Pastor Alin on the Deficiency of Atheism.

Alin

From atheist to pastor & “church planter,” Alin Patularu.

Article authored by pastor Alin Patularu. Content herein is not necessarily the view of the blog founder, James Bishop.

I used to identify as an atheist when I was a teenager, but I didn’t really know why. I had never thought through the implications of what it meant to be an atheist and just assumed I was one because my favorite bands identified with Godlessness. Granted, I was not an obnoxious, arrogant atheist who thought everyone was stupid except himself. I was just your average teenage kid who listened to death metal, loved professional wrestling and lived life on my own terms. However, now that I look back on what I just typed, I can see how maybe I wasn’t average after all, but I digress. When God began to get a hold of me I began to think over the implications of atheism, and soon came to discover how utterly deficient it is as a worldview.

Atheism takes many forms in our crazy backwards culture, but logically it can only lead to a naturalistic worldview. For if one denies the existence of a supernatural Creator God, than you are only left with the natural universe, the material before us. Author Dan Story defines naturalism like this, “At a foundational level, naturalism is the direct opposite of theism in one fundamental way. For a theist, God dominates; for a naturalist, any concept of God is vigorously denied. Reality is composed only of matter—there is nothing but nature, and everything has a natural explanation. The universe itself is a closed system that has always existed—it’s eternal. It operates like a gigantic machine according to unchanging natural laws. Nothing outside this closed system (the physical universe) exists” (Story, 1998, 122).

This is a major problem for atheism, especially modern evangelical atheism. Scientific inquiry has already proven that the universe, time and matter all had a beginning. The material universe we inhabit has not always been here, there was a time when it was not. The big bang, in an effort to discredit the Biblical God has actually confirmed what was said in ancient days, mainly the assumption that states, “In the beginning”. In a universe of cause and effect, eternality of material is logically impossible. Carl Sagan said, “The Cosmos is all that is and all that ever will be” (Sagan, 2002). The logic is that nothing comes from nothing. Something is. Therefore something always was. Many atheists deny this in favor of other explanations that affirm the beginning of the universe. However clever they may become in concocting a theory, all they do is intellectual gymnastics that ends up giving no real answers when all the jargon settles. The reason is, studying the natural cannot answer the question of its causing agent any more than studying the internal mechanism of a gear can answer the question, “How did this thing come to be?” You must go outside the gear to a transcendent creative agent to get your answer. You may answer a lot of important questions about the gears composition, elemental properties, how it works together with other mechanisms and so forth, but you will never be answer the question of how it came into existence. You’ll be a gear expert, but you will still be baffled as to why there is a gear in the first place. This is where we are now. We are experts in a lot of the sciences and know a lot about biology, astronomy, geology etc. But naturalism is still baffled by why all this uniformity and beauty surrounds us. Why is it all here in the first place?

We are the finite trying to understand how the finite came into existence by studying the finite. The finite cannot explain its existence without the infinite. Why? Because finite begets finite. It’s an infinite regress, which we know is not possible because space, time and matter all had a beginning. Eventually you will get to the beginning and discover that only an infinite, immaterial, timeless agent could give birth to finite material space and time. The first cause cannot be finite because that cause would have to have a cause. I hope I am not losing you here. The basic principle here is a universe that is linear composed of time, space and matter can only be explained by a timeless, immaterial, infinite cause. Any other effort to explain our reality is futile and doomed to eventual scorn. It is no wonder that the Psalmist said, “The fool says in his heart ‘there is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

Atheism reduces people to nothing more than matter in an enormous universe of other matter. It cannot explain (with any real clarity or consistency) the existence of morality, the reason for human dignity, intelligent life or the purpose of existence. In all the atheists hard toils and efforts to explain away God, he unknowingly (or knowingly and just not caring) has explained away all his arguments because they don’t really matter. His intelligence is nothing more than material interacting with other material in a chaotic mess of chemical reactions that have no real direction or reason for being other than they just are. This is why atheism is a monumental waste of time. Atheism often criticizes Christianity for hypocrisy. “If Christians really believed what they believed then they wouldn’t do this or that”. Well if atheists actually believed what they believed then they wouldn’t waste their time trying to discover the origin of reality which is guided by nothing in particular and is simply a mish mash of chemical reactions and the like.

