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Rich the Atheist Hates God

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Meet Rich. He’s an atheist. After a conversation with him on the campus of El Camino College last week, he left with these choice words thrown in our direction: “When I see God I will tell him that he’s a nut job. F— God!”

Question: Why would he utter such blasphemous words?

Answer: Presuppositional apologetics.

rich atheist

Christians do not need to know about every scientific theory or secular doctrine that comes down the pike; they do not have to be well-versed in Quantum Physics or evolutionary biology even. No! That’s the unbeliever’s game. All a Christian needs to know is the Word of God.

Theologian John Frame defines presuppositional apologetics in this way:

a belief that takes precedence over another and therefore serves as a criterion for another. An ultimate presupposition is a belief over which no other takes precedence. For a Christian, the content of Scripture must serve as his ultimate presupposition…. This doctrine is merely the outworking of the lordship of God in the area of human thought. It merely applies the doctrine of scriptural infallibility to the realm of knowing. 

Here’s my explanation: Atheists suppose that there is no God. The Bible presupposes that they do.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
(Romans 1:21)

The Word of God is always correct. There is no need to apologize or offer excuses. Stand on the Word of God.

The atheist may ask: How do you know that it’s the Word of God?

You simply say, “Because the Bible says that it is.”

For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,

piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow, and discerning the
thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(Hebrews 4:12)

But that’s circular reasoning!” the atheist protests.

You simply respond: “So be it.”

How did everything get here? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

This is why Rich was so angry. The evangelist, Bob Johnson, was undeterred. He stood his ground. He stood on the Rock. A few weeks prior, another atheist stormed away because of Bob’s insistence that the Word of God was the answer.

To everything.

So simple. It’s almost too simple.

Get used to feeling like an idiot.

(John Frame quote from “The Gospel and Contemporary Perspectives” by Douglas Moo, page 143)

21 Comments

  1. I like the question that asks, Is it possible that the Christian God can make Himself known to His creation that they can know for certain that He exists. If they are reasonable they’ll have to say yes. Then you ask, Can He do it in a book?

    • Yeah Presup is just a way to shut down conversation, It doesn’t bring the lost to Christ. It was a bit deal a few years ago when it was new, now it’s pretty old hat. I don’t think Sye or any of the Acolytes could point to a single person who became a Christians from Presup.

      It works by the Apologist going first and refusing to answer questions. “I assume what I believe is true”

      That’s why the response boils down to “God loves You,” because all you do is annoy people with it.

      • ACTS 17:

        16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
        Paul Addresses the Areopagus

        22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

        “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

        as even some of your own poets have said,

        “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

        29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

        32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

        There. Fixed it.

      • It doesn’t appear to me that Paul was using the Presup technique there.

      • Read this again:

        Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

        32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

        Also, re-read Jesus’ temptation account in Matthew 4.

        I could go on and on….

      • Steve, I’m still not seeing any Presup technique in there.

        I’m not claiming that the Bible never uses a variation of Presup, but that passage you posted doesn’t appear to be using it.

        Not that this is an issue for me; I lack any respect for the Presup technique as used by Sye and, historically, Van Till and Bahnsen.

    • Lance wrote:
      “Is it possible that the Christian God can make Himself known to His creation that they can know for certain that He exists”
      Very easy to answer!
      The scripture says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16 NASB) – look at (1 John 4:13) as well!
      Hope this answers your question.

  2. The interesting thing is, of course, that the longer I am a Christian, the more I learn that “Secular arguments” against the Bible and against God are just silly. We understand that the Bible sets itself up as the “Word of God” and as such there is no “Higher authority.” I think what most Atheists need to understand is just how truly faithful the Bible is, how accurately it’s been translated and so on. We can take them to “Modern miracles” such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and prove to them that the Bible today exists basically identical to how it was 2,000 years ago, and prior to that we know the Jews faithfully transcribed each copy of the Torah.

    What they will come back with is “Science says …” To which we can accurately observe “Good science always agrees with the Bible.” At that point you can take them to the modern theories of Cosmology and show them that “Science” believes now that the Universe definitely had a beginning, and will have an end. The Bible has always told us that. Well, Science tells us that each species has a well-defined genetic “Code” and reproduces according to its kind. The Bible told us that a long time ago.

