Archive for January, 2011
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).
Perhaps you have seen or read of these billboard images. Millions of cumulative dollars have been spent this past year by AustinCoR.org, FreeThoughtAction.org, AmericanHumanist.org, and other such atheist organizations in a national effort to refute the existence of God and promote their message and views of life without God. Combine this with the popular titles and hostile tones of the new academic atheists such as Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great), Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), and Sam Harris (The End of Faith) and you quickly realize that for a people whose life is based, supposedly, on purely rational thought such effort and expenditure is completely irrational.
As adults, we do not believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy but we do not spend our time, energy, and resources to disprove their existence. To do so would be counterintuitive. I never think about these fictional characters during the course of the day; they never enter my “radar screen.” And I certainly don’t spend time and the better part of my thought processes to write books and create advertisements to prove false their existence.
However, I am sympathetic to the plight of the atheist. Prior to becoming a believer during my college years, I had determined that I was going to be an atheist. My thought was that if I embraced atheism, I could just exist and live life (a rather selfish approach) and, hopefully, the result would be that my haunting thoughts of God would just go away.
About a year into this faithless journey, I realized that I was not a very good atheist. In fact, I was an abysmal failure as an atheist because, like these vitriolic new atheists of today, I was obsessed with God. I simply could not escape the notion that there is something or someone that transcends the human experience, and the only option left was to call “it” God. The next step of my journey would lead me to further clarification and a defining of God as being embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.
Is my faith rational? Perhaps not in the scientific laboratory where the burden of do-ability, provability, and repeatability is necessary, but I do consider it to be reasonable and philosophically consistent.
Inherent individual freedom allows a person the right to be an atheist and disbelieve in the existence of God, but it seems to be a contradiction that such “rational” thought would result in such irrational behavior.
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
The possibilities of what might be reach far beyond our circumstances. Mark Speckman, in his 13th year as the head football coach of Williamette University, was born without hands. As a player he started 40 games at Azusa Pacific University as a linebacker. Even though he needed help from teammates to put on his shoulder pads and tie his pants, Speckman intercepted several passes, recovered fumbles, and was once called for illegal use of the hands. He even earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors.
Speckman says of his “handicap”, “I have embraced it: It’s part of who I am, it’s a good story, and people get a lot out of it.” His “can do” spirit has given him a full docket of speaking engagements, from junior highs to Fortune 500 companies. The message is always the same: “We all have self-doubts, trouble getting over problems, figuring out different ways of doing things; but we can all do more than we think we can. We all have gifts.”
As you face not just a new year, but even the day before us, both scripture and the testimony of the lives around us challenge us to greater heights than we ever imagined.