I believe in God. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. Many atheists struggle with the idea of “blind faith,” but the claim that disciples of Jesus (aka Christians) are called to “blind faith” is simply untrue.
- There is no place in the Bible where human beings are told, “Believe this, just because.” This misunderstanding is due to a mistaken definition of faith. The Bible’s view of faith is best described as “trust.” This is certainly different from “proof,” but faith is never presented as belief without evidence or against all evidence. In fact, the Bible consistently points to historical events as the basis for our faith (Numbers 14:11; John 14:11).
- Atheism is the view that God does not exist. Atheism is not a new development. Psalm 14:1, written by David around 1000 B.C., mentions atheism: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Recent statistics show an increasing number of people claiming to be atheists, up to 10 percent of people worldwide. So why are more and more people becoming atheists? Is atheism truly the logical position atheists claim it to be?
- Why does atheism even exist? Why doesn’t God simply reveal Himself to people, proving that He exists? Surely if God would just appear, the thinking goes, everyone would believe in Him! The problem here is that it is not God’s desire to just convince people that He exists. It is God’s desire for people to believe in Him by faith (2 Peter 3:9) and accept by faith His gift of salvation (John 3:16). God clearly demonstrated His existence many times in the Old Testament (Genesis 6-9; Exodus 14:21-22; 1 Kings 18:19-31). Did the people believe that God exists? Yes. Did they turn from their evil ways and obey God? No. If a person is not willing to accept God’s existence by faith, then he/she is definitely not ready to accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). God’s desire is for people to become Christians, not just theists (those who believe God exists).
- The Bible tells us that God’s existence must be accepted by faith. Hebrews 11:6 declares, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” The Bible reminds us that we are blessed when we believe and trust in God by faith: “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
The existence of God must be accepted by faith, but this does not mean belief in God is illogical. There are many good arguments for the existence of God. The Bible teaches that God’s existence is clearly seen in the universe (Psalm 19:1-4), in nature (Romans 1:18-22), and in our own hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). With all that said, the existence of God cannot be proven; it must be accepted by faith.
- At the same time, it takes just as much faith to believe in atheism. To make the absolute statement “God does not exist” is to make a claim of knowing absolutely everything there is to know about everything and of having been everywhere in the universe and having witnessed everything there is to be seen. Of course, no atheist would make these claims. However, that is essentially what they are claiming when they state that God absolutely does not exist. Atheists cannot prove that God does not, for example, live in the center of the sun, or beneath the clouds of Jupiter, or in some distant nebula. Since those places are beyond our capacity to observe, it cannot be proven that God does not exist. It takes just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a theist.
- Atheism cannot be proven, and God’s existence must be accepted by faith. Obviously, Christians believe strongly that God exists, and admit that God’s existence is a matter of faith. At the same time, we reject the idea that belief in God is illogical. We believe that God’s existence can be clearly seen, keenly sensed, and proven to be philosophically and scientifically necessary. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).
You have great reasons you believe what you believe. I can attack those reasons directly but that probably won’t help you radically change how you are thinking about this. I want to help if you are willing to consider a journey.
Here are some steps to consider if you want to start. If you don’t, God bless you. I hope you come back. We all need to change. LIFE is at stake.
- Come to know Jesus as your Saviour — I have missed God’s goal (aka sin). It is a gift from God that Jesus paid the price for me. Jesus saves me from death and brings me into life. LIFE starts with accepting Jesus as having saved me. I now have life and know the author of life. If you haven’t started, this is the first step.
Consider this about LIFE: “This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior the Messiah Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the good news.” ~Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 1)
- Commit to Jesus as your Master — Jesus is King of God’s country. Jesus is in charge. I am not. Jesus is my Master. I am His slave. This is tough, but it is essential. Nothing happens without this change in how I think and act.
- Begin to radically change how you think and change your mind — This is known as repenting. Commit to how to live a new LIFE. The truth is you are wrong about lots of things. I am as well. What if you are wrong about LIFE? Please step back. You are in fact very wrong. I had to change how I was thinking. You do as well.
- Become a disciple — Salvation is the start, not the end. Jesus calls me to learn (aka be a disciple). One important part of learning that Jesus is King of God’s country is to learn about LIFE. This is journey. I radically changed how I think and I learn from Jesus, who is LIFE.
