The Bible is Not Proof the Christian God Exists

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Some atheists love to get into debates with Christians about the existence of the Christian God.  I did a bit of this myself a few years back, but I have stopped doing so. Reason? A person’s belief that the Christian God exists does not rest on proof or evidence. Granted, some Christians, who want to appear educated and scientific, will argue endlessly that they can prove God exists. They might use philosophical arguments or appeal to answered prayer, but these arguments rarely satisfy anyone but a person who is already a Christian.

Evangelicals tend to take another approach. Evangelicals are inherently presuppositionalists. They start any discussion on God with the presupposition that God exists. They then go to the Bible, which they consider divine truth, and find verses that prove their presupposition. In their mind, quoting the Bible is proof.

In a recent letter to The Columbian, an Evangelical husband and wife attempted to answer an atheist’s demand for proof that God exists. Their letter was quite straight forward and to the point:

We have a response to Steve Engard’s Feb. 7 letter “Where’s evidence that God exists?” regarding disbelief in God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” (Psalm 14:1a).

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:18-19).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Born-again Christians are not here to “prove” anything except to lay down our lives that others such as Engard may know the amazing love of God as proven through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his Son. Please forgive us when we forget the main thing: God loves you.

Don and Judy Ebel
Vancouver

Evangelicals often fail to understand that quoting the Bible has zero effect on an atheist or anyone else who is not an Evangelical. As an atheist, I reject the authority Evangelicals give the Bible. It is just another book, no different from Fifty Shades of Grey. I do not consult the Bible to determine what is moral or ethical, and, outside of opening its pages to find a reference for a blog post, my trusty KJV Bible sits on the book shelf gathering dust.

I readily admit that it is possible for someone to look at the natural world and the starry sky and conclude that a creator of some sort played a part in the creation of the universe. I think this belief has its own unique set of problems, i.e. where did God come from, but I certainly can intellectually understand this belief. However, I can not intellectually embrace the notion that this God is the Evangelical God of the Christian Bible. The Evangelical belief in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible poses an insurmountable problem for me because it requires a belief in a God who is capricious, genocidal, violent, and immoral. The Evangelical God is a God I would not want as a neighbor let alone being someone who is worthy of my devotion and worship.

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Evangelicals only embarrass themselves when they try to “prove” their version of God exists. More and more people are no longer buying what Evangelicals are selling. As science continues to give us a more comprehensive understanding of the universe, many people are realizing that the Evangelical explanation of God is no longer reasonable or rational. Evangelicalism would be better served if they retreated from the field of battle and said, we believe, by faith, the Christian God exists. This statement would be the end of the discussion for Evangelicals. As I learned long ago, faith can never be disproved. Faith exists beyond what can be observed and proved.

No proof for the existence of God will satisfy the atheist, and no argument the atheist makes against the existence of God will satisfy the Christian. The Christian has faith, the atheist doesn’t. It really is that simple. I am no longer willing to “faith” it. I look around the world I live in and I play the Where is God game. I see where his followers SAY he is, but I no longer find their God sightings persuasive. If the Christian God exists, he is certainly either on vacation, quite lazy, or a relative of Rip Van Winkle. Perhaps he is like Baal, when Elijah said Baal was on a long bathroom break.

Comments (16)

  1. Lynn

    “The Evangelical God is a God I would not want as a neighbor let alone being someone who is worthy of my devotion and worship.” Bruce, when you were a Christian, you WERE devoted to such a God. So was I. How did we and how do they still do that?

    Also I’d love to see a post on what the Bible actually IS. What I mean is-how did the writers come to write what they wrote? Why did they write it? To get power? Or did they truly believe those things happened to them or to those in their past? It’s probably a huge subject, but I’d love a summary or something. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Obiron

      As someone who was an evangelical Christian for 30+ years I share that sentiment. I have no idea. All I saw was some image of a God who occasionally did mysterious things and it would all be explained someday when we got to heaven. Jesus was loving and the main focus. The OT God was always trying to show us something that we could never quite grasp until Jesus came along when all became love.

      Somehow, God had a special pass to violate standards of morality that we would not accept from a human. After all, he was God (as the preacher might say.)

      Reply
    2. Carl

      Hello Lynn,
      I too have been wondering about the origins of the Bible. As it happens I have a deep loathing of the Catholic church. Not Catholics, since I know that mostly they’re good-hearted people, but the Vatican/Papacy is the ‘evil empire’ in my humble opinion.

      So I was hardly surprised when I came across this article http://atlanterati.com/2014/01/the-bible-and-the-catholic-church.html
      It explains how the Roman Catholic Church essentially gave us what is in today’s modern Bible.
      I’ve fact-checked some of the article and it seems mostly to be genuine, despite its obvious bias against Catholicism. It’s worth a read, and may answer some of your questions, as it did mine.