    The “Secular Humanists” will come back with all kinds of arguments, and “Theories” to which we must simply reply, have you concrete proof? “Well, no, uh….” Then we can ask them why they believe it? Most so-called “Science” these days is junk. Attempts to prove theories based on pre-conceived ideas and ill-formed boundaries around their “Experiments.” Any experiment is skewed by the fact that the Observer has some pre-conceived idea as to what they think will happen. Transference is inevitable, and is in fact, as likely as bias.

    The reason we can come back again and again to the Word of God is there is no bias there. God shows no favoritism. He also didn’t give us too much detail in order (obviously) that we not be bogged down in it. He has his purview (the Universe and all that is in it) and we have ours (us, ourselves, our relationships, what we believe).

    I could go on…

    We are to _believe_ the Word of God and accept it – completely. We are not told to throw out our intellect. Perhaps we ought to let folks know that Christians still think, it might be some comfort to them. It makes me slightly more comfortable interacting with Atheists that at least I know what arguments they will bring to the table, and how to refute them. They are easily categorized as either “Lies” (crack pot theories or just whacked out stuff like the Modern Liberal Left throws at us) or “Half truths.” Most have no hope of ever being proven. Evolution is my favorite. I actually wrote an entire article on Evolution categorizing and examining the various theories that make up what we call the “Modern” Evolutionary theories. If you are interested:

    http://sdebeaubien.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/evolution-vs-creation/

  3. Hi Steve,

    You wrote: “Atheists suppose that there is no God.

    And you’d not only be wrong, but you would be failing at mind-reading. Again, I don’t understand why some people can’t stop themselves from telling others how those others think; it just seems to me to be a horrible idea, and a horrible thing to do.

    I see it as disrespectful. But, eh, not sure that really bothers some of you.

    In other news, I apologize for not getting back to you on my top 5 reasons for not believing, Steve; life got in the way. I’ll try to put that list together soon (it’s just tough deciding on a “top 5″… I might just do a “top 3”, to be more concise).

  4. Well said Scott. And, I like prepositional argumentation too Lance. The first question to ask is: Is it impossible for God to exist?

    • Richard in order to answer that question, please define what you mean by God. If you attribute characteristics to this God that are contradictory with a proven state of reality (ie. Global flood vs. actual geological evidence) then yes, it would be impossible for God (as YOU have defined it) to exist, because reality always trumps fantasy (or ignorance).

  5. “Get used to feeling like an idiot.”

    There are plenty of Christians who don’t adopt this all or nothing mentality in regards to faith Steve, Fred Clark had a recent blog about it on patheos.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/04/22/fundamentalism-vs-reality-how-fundie-faith-destroys-itself/

    People don’t like feeling like idiots Steve, you may think doubling down on the fundamentalism is a sound strategy but you’re just poisoning the well. When people find out that the things you’re teaching them just aren’t true… Laminin perhaps?… then the damage could be great. You can teach people faith and science at the same time, your post seems to be waving the white flag of… I just want to be ignorant… but it really doesn’t have to be.

    • But it’s the word of God that opens eyes so that people may understand that it is true. You may tell me all day that you have proven scientifically that 2 + 2 does not equal 4. I will stick to my guns and continue to tell the truth that it is indeed 4.

      God’s Word never returns empty. Ever.

      As for Laminin, does not the scientific sketchings, if not the actuals, show crosses?

      Scientific rendering:

      Actual (kinda looks like a cross, huh?)

  6. This is some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen in awhile, both the OP and the Christian comments. It really brightened my day. Thanks for the laughs, folks. Keep it up.

  7. Atheist Rich, walks in the darkness and doesn’t even know it. Thankfully, it is not too late for him to repent and place his trust in the one who can forgive all his sins.

    It is not what goes into a man that defiles him, it what comes out of his mouth.

    Is it impossible for God to exist? Is it possible for God to reveal himself such that we could now it for certain?

    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

    “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”

    Does one want to know the truth or to believe a lie?

    Brothers, God had to breathe on you and me, there was nothing we could do to merit God’s favor.

    We had to come to God with a contrite heart, broken, humble and ask to be forgiven.

    Then we had to place our trust on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

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