- Hear what Jesus says — When you hear Jesus, you hear about LIFE. Jesus is clear. Read the four Good News books (aka Gospels); Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Read them again. Read them every day. Get what Jesus is saying into your heart and soul. Talk with God, your Father and with Jesus. Ask to hear the truth. Jesus is the TRUTH.
- Jesus (and God) say our job is to love — That means we are to love LIFE. There aren’t any exceptions. Jesus does not say it is okay to love everyone but the unborn. Jesus is clear.
Consider the Apostle John: “We know that we have passed from death to LIFE because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death.” It is easy to think it is okay to kill the unborn when you “remain in death” yourself. This isn’t being harsh. Love requires some pain in recognizing our own condition.
Does God exist? It is a serious question to consider.
- The big final thing is the “day of judgement” — I will stand before God. So will you. I will answer for love and LIFE. Will I hear “Good and faithful slave” from Jesus? Will you?
So what will happen? I am confident, based on this journey, you will decide in favor of LIFE. If you don’t, please let me know what else I can do to be of help.
Why do atheists say there is no evidence for God’s existence when there is? Why do atheists chose to believe a lie?
Starting with the idea of ‘evidence,’ what exactly does one mean by evidence? What is sufficient evidence for one person is often not sufficient evidence for another. A court of law provides innumerable examples of how two parties can possess the same collection of data, the same power of logic and reasoning, yet argue for completely different interpretations of the data. There is the reasonable doubt standard and preponderance of evidence standard.
The old saying is true: the facts do not determine the argument, the argument determines the facts.
When confronted with the charge that there is no evidence for God the disciple of Jesus often does not know where to start with a rebuttal. It’s as G.K. Chesterton once said, asking a follower of Jesus to prove God’s existence is like asking someone to prove the existence of civilization. What is one to do but point and say, “look, there’s a chair, and there’s a building,” etc. How can one prove civilization by merely selecting a piece here and a piece there as sufficient proofs rather than having an experience of civilization as a whole?
Nearly everything the disciple lays eyes on is proof of God’s existence because he sees the ‘handiwork’ of God all around him in creation. But this is hardly sufficient evidence in the court of atheist opinion, a court which presupposes that only what can be apprehended by the senses rightly qualifies as evidence. For the Christian who believes in a transcendent God, he can offer no such evidence; to produce material evidence for God is, ironically, to disprove a transcendent God and cast out faith.
The second part of the line is equally short-sighted. What does one mean by ‘existence’? If one means, ‘that which has come into existence,’ then surely God does not exist because God never came into existence. He always was; He is eternal. This was a famous assessment of the matter by Soren Kierkegaard (dealing with the incarnation of the Messiah Jesus).
The holy scripture says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. Holy scripture states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.
In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very definition of God.
A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, if the Earth were significantly closer or farther away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 1 followed by 243 zeros). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.
A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” cause is God.
A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?
Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
People claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.” The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (Romans 3:23, 6:23).
If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.
How do we know God exists? As disciples of Jesus, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious.
In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.
*2. If God created the universe, who created God?
This is one of the more peculiar arguments I’ve ever come across. Those who use this charge as some sort of intellectual checkmate have simply failed to grasp what Christians understand as ‘eternal.’ It is an argument usually levied once a theist posits that a ‘first cause’ or an ‘unmoved mover’ is required for the existence of the universe (a ‘necessary’ Being upon which all other things exist by way of contingency). Some atheists then shift the weight over to the theist saying, “Well then who created God?” What is a Christian to do but smile at such a question? God is the antecedent of all things in creation and is eternal. If God had a Creator then His Creator would be God. God is God precisely because He does not have a creator.
3. God is not all-powerful if there is something He cannot do. God cannot lie, therefore God is not all-powerful.
Not so fast. This argument would be fantastic—devastating maybe—if God was more of the ancient Greek god persuasion, where the gods themselves were subject to fate and limited to their specific roles in the cosmos. The Orthodox doctrine of God is much different. Christians (at least Orthodox Christians) view God’s ontology as subject to His perfect free-will. Why is He good? Because He wills to be good. Why does He not lie? Because He wills to be honest. Why does God exist as Trinity? Because He wills it. He could just as easily will to not exist. And yes, He could just as easily will to lie. The fact that He doesn’t is no commentary on whether He could.
