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
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.
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.