As we begin the third article in the series, a brief statement of its narrow but vital purpose will prove helpful. In speaking of the human limitations of atheists, the essential truth to grasp concerns the assumption underlying every argument against God’s existence—the adequacy of limited people to speak of transcendent realities. Or, the assumed ability of humans confined to five senses, three or four dimensions, living on a speck of the universe, to speak of things infinitely beyond them. From their insufficient vantage point, atheists presume to know what they cannot possibly know. Limited people are simply unqualified to deny the existence of an unlimited God. So, if you are looking for more details of specific atheistic arguments, consider the greater purpose here to highlight the basic assumption of atheists that, when shown to be unjustified, renders worthless every argument built on it.
Atheists assume the ability to know and articulate that which requires knowledge of everything in the universe and beyond. Our extreme limitations in an immeasurable universe, let alone in the face of an infinite Spirit that transcends it, form an essential and relevant truth in any discussion of God’s existence. Understandably, atheists avoid discussing this at all costs. Nonetheless, we should examine the qualifications of people that deny God’s existence. Do they have sufficient knowledge? Do they have sufficient authority? For instance, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are brilliant in their earthly fields of expertise, but are they more qualified than preschoolers to know what lies beyond the three or four dimensions of their existence?
Advanced expertise in philosophy and science may prove helpful, but most believers don’t have the time or need. And, how many great martyrs of the faith needed a Ph.D. to hold fast to Christ? (Of course, all believers should be students of the Bible and theology.) But, understanding the facade atheism presents as “reasonable” and “scientific” and how atheists call “facts” what they cannot possibly know strengthen our faith and can be learned easily. Intellectual challenges to our trust in Christ and Scripture lose their sting or dissipate like the morning mist when light exposes the blind-faith assumptions on which they rest.
And as we multiply examples of how atheists assume the ability to know what they cannot possibly know, and as we learn to easily identify where and how this assumption operates, we will encounter the more important reality of God’s greatness. His infinite nature will be examined in more detail in a future series, but we will necessarily face the truth of His boundless majesty as we examine our limitations.
May we grow in our love and appreciation of God’s infinite excellence and our dependence on Him for all things, including knowledge of His person and works in Christ. And though we are nothing before Him, He so loved us that He sent His Son to purchase our eternal holiness and happiness, and did so at infinite cost to Himself, suffering infinite wrath on the cross to pay the infinite penalty for our sin. May God grant atheists His infinite gift of mercy and grace through saving faith in Christ, as He has so mercifully done for us. Now, “To the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17 NAS).
Scriptures marked NAS are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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