(Note: Due to the immense amount of discussion that this point has raised, one clarifying statement is worth noting. An argument based on strict logical word games can render the idea ‘all-powerful,’ or ‘omnipotent’ self-defeating. When one considers the juvenile question, “Can God create a rock so big that He can’t lift it?” this point becomes clear. But in reality, such an argument winds up further solidifying what Christianity means by calling God all-powerful. For the Christian it simply means that all power and authority are God’s. Following the logical word game above forces the believer to make a redundant proclamation in order to remain consistent: “God cannot overpower Himself.” But this fact is anything but confounding, it merely stresses the point that there is no power greater than God, so much so that one is forced to pit God against Himself in order to find His equal.)
4. Believing in God is the same as believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
What I love about this well-worn atheist ‘argument’ is that it actually serves to demonstrate how vastly different a belief in God is to these myths and imaginations. When one honestly assesses the Judeo-Christian doctrine of God he will find multiple thousands of years of human testimony and religious development; he will find martyrs enduring the most horrific trauma in defense of the faith; he will find accounts in religious texts with historical and geographical corroboration; etc (these fact are of course not ‘proofs,’ but rather ‘evidences’ that elicit strong consideration). Pit this against tales of the Tooth Fairy, Santa, and Spaghetti Monsters and one finds the exact opposite: no testimony or religious refinement, no martyrs, no historical and geographical corroboration, etc. Instead, one finds myths created intentionally for children, for point making, or for whatever. It’s strawman argumentation at its worst.
5. Christianity arose from an ancient and ignorant people who didn’t have science.
Indeed, those ancient, ignorant people who believed in the virgin birth of Christ must have believed it because they did not possess the knowledge of how babies were born. Goodness. The virgin birth of Christ was profound and of paramount concern to the ancients precisely because they understood that conception was impossible without intercourse. Ancient man considered the virgin birth miraculous, i.e., impossible without divine action (and at the time most people scorned the idea), and the same could be said with every miraculous story in Scripture.
Indeed ancient people did not have the Hubble telescope, but they were able to see the night sky in full array, something almost no modern person can claim (thanks to modern lighting which distorts our ability to see the full night sky). On average, ancient people lived much closer to nature and to the realities of life and death than many of us moderners.
In terms of a living relationship with these things the ancients were far more advanced than we are today, and this relationship is essentially the nature of religious inquiry. If people lack religious speculation today, maybe it is because they spend more time with their iphones and Macs then with nature. Maybe.
But the claim that Christianity was viable in the ancient world because it was endorsed by wide spread ignorance is a profoundly ignorant idea. Christianity arose in one of the most highly advanced civilizations in human history. The Roman Empire was not known for its stupidity. It was the epicenter of innovation and philosophical giants. I would wager that if a common person of today found himself in a philosophical debate with a common person of first century Alexandria, the moderner would be utterly humiliated in the exchange.
6. Christian’s only believe in Christianity because they were born in a Christian culture. If they’d been born in India they would have been Hindu instead.
This argument is appealing because it pretends to wholly dismiss people’s reasoning capabilities based on their environmental influences in childhood. The idea is that people in general are so intellectually near-sighted that they can’t see past their own upbringing, which, it would follow, would be an equally condemning commentary on atheism. But, this is a spurious claim.
Take the history of the Jewish people for example. Let us say that to ‘be’ Jewish, in the religious sense, is much more than a matter of cultural adherence. To be a Jewish believer is to have Judaism permeate one’s thinking and believing and interaction with the world. But is this the state of affairs with the majority of the Jewish people, whether in America, Europe, Israel, or wherever? One would have to be seriously out of touch to believe so. The same phenomenon is found within so-called Christian communities. Indeed, being born in a Jewish or Christian centric home today is more often a precursor that the child will grow up to abandon the faith of his or her family.
7. The gospel doesn’t make sense: God was mad at mankind because of sin so he decided to torture and kill his own Son so that he could appease his own pathological anger. God is the weirdo, not me.
This is actually a really good argument against certain Protestant sects (I’ve used it myself on numerous occasions), but it has no traction with the Orthodox Christian faith. The Orthodox have no concept of a God who needed appeasement in order to love His creation. The Father sacrificed His own Son in order to destroy death with His life; not to assuage His wrath, but to heal; not to protect mankind from His fury, but to unite mankind to His love. If the reader is interested to hear more on this topic follow this link for a fuller discussion.
