Before we review a few key principles of the series thus far, allow me a brief mea culpa. Two weeks ago (in Part 21), I made the comment, “no one is without excuse” in speaking of the unbeliever’s accountability before God. Oops. It should have read, “all are without excuse.” A single word can make a world of difference, since the former contradicts my intended point and the latter affirms it. Perhaps I accidentally provided a lesson on how biblical inspiration and inerrancy apply to the level of individual words, or an example of human weakness and the principle that we are saved, sanctified, and used by God according to His infinite grace—alone. In any event, if you scratched your head when you read the gaffe, you had good reason.
Before we critique the claim that biblical miracles deny God’s existence (next week), we do well to review the simple assumptions that underlie and undermine the best atheistic arguments. 
Reasonable people freely admit their ignorance of a good many things. We cannot see beyond the edge of the universe or the three or four dimensions of our existence, and know nothing of the contents of our neighbor’s glovebox, basement, or garage. At the same time, many discard reason for blind-faith speculation about God. For instance, no atheist would claim to possess infinite knowledge, yet to know that God does not exist requires knowledge of everything in the universe—and beyond. Every atheistic argument assumes the ability to know what cannot be known without God’s revelation.
For instance, how can anyone know that God as infinite spirit does not exist, or what He can or cannot do? And how does it logically follow that our limited knowledge of the physical realm gives comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the spiritual realm? The properties of the physical realm do not apply to the realm of God as infinite spirit. Yet, in arguing against God’s existence, people assume their limited knowledge justifies speaking of realities beyond their capacity to know.
Atheists, then, exist in a state of contradiction. They admit their human limitations while they make claims about God and eternal things that cannot be known apart from omniscience. They reason in a rational-irrational dialectic, as reasonable and unreasonable at the same time.
Atheists use logic to build arguments to “prove” what can and cannot be true of divine things. Yet, a syllogism affects nothing of God’s existence and nature. Logic, after all, is used by severely limited people, while God is infinitely beyond any aspect of reality known to man: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9 NAS). Nonetheless, atheists reject what they cannot understand or logically reconcile, making their mind the ultimate standard of truth. In other words, what they cannot comprehend cannot exist. Yet, none can know transcendent realities without knowledge of transcendent realities (so to speak). God’s omniscience, then, is needed to deny God’s existence. In our study of The Impossibility of God we have yet to see an argument that does not rest on the unreasonable assumption that people can know what their severe human limitations preclude them from knowing.
For instance, God is infinite spirit and unaffected by the properties of the universe. He knows all things, can do all things, and always acts with perfect wisdom and righteousness. Now ask yourself, who knows enough to know otherwise? In fact, when asked in different ways and in different circumstances, one simple question reveals the blind-faith assumption under every atheistic claim: “how do you know?” Or, what would someone need to know to justify denials of God’s existence? Unjustified claims are just opinion. Some examples, including a few examined in the series, will prove helpful. Every denial of biblical truth rests on the assumption of sufficient knowledge. For instance,
- “God does not exist.” Yet, one would need to know everything about everything and beyond to know this.
- “God is unjust.” The claim requires perfect knowledge of every detail of every case, including the depths of every heart and how God deals with every soul in eternity. None can know that God will not always judge rightly by observing the evils of this short life.
- “A perfectly good and powerful God would never allow evil.” To know this requires exhaustive knowledge of the mind of God and every possible reason why He would allow it, while denying our smallness and the reality of mystery. Our limitations render it useless as a definite argument against God’s existence.
- “Every attribute of God must be logically reconcilable to our understanding or God cannot exist.” Apart from God’s revelation, how can the limited human perspective know what infinite spirit can or cannot be? We cannot know that things we do not understand are not ultimately reconciled by God.
- “God cannot be beyond time and act within time at the same time.” No one can possibly know that God is limited by that which limits us.
Pick any argument against God’s existence and ask yourself if the atheist knows enough to make it. The results will surprise you.
Forgive me if this article seems overly repetitious. But we often struggle with quickly and easily seeing unjustified assumptions behind arguments against God—ongoing exposure helps meet that need. Application requires both practice and a good understanding of the truths to be applied.
Why, then, do atheists claim to know what they cannot possibly know? For one, to acknowledge God denies our presumed independence and highlights the proper need to love, honor, and submit to God’s authority; it confesses that our sinful desires cannot be pursued with impunity. In the end, atheism denies the obvious, infinitely more than the absurdity of denying a painter behind a great painting. Everything in the universe bears God’s fingerprints and clearly points to His existence, power, genius, and goodness. Indeed, none are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).
Next up: Do miracles disprove God’s existence?
 In an earlier article I noted that I would be addressing original sin in this series. I have since decided that original sin deserves a separate and detailed series of its own, which I will likely do later this year.
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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