(by Brandon Robbins)
There is a New Atheism in the world today. This Atheism is not just a belief, or for that matter a non-belief, about the existence of a deity. This Atheism has an agenda, a web site: https://www.the-brights.net/, a political action committee: Secular Coalition for America, and 5 books that have spent many weeks recently on the New York Times best seller book list. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris God the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist by Victor Stenger; and God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. There are stories about this religion of non-belief to be found in everything from USA Today to Wired Magazine. This movement will have its gospel of non-belief heard and will not stand for the unintelligent and irrational people of faith blocking its way.
This Atheistic movement is getting organized, and they want to impose what they “know” to be true on the world today. They believe that faith is harmful and must be removed from the civilized world. Listen to a few statements made by these “new Atheists” found in an article by Gary Wolf in Wired Magazine.
“Highly intelligent people are mostly atheists,”
“Science, after all, is an empirical endeavor that traffics in probabilities. The probability of God, Dawkins says, while not zero, is vanishingly small. He is confident that no Flying Spaghetti Monster Exists. Why should the notion of some deity that we inherited from the Bronze Age get more respectful treatment?”
“At some point, there is going to be enough pressure that it is just going to be too embarrassing to believe in God.”
“Sam Harris argues that, unless we renounce faith, religious violence will soon bring civilization to an end.”
“Like rape, Harris says, religion may be a vestige of our primitive nature that we must simply overcome.”
“Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains of innocent tykes. ‘How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents?’ Dawkins asks. ‘It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehood?”
Gary Wolf begins his article with a description of this movement: “The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it’s evil.”
Is the Church ready for this kind of attack? Are you ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you in the face of this attack (1 Pet. 3:15)? We read the words above and our blood gets pumping. We want to fight back! But how? In love we need to tear down these strongholds this movement is erecting. We need to be equipped to show people the false assumptions the “New Atheists” are making. The “New Atheists” use words like “reason” and “science” as if these two disciplines prove a secular worldview over/against a Christian one. Do they?
Although my belief in God is not based primarily on reason, it is reasonable and rational. Although my confidence rests in the power of the Holy Spirit, that does not mean I can’t show a rational grounding for my faith. The Apologetics Resource Center is here to help give an answer to those who deny the very existence of God.
Original article appeared in The Apologetics Resource Center Worldviews Newsletter May/June 2007
Image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net