8. History is full of mother-child messiah cults, trinity godheads, and the like. Thus the Christian story is a myth like the rest.
This argument seems insurmountable on the surface, but is really a slow-pitch across the plate (if you don’t mind a baseball analogy). There is no arguing the fact that history is full of similar stories found in the Bible, and I won’t take the time to recount them here. But this fact should not be surprising in the least, indeed if history had no similar stories it would be reason for concern. Anything beautiful always has replicas. A counterfeit coin does not prove the non-existence of the authentic coin, it proves the exact opposite. A thousand U2 cover bands is not evidence that U2 is a myth.
Ah, but that doesn’t address the fact that some of these stories were told before the Biblical accounts. True. But imagine if the only story of a messianic virgin birth, death, and resurrection were contained in the New Testament. That, to me, would be odd. It would be odd because if all people everywhere had God as their Creator, yet the central event of human history—the game changing event of all the ages—the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ had never occurred to them, in at least some hazy form, they would have been completely cut off from the prime mysteries of human existence. It seems only natural that if the advent of Christ was real it would permeate through the consciousness of mankind on some level regardless of their place in history. One should expect to find mankind replicating these stories, found in their own visions and dreams, again and again throughout history. And indeed, that is what we find.
9. The God of the Bible is evil. A God who allows so much suffering and death can be nothing but evil.
This criticism is voice in many different ways. For me, this is one of the most legitimate arguments against the existence of a good God. The fact that there is suffering and death is the strongest argument against the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. If suffering and death exist it seems to suggest one of two things: (1) either God is love, but He is not all-powerful and cannot stop suffering and death, or (2) God is all-powerful, but He does not care for us.
I devoted a separate article addressing this problem, but let me deal here with the problem inherent in the criticism itself. The argument takes as its presupposition that good and evil are real; that there is an ultimate standard of good and evil that supersedes mere fanciful ‘ideas’ about what is good and evil at a given time in our ethical evolution, as it were. If there is not a real existence—an ontological reality—of good and evil, then the charge that God is evil because of this or that is really to say nothing more than, “I personally don’t like what I see in the world and therefore a good God cannot exist.” I like what C.S. Lewis said on a similar matter: “There is no sense in talking of ‘becoming better’ if better means simply ‘what we are becoming’—it is like congratulating yourself on reaching your destination and defining destination as ‘the place you have reached.’”
What is tricky for the atheist in these sorts of debates is to steer clear of words loaded with religious overtones. It’s weird for someone who does not believe in ultimate good and evil to condemn God as evil because He did not achieve their personal vision of good. So, the initial criticism is sound, but it is subversive to the atheist’s staging ground. If one is going to accept good and evil as realities, he is not in a position to fully reject God. Instead, he is more in a position to wrestle with the idea that God is good. This struggle is applauded in the Orthodox Church. After all, the very word God used for his people in the Old Testament—“Israel”—means to struggle with God.
10. Evolution has answered the question of where we came from. There is no need for ignorant ancient myths anymore.
This might be the most popular attempted smack-downs of religion in general today. It is found in many variations but the concept is fairly consistent and goes something like this: Science has brought us to a point where we no longer need mythology to understand the world, and any questions which remain will eventually be answered through future scientific breakthroughs. The main battle-ground where this criticism is seen today is in evolution vs. creationism debates.
Let me say upfront that there is perhaps no other subject that bores me more than evolution vs. creationism debates. I would rather watch paint dry. And when I’m not falling asleep through such debates I’m frustrated because usually both sides of the debate use large amounts of dishonesty in order to gain points rather than to gain the truth. The evolutionist has no commentary whatsoever on the existence of God, and the creationist usually suffers from profound confusion in their understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis.
So, without entering into the most pathetic debate of the ages, bereft of all intellectual profundity, I’ll only comment on the underlining idea that science has put Christianity out of the answer business. Science is fantastic if you want to know what gauge wire is compatible with a 20 amp electric charge, how agriculture works, what causes disease and how to cure it, and a million other things. But where the physical sciences are completely lacking is in those issues most important to human beings—the truly existential issues: what does it mean to be human, why are we here, what is valuable, what does it mean to love, to hate, what am I to do with guilt, grief, sorrow, what does it mean to succeed, is there any meaning and what does ‘meaning’ mean, and, of course, is there a God? etc, ad infinitum.
