I was surprised to read T.J. Foster’s great leap to atheism in the Friday, Nov. 22, edition after particularly precise disagreements with a theologian and an evangelist.
As you may be aware, so few are atheist, even agnostic. The Pew Religious Landscape survey reports that 22.8% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, and atheists make up 3.1% and agnostics 4% of the U.S. population. The General Social Survey similarly reports 21%, 3% and 5%. According to numerous global studies on atheism, there are 450 million to 500 million positive atheists and agnostics worldwide (7% of the world’s population), with China having the most atheists (200 million). This is simply because the vast majority of people believe we were created by an all powerful supernatural intelligence, a deity, God. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.
While I understand why science only recognizes material solutions/causes, the existence of God is logical. There is not otherwise enough time to account for the complexity and size of the universe. The necessary first cause, the natural law, the age of the sun, the age of the moon, the average erosion rate, the information required at the start (DNA), the absence of all transitional intermediates, three of the world’s five major fossil beds having salt water, fresh, Arctic and tropical remains, the second law of thermodynamics, the impossible mathematical probabilities, the obvious design, the precise tuning of all the systems, the irreducible complexity — all of these ought to confront any reasonable person.
And there’s so much more in terms of evidences. The fulfilled prophecies, historical veracity, amazingly preserved scriptures, the plausibility of the Christian faith should give every intellectually honest and independent critical thinker pause to consider. As Blaise Pascal said, God “so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given signs of himself, visible to those who seek him and not to those who seek him not. There is enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.”
Usually, unbelief is a heart issue, an unwillingness to submit to the authority of a holy and righteous God which keeps people away, or even from seeking him. Be but willing to believe, humbly seek wisdom from God, responding to the revelation given, and more will be given. It’ll be like scales falling from your eyes. Once you see, you always and everywhere see. I have no doubt, we will all one day meet Jesus.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus promises that if we “ask, it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” And in Jeremiah 29:13, God again promises that “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I would encourage you to pray for wisdom, asking the Lord as he promises, “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I would advise T.J. Foster and others to humbly try it, even offering a prayer, “if you exist, then show me.” For God promises that he will reveal himself. You don’t want to get this wrong. Blessings to you.