A Holiday for Atheists
Henry Morris, in his book The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, suggests “. . . [A]pril 1 would be a good holiday for atheists . . .” (93). The Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). Paul stated that those “who do not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28) are futile in their thoughts (Romans 1:21). Futile here means “unintelligent, without insight” (Rogers and Rogers 317). Sometimes it is the case that atheists boast of their philosophy as being “intellectual” and “scientific.” However, the Bible labels anti-God philosophy as foolish (cf. Romans 1:21). The Bible identifies those who reject the evidence for God (Romans 1:20-21) as “professing to be wise,” but in actuality, they have become fools (Romans 1:22). All of this reminds me of the story by G. K. Chesterton, entitled “The Oracle of the Dog,” from The Incredulity of Father Brown, in which we find the observation: “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense” (qtd. in Rees 158).
What are some of the foolish (i.e. irrational) implications of atheistic philosophy?
1. Life came from that which was not living. Even though all the available evidence today implies that life only comes from life, an atheist believes that, at some time in the past, the living came from the nonliving.
2. There can be design without a designer. A watch implies a watchmaker. A shoe implies a shoemaker. A house implies a house builder. An atheist believes the watchmaker, shoemaker, and house builder do not have a maker (cf. Hebrews 3:4).
3. The human body just happened. An atheist believes the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, et al. systems in man just happened (cf. Psalm 139:14).
4. There is no hereafter—no Heaven or Hell. An atheist believes physical death is the end. According to the atheist, our total being goes to the dust. There will be no accounting—no matter how one lives (cf. Acts 17:31).
5. The Bible is a book of colossal lies. If God does not exist, then the Bible is not the word of God as it claims (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
6. Jesus Christ was a liar, a lunatic, or a legend. If God does not exist, then Jesus is not the Son of God as He claimed. Instead, He would be the biggest charlatan, fraud, or fake known to man (cf. 1 Peter 1:21). As Blaiklock and Blaiklock summarized:
. . . [C]an we be certain that the writers of the gospels did not invent the character they portray? It has been suggested that they did and the suggestion is an illustration of the degrees to which criticism is driven to refute the written miracle of the Messiah. But allow the claim that the writers could desire to forge such beauty, grant the possibility of a greater miracle than all the Bible has to tell, that four simple men invented a Being who has entranced two thousand years, overlook all the historical and literary absurdities involved, and there is a psychological impossibility still to face which proves that the Christ of the gospels was not the child of His people’s imaginings. . . .
Judaism did not produce Him. Jews certainly did not invent the character of the gospels. Far different would have been the picture of the perfect man as any Jew or Greek would conceive it. . . . He ran counter to their ideas in every point. . . . No ancient Jew would have invented a Christ who bade one love his enemy and do good to those who use him spitefully. . . . [T]his man, smitten and spat upon and crowned with thorns, utters not a word it is utterly impossible that the Christ of these pages could have been either the child of His age or the literary invention of His contemporaries.
. . . [Christ’s] claims are not traceable to any myth or legend. They enter into the very substance of all He said. . . . Either—and we have seen its impossibility—four ordinary men created this astonishing character, and by four little books of simple Greek changed the history of the world, or else it was a madman who did this, a madman, for this is the unthinkable alternative, for whom mankind’s best have lived and died, and from whose teaching the sweetest things of life have flowed. For no one facing Christ with opened mind could call Him a bad man, a deliberate imposter. (55-60)
I feel as William F. Buckley who told the story of an excited young Darwinian at the end of the 19th century. He said grandly to the elderly scholar, “How is it possible to believe in God?” The answer from the elderly scholar was, “I find it easier to believe in God than to believe that Hamlet was deduced from the molecular structure of a mutton chop!” Perhaps Morris was correct: April Fool’s Day would be a good holiday for atheists. Only a fool could believe there is no God.
Blaiklock, E. M. and D. A. Blaiklock. Is It—Or Isn’t It? Why We Believe in the Existence of God. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,1968.
Buckley, William F. Jr. “How Is It Possible to Believe in God?” 23 May 2005. Web. 2 Feb. 2009.
Morris, Henry M. The Heavens Declare the Gory of God. Grand Rapids: Word, 1997.
Rees, Nigel. Cassell Companion to Quotations. London: Cassell, 1997.
Rogers, Cleon L. Jr, and Cleon L. Rogers III. The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.