As far as where we come from, evolution has barely scratched the purely scientific surface of the matter. Even if the whole project of evolution as an account of our history was without serious objection, it would still not answer the problem of the origin of life, since the option of natural selection as an explanation is not available when considering how dead or inorganic matter becomes organic. Even more complicated is the matter of where matter came from. The ‘Big Bang’ is not an answer to origins but rather a description of the event by which everything came into being; i.e., it’s the description of a smoking gun, not the shooter.
Atheist should believe God’s Attributes
The following is a list of some of God’s known attributes. Since we cannot fully comprehend God completely, we can know what He is like through the verses in the Bible that reveal those attributes. This is not an exhaustive list but more of a springboard to help you get familiar with God’s character as He has revealed Himself in His word. Take the time to read a verse or two and meditate on them to comprehend and understand God biblically and more deeply.
- Infinitude of God – God is Infinite (limitless). God is not limited by anything outside of His character. This applies to all of God’s attributes. (Example: The goodness of God means God is infinitely good, God is also infinitely just, infinitely immutable, etc…)
- God is Personal – God is a self-conscious Being capable of thought, will, and interaction with His creation.
- Creator – The whole of creation came into existence through the will and power of God.
- Life Giver – All of life was and is created by God and is dependent on Him.
- Immateriality of God-The state or quality of being immaterial. God’s existence is non-physical, and is distinct from His creation.
- Self-Existence of God – God has always existed. God does not have a beginning.
- Self-Sufficiency of God – God has no needs, cannot improve and does not change. We, on the other hand, as created beings rely completely on God for our every breath.
- Omnipresence of God – God is present everywhere at all times.
- Omnipotence of God – God can do all things that are consistent with His character. God is all powerful.
- Omniscience of God – God has all knowledge.
- Sovereignty of God – God created everything and therefore all things are under His sovereign control.
- Eternality of God – The Eternality of God refers to his timeless nature. God had no beginning, and will have no end.
- Immutability of God – The Immutability of God means He cannot change in His nature, Character or dependability.
- Perfection of God – God is completely flawless, lacks nothing and has no moral imperfection.
- Holiness of God – God is set apart from His creation.
- Wisdom of God – (omnisapience) By His omniscience, God perfectly knows all possibilities and what would happen if they came to pass. By His omnisapience, His wisdom is perfect so that He knows which course of action is the best.
- Wrath of God – God’s moral Character leads Him to judgment and punishment of unrighteousness.
- Grace, Mercy and Love of God – God’s dealing with His people are based on His goodness, compassion, concern and generosity; instead of what we truly deserve.
- Impassability of God – God is without passions. He is not overwhelmed by any emotion, he is not incapacitated or weakened or stifled by any event or any amount of grief or love. Rather, God is totally self-controlled. While God does grieve, and does passionately love, he does so completely on purpose.
- God is Truth – Absolute truth has its foundation in God Himself, because God is truth.
- Justice of God – All of God’s judgments are infinitely and perfectly just.
- Freedom of God – The freedom of God, also called divine freedom, designates that God is free and “not constrained by anyone other than himself. He does what he pleases and therefore he is always free… He is not bound to the dictates of anyone else. He does make promises, to be sure, which obligate him to do certain things, but he makes those promises voluntarily.”
- Jealousy of God -Throughout the bible, from Genesis to Revelation God always draws his people’s attention to himself – not to personal holiness or social justice or any of the other good things that follow from a good relationship with God, but to himself. When his people’s attention wanders from him, he’s quick to draw them back. This attribute of God is known as his “jealousy”. We usually think of jealousy as an ugly emotion, as when we want the success or money that someone else has. But there is also an absolutely right kind of jealously, and that is the reluctance of someone to allow others what is rightly his and his alone. The classic example is of a husband and wife – each of them is, in the right sense, jealous for the other. Neither will share the other with anyone else: the very idea is abhorrent to them. In the same way, God will not accept the idea that he has to share our passion and affection with anyone or anything else.
- Simplicity of God – “The simplicity of God means that God is a unified being, without parts, – He is one essence. God is not composed of a variety of substances. In this sense he is different from humans who are made up of matter and spirit. Jesus is not an exception to this truth. While he took a human body while here on earth he is still absolute spirit in his essence.
- Goodness of God – There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better.
