

Copyright © 2022 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Revised: 11/30/2022

A Film: Against the Tide, Finding God in an Age of Science

By Jon Kauffman

In this film, Oxford Professor John Lennox and Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo discuss the scientific evidence for God and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

Does science bury God? Lennox demonstrates that science and Christianity are compatible.

Are science and faith in conflict? John answers no. The fact is science supports faith.

John Lennox learned the German and Russian languages and lectured at universities in communist countries Hungary, East Germany and the Soviet Union. And where does an atheistic philosophy lead. We can see what happened in the atheist communist countries who tried to eliminate God and to keep dignity for human beings. The experiment in atheism failed.

The atheism/Christianity debate is not about science. The debate is about philosophy and worldview.

A quote from the movie’s website: https://againstthetide.movie/

Against the Tide is a travelogue, an examination of modern science, an excursion into history, an autobiography, and more. But at heart, it is the story of one man’s daring stand against the tide of contemporary atheism and its drive to relegate belief in God to society’s catalogue of dead ideas.

Join the conversation between Dr. John Lennox—esteemed Oxford professor, mathematician, and philosopher of science—and veteran Hollywood actor and director Kevin Sorbo as they journey from Oxford to Jerusalem and explore the evidence on which Lennox’s Christian faith stands firm.

A quote from Movieguide.org.

AGAINST THE TIDE is a stirring documentary about Christian Oxford University professor John Lennox and his life of intelligent debates against renowned atheists. MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning actor Kevin Sorbo travels to Great Britain to meet Lennox for this must-see movie. Later, the pair visit the Holy Land to explore Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

The movie begins with Kevin Sorbo, who rose to fame by playing Hercules on TV in the 1990s. Later in Sorbo’s career in the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD, Sorbo played an atheist who challenges one of his university students to prove that God isn’t dead. A Christian student in his class quotes John Lennox, a Christian professor who refutes atheism. Cut to Great Britain where Sorbo ventures to meet Lennox.

The pair meet and chat in the same pub, The Eagle and The Child, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien contemplated Christianity. Viewers learn that Lennox is an Irishman and grew up in a family that challenged him to think deeply about other people’s points of view. One of Lennox’s teachers encouraged him to go to college, unlike so many of his peers, and Lennox went to Cambridge to study mathematics. His zeal and interest for God and Christianity grew, and he found himself having healthy debates with people about God.

Lennox believes that to make a convincing argument, one must base their truth claims on the evidence. Lennox spent time behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War and learned that communism has always gone hand in hand with atheism. Many of his travels helped strengthen his arguments against renowned atheists like Richard Dawkins.

Halfway through AGAINST THE TIDE, Sorbo and Lennox travel to the Holy Land to unpack the historical validity of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Sorbo continues to ask Lennox about the reliability of the biblical authors and questions of that sort. Lennox always responds in a collected manner and draws on physical and intellectual reasoning for the hope Christians have in Jesus. Although science has made important discoveries and innovations, for Lennox and believers around the world, science simply can’t contain the glory of God.

AGAINST THE TIDE is extremely well written and features stellar archival footage clips that bring Lennox’s points of view to life. The music is also evocative and fits seamlessly with the on-screen action. Kevin Sorbo makes a great intellectual companion of John Lennox, and the pair have great back and forth conversation that helps debunk the age-old debate about the existence of God. The movie also might make viewers want to travel as well and experience the same feelings of the two gentleman who unearthed truth while abroad in the Holy Land.

AGAINST THE TIDE has a very strong Christian, biblical worldview. It stresses God as Creator and Jesus as God Incarnate. However, due to the religious discussion and debate, there are some references to Anti-Christian, atheist arguments and attacks. Of course, Lennox always brilliantly refutes these attacks and arguments with stronger Christian arguments and answers. MOVIEGUIDE® commends AGAINST THE TIDE for all older children and adults. AGAINST THE TIDE will strengthen their Christian faith and, hopefully, bring new people to Christ.

A quote from Patterns of Evidence: https://store.patternsofevidence.com/products/against-the-tide-dvd

Against the Tide is a travelogue, an examination of modern science, an excursion into history, an autobiography, and so much more. But at its heart, it is the story of one man’s daring stand against the tide of contemporary atheism and its drive to relegate belief in God to society’s catalogue of dead ideas.

Dr. John Lennox – esteemed Oxford professor, mathematician, and philosopher of science – along with veteran Hollywood actor, producer and director Kevin Sorbo journey from the university hallways of Oxford and Cambridge to the Holy Land to explore the intersection of science and Christianity, and the evidence on which Lennox’s Christian faith stands firm.

Along the way Prof. Lennox recounts his scholarly travels in the Soviet Union, and adds that experience to his debates with prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, and Peter Singer.

Then, as Kevin Sorbo and Prof. Lennox walk where Jesus taught – from the top of Mount Precipice to the Sea of Galilee – they dive deeper into the origins of Christianity right where it all happened, and ultimately reach the crux of their conversation: do science and history refute the Bible?

Copyright © 2022 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Is Science Burying Atheism?

By Jon Kauffman

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

 “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:37-40 NIV

Are the stones in America crying out praises to God?

I recently finished reading “Return of the God Hypothesis” by Stephen C. Meyer. Stephen says:

Three key scientific discoveries … supported theistic belief—what I call “the return of the God hypothesis”: (1) evidence from cosmology suggesting that the material universe had a beginning; (2) evidence from physics showing that from the beginning the universe has been “finely tuned” to allow for the possibility of life; and (3) evidence from biology establishing that since the beginning large amounts of new functional genetic information have arisen in our biosphere to make new forms of life possible—implying… the activity of a designing intelligence.

Meyer, Stephen C. Return of the God Hypothesis (pp. 12-13). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

Stephen begins his book exploring the history of science showing how Christianity made science possible. He then looks at some of the scientific evidence supporting a theistic belief.

Science cannot proof the existence of God in a mathematical sense, but with the knowledge we have from science, philosophy and theology, we can see that Christianity is the most coherent belief system and most likely to be true.

In a recent video I watched on YouTube, Eric Mataxes asks Mathematician Dr. John Lennox “Has Science buried God?” Dr. Lennox says “No.”

I think there is a real possibility that with “Return of the God Hypothesis” Meyer has a demonstrated that Science is burying atheism.

I would highly recommend reading “Return of the God Hypothesis.”

Copyright © 2021 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.

Edited: 8/22/2021

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