      Carl

      Reply
  2. Anne

    The newest, most ridiculous thing shared yet by a fundy family member hoping to change the error of an atheist’s ways: “Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice.” ~C.H. Spurgeon As if disbelieving bible god, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in bible devils and hell, which will scare me back to the fold. Sheesh. Well, I try to be patient, because I was once totally clueless, too.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie

    The Quran is proof that Allah exists. Non believers are without excuse. It is obvious to anyone who looks around. The fulfilled prophecies and historical accuracy prove the divinity of the Quran. Sound familiar?

    I think a person can make a case for a higher being but you can’t use that to then say that proves your religion without showing how your religion has merit. Like you would have to show that the Bible (New Testament), Quran, Torah etc., have something that shows they are clearly inspired by God or at least astonishingly accurate and revealing about things we couldn’t have known otherwise. It makes no sense to jump from God exists arguments to that proves my religion! I have seen it done, though.

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  4. Scott

    Hey I’ve used all those verses…. but never have I been so presumptuous to say “Born-again Christians are not here to “prove” anything except to lay down our lives “….. Wow I struggled just to mention the name of Jesus in conversation….. As far as laying down lives for others – only Jesus did that….. (Although I once knew an Indian Christian (as in Asian Indian) who was close to laying down his life for others…. but not a western christian in the late twentieth or early twenty first century…)

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  5. Pat f

    I showed my husband the bible/Spider-Man comic. He really did almost fall out of his chair. :) He’s starting to get it.

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  6. Alice

    When one believes that the book is magical, then there is no argument against what it says. I don’t know how I ever believed that a book contained the very words of God.

    Reply
  7. Matt

    I have to disagree with something here Bruce. Atheists most surely do have faith. They have a faith that they are right and born again believers of Christ are wrong.

    You haven’t experienced death any more than I have. So you are just hoping that you may be right and I am wrong.

    Statistically speaking, would it maybe be wiser to lay all of your chips with Christ, and possibly lose nothing, or lay them with your own finite understanding and possibly lose everything?

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Here’s what I know. Everyone lives, everyone dies. Everyone who has ever died has stayed dead. No one has resurrected from the dead. Thus, it is improbable that dead people come back to life. By all means, please point me to all the living people you know that were once dead and are now living.

      Your last paragraph uses what is called Pascal’s Wager. http://infidels.org/library/modern/theism/wager.html

      Reply
    2. gimpi

      Matt, I always have the same answer to this:

      “Is God OK with me faking it?” Because, I can’t simply decide to believe in something. I believe those things that have, to my satisfaction, been proven by the preponderance of the evidence. The evidence that I have been able to gather regarding the truth of the Bible is not satisfactory to me, therefore I don’t believe. I can’t just will belief, any more than I can just will love or happiness. Why do so many Christian folks regard belief as a choice. To me, I have no choice at all.

      Again, I can only believe what the evidence proves to be true. Your proof?

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    3. Aram McLean

      You don’t lose nothing Matt. Rather you lose the opportunity to live this (potentially) one life fully.
      (Not to mention, how do you know your religion is the right one to lay your chips with? Perhaps you should consider going Baha’i. I think Pascal’s Wager is their motto.)

      Reply
  8. gimpi

    I just pointed out to someone who answered my question with a Bible verse that I could quote the AP Style Book about everyone’s grammar, but it wouldn’t forward the discussion. That person got back to me, and asked for what I would require as proof that the Bible was the word of God. Here’s what I said:

    “It would have to concur with the geologic record and the DNA record. It would have to offer comprehensive explanations for miraculous events such as 700-year life-spans or giants. It would have to have no anachronistic or out-of-place references (such as referring to camels used as beasts of burden, when camels weren’t used that way in biblical times.) It would have to not be in direct conflict with some very good archeological evidence.

    “The system of translation would have to be transparent, without political or personal bias. The provence of each document would have to be impeccable. In other words, I would have to know who wrote down each book, and have a chain-of-custody that tracked their location until they were translated and collated into the whole.

    “I would also like to see valid mathematical or chemical equations that the authors would have had no way of knowing or understanding. I would like to see cosmological references that would have been impossible for people of that time to know. Something like stating that the sun is a star, and the stars we see are suns.

    “I fully understand that’s a tall order. Perhaps an impossible one. To my knowledge, there’s no book in existence that meets my criteria.”

    Reply
  9. Max

    I think you should debate Christians more often. Not to convince them but rather to convince others. When I first found you on the internet, I was impressed by your ability to tear apart theological arguments before declaring it a moot point since there is no god. This is a capability lacking by many who debate Christians.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thanks, Max.

      I am not a debate fan but I do like having discussions about the Bible. I think the only way to reach an Evangelical is to move them off their belief that the Bible is an inspired, inerrant text. Take the creation debate. I think it is good that scientists debate people like Ken Ham, but I think Ham’s beliefs are primarily theological rather than scientific. So, I focus on the theological/textual issues. Of course, this is what I am most familiar with. :) Me in a science debate would last all of about three minutes. :)

      Reply
  10. Aram McLean

    I hope that letter was from Vancouver, Washington. Sheesh!
    By the by Bruce, it seems to me you’ve mentioned Fifty Shades of Grey a few times now. Perhaps a new religion in the works… ;)

    Reply

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