- Solitariness of God – There was a time when creation, even heaven, didn’t exist, but God’s glory did because He is from everlasting. There was a time when angels, nor humans were praising Him and He was still altogether wonderful. He is self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-satisfied. He was under no compulsion to create out of necessity or deficiency. He created all things simply to display His glory. God could’ve very well chosen not to create and He still would be The Perfect One.
- Veracity of God – This is that perfection of God in virtue of which He is true in His inner being, in His revelation, and in
- His relation to His people. He is the true God over against the idols, knows things as they really are.
- Decrees of God – The decree of God is His purpose or determination with respect to future things.
- Foreknowledge of God – The fact is that “foreknowledge” is never used in Scripture in connection with events or actions; instead, it always has reference to persons. It is persons God is said to “foreknow,” not the actions of those persons.
- Patience of God – the Divine patience is the power of control which God exercises over Himself, causing Him to bear with the wicked and forebear so long in punishing them. In Nahum 1:3 we read, “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,”
- Immanence of God – The literal meaning of the immanence of God is “to be within” or “near” in relation to God’s creation. Immanence is closely related to God’s omnipresence, in that God is always present within the universe, though distinct from it. God is ‘within’ the universe in that God is its sustaining cause. God is active within His Creation.
- The Majesty of God -Sovereign power, authority, or dignity. It is also a reference to greatness or splendor of quality or character.
*What atheist need to know about who God is
The Bible, God’s Word, tells us what God is like and what He is not like. Without the authority of the Bible, any attempt to explain God’s attributes would be no better than an opinion, which by itself is often incorrect, especially in understanding God
After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. | Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Job 42:7). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
To say that it is important for us to try to understand what God is like is a huge understatement. Failure to do so can cause us to set up, chase after, and worship false gods contrary to His will.
Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands. | Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Ex 20:3–6). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Only what God has chosen to reveal of Himself can be known. One of God’s attributes or qualities is “light,” meaning that He is self-revealing in information of Himself (Isaiah 60:19; James 1:17). The fact that God has revealed knowledge of Himself should not be neglected (Hebrews 4:1). Creation, the Bible, and the Word made flesh (Jesus Christ) will help us to know what God is like.
Let’s start by understanding that God is our Creator and that we are a part of His creation (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1) and are created in His image. Man is above the rest of creation and was given dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28). Creation is marred by the fall but still offers a glimpse of God’s works (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 1:19-20). By considering creation’s vastness, complexity, beauty, and order, we can have a sense of the awesomeness of God.
Reading through some of the names of God can be helpful in our search of what God is like. They are as follows:
- Elohim – strong One, divine (Genesis 1:1)
- Adonai – Lord, indicating a Master-to-servant relationship (Exodus 4:10, 13)
- El Elyon – Most High, the strongest One (Genesis 14:20)
- El Roi – the strong One who sees (Genesis 16:13)
- El Shaddai – Almighty God (Genesis 17:1)
- El Olam – Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28)
- Yahweh – LORD “I Am,” meaning the eternal self-existent God (Exodus 3:13, 14).
God is eternal, meaning He had no beginning and His existence will never end. He is immortal and infinite (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17). God is immutable, meaning He is unchanging; this in turn means that God is absolutely reliable and trustworthy (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 102:26, 27). God is incomparable; there is no one like Him in works or being. He is unequaled and perfect (2 Samuel 7:22; Psalm 86:8; Isaiah 40:25; Matthew 5:48). God is inscrutable, unfathomable, unsearchable, and past finding out as far as understanding Him completely (Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 145:3; Romans 11:33, 34).
God is just; He is no respecter of persons in the sense of showing favoritism (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 18:30). God is omnipotent; He is all-powerful and can do anything that pleases Him, but His actions will always be in accord with the rest of His character (Revelation 19:6; Jeremiah 32:17, 27). God is omnipresent, meaning He is present everywhere, but this does not mean that God is everything (Psalm 139:7-13; Jeremiah 23:23). God is omniscient, meaning He knows the past, present, and future, including what we are thinking at any given moment. Since He knows everything, His justice will always be administered fairly (Psalm 139:1-5; Proverbs 5:21).
God is one; not only is there no other, but He is alone in being able to meet the deepest needs and longings of our hearts. God alone is worthy of our worship and devotion (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is righteous, meaning that God cannot and will not pass over wrongdoing. It is because of God’s righteousness and justice that, in order for our sins to be forgiven, Jesus had to experience God’s wrath when our sins were placed upon Him (Exodus 9:27; Matthew 27:45-46; Romans 3:21-26).