I can hear the atheist say now, “I am interested in why we are here, I want to understand the universe and how it works”. Of course you do, because you are made in God’s image. The very impulse that leads the atheist to want to discover and learn about the Cosmos is the very impulse that proves the existence of a personal loving God. If you really believed there was no God, then you wouldn’t waste your time. What are you going to discover? More material? WOW, good job. “No”, the atheist replies. “I want to make my life easier by scientific discovery. I want to create medications that heal and technology that improves our quality of life”. Of course you do, because you are made in the image of a personal, loving God who has put dignity and worth in the human. The Scripture has been (and is continually fulfilled) which says, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

You see, no one will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and have an argument. God has created us in His image and given us all we need to know Him. We have these impulses in us to learn, discover, create, serve and help. Did these come from mindless material causes? Is love nothing more than dopamine increases and the effects of an organ in our skull? The problem is we have chosen to harden our hearts against God and live in sinful independence from Him. At the end of the day, atheism does not reject God because of purely intellectual reasons, atheists reject God because they don’t like Him. We love our sins and don’t want that pesky YHWH of ancient days to get in the way of our modern sophisticated lifestyle. We are an enlightened scientific society who does not need a dusty bible to tell us how to live. We have cell phones, the internet. We sleep on posture pedic beds manufactured by intelligent men and women in labs. We will not take our cues from that Jesus of Nazareth who slept on dirt floors. We are ATHEISTS!

We think we are so smart, but our arrogance and pride has led us to fall greatly. We may be able to put men on the moon and have video conversations with people half way across the world. But we don’t know the difference between male and female anymore, we kill our own children in the womb, we exploit women as sex objects and our children bring guns to school and kill each other. We have simultaneously become the most intelligent and confused society in all of human history.

The answer for atheism is Jesus Christ. That ancient Rabbi who rose from the dead. He brings order and reason into a worldview that is filled with chaos. Our sin is the real problem, and Jesus came to deal with that. It is time to turn from human reason and cling to God’s truth. It is not intellectual suicide to throw your deficient, human reason, to the mercy of the infinite, Godly reason. Actually, it is intellectual suicide to NOT do that. God is waiting, He loves you and will not cast you out. All who come to Him are accepted by Him. I have found in all my seeking of God, He was actually not that far off after all. God bless you all.

See more of pastor Alin at his website, as well as his online Facebook page.

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Sagan, C. (Producer) (2002). Cosmos [DVD].

Story, D. (1998). Christianity on the offense: responding to the beliefs and assumptions of spiritual seekers. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

7 responses to “Pastor Alin on the Deficiency of Atheism.

  1. The quote from Story is outdated and is not the last word on the possible origin of the universe. To claim “The universe itself is a closed system that has always existed—it’s eternal. It operates like a gigantic machine according to unchanging natural laws.” is to claim that we know this and current research into physics doesn’t say that this is how it is with no question.

    The Big Bang does not reflect what the Bible or any other supposed holy book claimed to have happened at their respective “creations”. It requires the theist to constantly reinterpret their bible in the light of current scientific research, always playing catch up to reality and falsely claiming that religion “knew it all along.”.

    Your argument is little more than the god of the gaps argument, which depends on humanity not knowing all of the answers “yet”. Geology has provided evidence that there was no magical flood. Genetics has provided evidence that there was no origin from two humans. and without Adam and Eve, there is no need for Jesus Christ, a character that has no evidence to support its existence. There may indeed have been an itinerant rabbi who was thought he was the Jewish messiah, and was killed, but that isn’t the one you worship.

  2. “To claim “The universe itself is a closed system that has always existed—it’s eternal. It operates like a gigantic machine according to unchanging natural laws.” is to claim that we know this and current research into physics doesn’t say that this is how it is with no question.”

    Your argument is “materialism of the gaps”. “I refuse to accept a conclusion of an argument so I will say that future discoveries will support my opinion”. How convenient to assume without evidence that future discoveries will support your opinion. The scientific method is to arrive to a conclusion with the current data. If there is more data and this merits a reconsideration, it is done. But you cannot say “we don’t believe in X theory because future discoveries could disprove it”. Of course, future discoveries could disprove it, but this does not mean that future discoveries WILL.

    In your case, it doesn’t work because the argument of this article is a philosophical argument based on deduction. Deductive arguments cannot be disproved by future experiments the way inductive arguments can.The same way no future scientific discovery can disprove that 2+2 = 4, no future scientific discovery can disprove that “Out of nothing, nothing can arise”.

    “The Big Bang does not reflect what the Bible or any other supposed holy book claimed to have happened at their respective “creations”. It requires the theist to constantly reinterpret their bible in the light of current scientific research, always playing catch up to reality and falsely claiming that religion “knew it all along.”.

