jottings from tertius

views of the world from my worldview window

"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton


SITES OF NOTE

Tektonics Apologetics Ministry
blogs4God
The Adarwinist reader
Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
He Lives
Mike Gene Teleologic
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
one-eighty
Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
Shandon L. Guthrie
Clayton Cramer's Blog
Andrew Bolt columns
Ann Coulter columns




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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton


"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton


"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon


Monday, April 28, 2003

ship of fools

 
The Bible knows nothing of the kind of atheists one meets on various Internet forums. In the ancient world such strange creatures just did not exist. In fact they did not exist until the 17th century and even then they remained as rare as hen’s teeth for another 250 years. Thus, there are in fact no arguments against philosophical atheism per se anywhere in the Bible. The well-known passage from Psalm 14:1 that reads: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." does not refer to the atheism of Internet Infidels. The “fool” in this verse is literally a morally bankrupt person, and as most atheists are keen to point out how thoroughly moral they are, the verse can’t apply to them, can it?

The morally bankrupt person does not proclaim a philosophy of atheism with his mouth but he espouses a form of practical atheism in his heart by living without respect or reverence for the one true God. So, on second thought, many modern atheists could be fairly called “fools” from the perspective of the Judeo-Christian worldview. According to this worldview God holds individuals accountable for their failure to acknowledge his rule and sovereignty. As with the law of the land, so with the law of God – ignorance is no excuse. Active philosophic denial, or practical day to day denial, or even attempts at fence sitting, all constitute, according to the Biblical worldview, a denial of the reality of the one true God.

In the Greek scriptures of the NT the word “atheos” is used once in Ephesians 2:12 to describe the condition of being “without God”. Before atheists start over-exerting themselves by jumping up and down with excitement and glee let me point out that “atheos” means literally that: “without God” - it does not have any connotation of being “without or lacking a belief in god”, or religion. It was not that the Gentiles did not believe in gods or god, but they did not believe in the true God. And for all practical purposes, in the biblical worldview you either believe in the true God or you don't really believe in God at all. Some atheists love semantic games; they deny that they deny God at all, claiming they are merely lacking any “sense” of him. But Jesus said “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Them’s the breaks. Those without God were certainly not without religion. The term applies to all people who do not know and follow Christ and is not an attack directly on the philosophic atheist, though he of course would be included in the category of being “without God” (proudly so, judging by the comments of many among the Internet Infidels!)

But anyway if we don't like the demands of a particular worldview we can build a new one - after all man is his own boss, the measure of all things, and can do whatever he puts his mind to! There is unlimited potential for all sorts of brave new worlds. Moreover we have the luxury and privilege as human beings of exercising our free choice as to what we believe or disbelieve. So let’s build a new naturalistic belief system (or is it an unbelief system?) - a secular, materialistic, atheism perfect for life in the modern western world. We will pretend we have no gods, no, not even one, to whom we bow down. No statues erected to Goddess Reason or to Blind Watchmaker God. No! We will live in a completely god-free zone. We will, we will, just you wait and see...

“I am the Lord” declares one bold atheist of himself on a Christian forum he frequents. At least he recognizes (albeit subconsciously) the inescapable truth that we are “homo religioso”. Man is a worshipping being, a religious animal; if he doesn’t worship the true God he will worship - not “nothing” - but something, anything. Deny that you deny God all you want. Perhaps it makes you feel better. But you cannot deny the flesh that lies beneath the skin even of those critics who flock to Christian web forums espousing atheisms. And there is no guarantee that any of us will be exempt from a day of reckoning when we may have to give an account of what we did with our lives…

6:01:00 pm