God is sovereign, meaning He is supreme. All of His creation put together cannot thwart His purposes (Psalm 93:1; 95:3; Jeremiah 23:20). God is spirit, meaning He is invisible (John 1:18; 4:24). God is a Trinity. He is three in one, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. God is truth, He will remain incorruptible and cannot lie (Psalm 117:2; 1 Samuel 15:29).
God is holy, separated from all moral defilement and hostile toward it. God sees all evil and it angers Him. God is referred to as a consuming fire (Isaiah 6:3; Habakkuk 1:13; Exodus 3:2, 4-5; Hebrews 12:29). God is gracious, and His grace includes His goodness, kindness, mercy, and love. If it were not for God’s grace, His holiness would exclude us from His presence. Thankfully, this is not the case, for He desires to know each of us personally (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 31:19; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:16, 17:3).
Since God is an infinite Being, no human can fully answer this God-sized question, but through God’s Word, we can understand much about who God is and what He is like. May we all wholeheartedly continue to seek after Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
*Logical Fallacies Atheists Make
Like it or not, atheist believe a lot of things that are not logical. Here is a partial list with definitions, examples and exceptions to the rule that show contrary to what atheists claim, Christianity does not commit these errors:
Argumentum ad antiquitatem (the argument to antiquity or tradition)- the argument that something is right or acceptable because of tradition or history.
Example: Whenever an atheist says “Atheism is the default position.”
Exception to the rule: There is no exception per say, but the fallacy itself rests on two assumptions: the notion was correct when first introduced; in other words, it was correct because it was the most common view, plus past justifications for the tradition are still valid at present. Neither of these apply to Christianity given what research has shown concerning the notions found in Christianity for both God existing and the morality found in the Bible (more on this later)
Argumentum ad hominem (argument directed at the person)- attacking the person making the stand and not the stand itself.
Example: Whenever an atheist says, “Christians are nothing more than bigots!”
Exception to the Rule: if the label matches the facts given about a person, or if a certain trait may very well be relevant to the issue, or if the trait can be proven, then no fallacy was committed. Hence, why I can get away with saying atheists are idiots.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam (argument to ignorance)- stating a notion is true because it hasn’t been proven false.
Examples: either the atheist will say “God can’t exist because no one has proven there is one” or they’ll place an impossible or unlikely condition for belief, such as “Unless god shows himself and walks on water so that I can see it happen I refuse to believe in a god.”
Exception to the rule: If despite all known evidence and research, we still can’t figure out the undeniable answer, we are to go with the answer that best fits the evidence. As Sherlock Holmes once stated, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left–no matter how implausible–must be correct.” Hence, why Christians can say God created the universe.
Argumentum ad nauseam (argument to the point of disgust; i.e., by repetition)- the fallacy of trying to prove something by repeating it over and over again and the expectation that the repetition alone will substitute for real arguments. It is also known as proof by assertion, an informal fallacy in which a proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction.
Example: whenever an atheist presents the same refuted argument over and over again.
Exception to the rule: As far as I can tell, there is no exception to the rule; there is however the burden of the person restating the refuted notion to prove why it’s right in spite of overwhelming evidence.
Argumentum ad populum (argument or appeal to the public)- the fallacy of trying to prove something by arguing that the majority of popular opinion agrees with you.
Example: whenever an atheist says the number of atheists are growing. (Notice the slight of hand: if the Christian population were growing, the atheists would think the people are crazy, but if the atheists are growing, they can’t praise it fast enough.)
Exception to the rule: This has five exceptions. If one uses the numbers to show people do hold the belief, if it’s a matter of social convention, if it concerns a law in regards to public safety, how people speak a language or if one can show why people hold the belief, then no fallacy committed. Hence, why Christians can say their faith is a matter of culture, because what culture basis itself on atheism?
Begging the question- when what you are trying to prove is already assumed.
Example: They will often argue that “Atheism isn’t belief. Atheism is the lack of belief.” This is nothing more than a play on words.