    Sorry, but I think this is applicable to atheism. In the middle of XX century, atheists claimed that the Universe was eternal (in fact, this was believed from the time of the Greeks). The creation story was dismissed as a fairy tale. Of course, the Universe was eternal. A beginning of the Universe was illogical, irrational and against science.

    When the Big Bang was proved, the atheists reinterpreted their belief in the light of current scientific research, always playing catch up to reality and falsely claiming that atheism “knew it all along”. Claiming that “the Big Bang” was irrelevant about religion, when they had been claiming for centuries that the fact that the universe was eternal disproved religion.

    There may indeed have been an itinerant rabbi who was thought he was the Jewish messiah, and was killed, but that isn’t the one you worship.

    Says who? This is the argument called “Because I say so”. All the evidence we have for the first decade after Jesus death (the creedal statement in 1st Corinthians, the pre-Markan source in Mark) shows clearly that first Christians (the ones who knew Jesus) believed the same that we believed. So, yes, it was the one we worship and your claim is not sustainable with the current state of research.

    In conclusion, you are an example of the things Alin Patalaru says in this article.

    • But you cannot say “we don’t believe in X theory because future discoveries could disprove it”. Of course, future discoveries could disprove it, but this does not mean that future discoveries WILL.

      Why must we wait for a future discovery to disprove anything? Why can’t we just look at the positive evidence of the religious claims being made in the first place?

      The same way no future scientific discovery can disprove that 2+2 = 4, no future scientific discovery can disprove that “Out of nothing, nothing can arise”.

      Why are Atheists expected to disprove anything? Why can’t we take the most direct route and simply examine your positive claim of a God?

      When the Big Bang was proved, the atheists reinterpreted their belief in the light of current scientific research, always playing catch up to reality and falsely claiming that atheism “knew it all along”.

      Well, that is the beauty of atheism, we actually have the freedom to change our minds according to newly available evidence. Unfortunately theist’s are tied to a dogma, and they only have one option to except.

      I find it very interesting that apologists try so hard to harmonize the Bible with modern science e.g. OEC and a regional flood. Shoehorning these stories to fit with science by using convoluted interpretations of the Bible actually diminishes the supposed miracles performed by God. If a miracle can be explained by science, then there is no miracle. I think this desire to rationalize the Bible with science actually shows a lack of faith in God’s abilities.

      For centuries Jews and Christians have literally believed in the six day creation story and Noah’s flood story. But due to modern science we now have some OEC apologists downgrading these supposed miraculous stories with alternate interpretations of the Bible. Apparently the creation story now could have happened over billions of years, which just so happens to fit in with evolution. What a coincidence! And due to the knowledge we now have regarding geography, floods, animals, boat building, and sailing logistics, some apologists have now found an alternate interpretation of Noah’s flood which suggests it was a only a local flood. How convenient!

      It seems to me that this type of apologist is so focused on trying to rationalize the Bible with science that they have forgotten what constitutes a miracle. To me, a miracle is something unexplained by science, something totally unreasonable, something completely impossible. Yet this type of apologist wants to prove to atheists that the Bible agrees with science, and therefore that shows that God’s miracles are true. Unfortunately, they are completely off target.

      As an atheist, I don’t care how clever apologists are at trying to align Biblical text with science. That proves nothing. I want a miracle. I want to observe God doing something Godly which will leave me utterly convinced. But I’m told that he doesn’t do that any more. Apparently, only believers get to see miracles, and non-believers won’t see any miracles until they believe in miracles.

      On a final note, I also have a similar objection to the ‘fine tuning argument’ in that it diminishes God’s abilities. Obviously the universe looks perfectly tuned for our existence, like the puddle of water analogy. But is God really so restricted in his abilities? Is he not able to create any other type of universe with life in it?

  3. Another God of the gaps article. For a theist, anything that science cannot yet explain proves that God exists. But for an atheist or agnostic, it proves nothing.

    I find it quite annoying that theists keep referring to atheism as a world view. Can anyone please explain to me how a Christian’s world view is defined by the rejection of all other religions on the planet, past and present besides their own? Does a Christian even bother to investigate every other religion? I think not,

    • Do you believe in other religions? If not, why defend them if you’re an Atheist? That seems hypocritical to me, makes no sense, and it’s impossible as one can say the same thing to a Buddhist, a Muslim, or any other religion, “What makes yours real, and why don’t you search others?” If you honestly wouldn’t say that to those folks, it just confirms an angry bias towards Christianity if you wouldn’t defend Christianity to a Muslim like you do other religions to us. If we know Jesus (not believe, know), why would we seek another?

  4. Pingback: A reponse to ‘That Atheist Show’s’ reply to my article.. | Historical Jesus studies.·

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