Exception to the rule: if something outside your assertion can prove the assertion true. This is why atheists claiming “Christians think the Bible is true because it says it’s true” doesn’t work. Even Michael Shermer found that wasn’t the case
Dicto simpliciter (sweeping generalization)- he fallacy of making a sweeping statement and expecting it to be true of every specific case; aka a stereotype
Example: whenever atheists claim all religious people bomb buildings
Exception to the rule: if an objective piece of evidence shows a group actually does perform this action.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this)-when correlation is mixed with causation.
Example: any given atheist notion concerning prayer, or saying prayer doesn’t work
Exception to the rule: if correlation can indeed prove causation.
Naturalistic fallacy- the fallacy of trying to form a value conclusion (what is right or good) from statements of fact alone.
Example: someone might argue that the premise, “Science has concluded that naturalistic causes are solely responsible for the origins of life. You should therefore believe that a god does not exist.”
Exception to the rule: There is no exception to this rule.
Non Sequitur (“It does not follow”)- the simple fallacy of forming a conclusion about something that does not strictly follow from the premises or that may have another explanation.
Example: claiming that since ice cream sales rise the same time as car thefts, then ice cream causes car thefts. Or alternatively, saying atheism is rising shows atheism is the better position.
Exception to the rule: No real exceptions per say; one merely has to show what one has to do with the other.
One-Sided Assessment-fallacy committed by many atheists when they ignore arguments of evidence from religion since it isn’t what they prefer evidence to be.
Example: saying there are more Christians in prison than atheists. This doesn’t work since a) it has nothing to do with God existing b) the study used doesn’t exist.
Exception to the rule: none
Red herring-the fallacy of bringing irrelevant facts or ideas to an argument in order to distract from the topic at hand.
Example: whenever atheists try to refute atheism being a religious stand by concluding baldness is a hair color. One has nothing to do with the other.
Exceptions to the rule: same as non-sequitor
Slippery slope-an argument that says adopting one idea or belief will lead to a series of ideas or beliefs, without showing a causal connection between the two ideas or beliefs.
Example: A popular example in atheism is when atheists argue in favor of there being no gods because believing in gods will lead to atheism of other gods. Denial of one has nothing to do with acceptance of the other.
Exception: when Christians claim having no absolute values leads to overall breakdown of values as this is based on credible studies
Straw man- This fallacy occurs when a debater sets up a related but often extreme version or easier position of somebody’s argument, rather than the actual argument made.
Example: using crime rates in Christian nations to show Christians murder people, even though that ignores the teachings of the Bible
Exception to the rule: the best way is to show how your take is related to the one at hand.
Tu quoque (“you too” or “you are another”)- This is the fallacy of defending an error in one’s reasoning by pointing out that one’s opponent has made the same error.
Example: When confronted with the suffering atheism has caused, atheists will say “Christians caused far more misery,” which a) answers nothing and b) is not historically accurate.
Exception to the rule: If one can prove it applies to the other side, but not at all to your own.
Chronological Snobbery- the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority.
Example: any time atheists refer to the Bible as “Bronze age nonsense.”
Exception to the rule: none
Category Error (aka Category Mistake)- a semantic or ontological error in which “things of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another” or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property.
Example: saying God can’t be real because science can’t prove God’s existence, even though Christianity never claimed that.
Fallacy of Guilt by Association- asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association.
Example: every time an atheist brings up the Inquisition or the Crusades, since they don’t know much about either.
Exception to rule: if you can prove this is not typical behavior of the group.
Burden of Proof error- placing the burden of proof on someone or something that doesn’t deserve it.
Example: (and this is VERY common with atheists) Saying it is up to the Christian to prove God exists, when it should be on the atheist.
Exception to the rule: If the notion is one held by the majority of people and can be shown why they believe it, then no fallacy committed. Note that this by itself doesn’t mean it’s true but it does show who has to explain what.
Appeal to Authority- claiming something is true because an authority says it’s true.
Example: if an atheist cites an atheist thinker as to why they hold a notion.
Exception to the rule: (and both of these must hold true) If the notion is held as mutual consensus by experts in the field, then no fallacy was committed.
No True Scotsman- When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule.
Example: If an atheist says “all true Christians are hypocrites.”
Exception: if the notion matches the textbook definition (ie all atheists don’t believe in God) or mentions a trait a group is supposed to have (ie all humans are mammals) no fallacy committed.
So there you have it…all atheist fallacies and how to refute all of them. Trust me: point out to an atheist that they committed a fallacy and they will fall to pieces.