Romans 1:18-20 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
Today's post will aim to demonstrate to the reader why Christian theism is more reasonable than atheism and secular humanism. Now before we move forward, its important to define some terms.
The belief that asserts there is no compelling evidence for God’s existence (paraphrase of the late atheist Christopher Hitchens).
Another atheist organization defines atheism as: "It is the lack of belief in such a being as God (omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, all-good, personal, immaterial Creator of the universe) or in any other deity (adopted from the organization "American Atheists").
The secular humanist organization "American Humanist" defines secular humanism as follows: “(A)n ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces” (americanhumanist.org). Later on, the same organization notes:
“Therefore, we take very seriously the idea that “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.” We are living the only life we’ll have, in the only world we know about. The responsibility for the choices we make are ours and ours alone” (americanhumanist.org).
Whenever one talks to atheists or humanists, there is great concern over being reasonable or rational. What is meant by reasonability? Something is reasonable when we use properly functioning brain to weigh and commit to a specific belief as being more probable than its opposite. Until opposing evidence (i.e defeater) is shown to be more probable than the currently held belief, one is reasonable in holding to that belief (see 1 Peter 3:15)
With those definitions expressed, we can now begin to explore the four reasons for why Christianity is more reasonable than its opposite. For sake of time today, we will mention the first reason, and then follow up with three other reasons in the next post.
First Reason: God can be personally known and experienced
This first point is not so much an argument as it is an observation of the wide-range of human experience. In the philosophical literature, there are a collection of positive statements or "arguments" for Christian theism by what is called "Arguments for Religious Experience" (ARE's for short). Five bullet-points below summarize this type of argument or positive assertion for Christianity in particular. In making the case for Christianity, there is a distinction between "knowing God to be true" and "showing God to be true". In this instance, the assertion of knowing and experiencing God counts as part of "knowing God to be true".
It must be remembered that even if several different people have differing details on their various experiences and knowledge of God, the core of such knowledge will generally match ("sense of God's power"; "conviction of sin"; a strong sense of needing to read the Bible"; "an unusual awareness of God's peace").
Before giving the bullet points with relevant Biblical references, one final observation must be noted: Atheism cannot sufficiently account for the wide-prevalence of genuine experiences of God.
A. The experience of the Holy Spirit is unmistakable or verifiable to the one who has it. Sin can quench such an experience, and continual exercise in prayer and Bible reading serve to heighten this awareness.
B. This authenticating witness of the Spirit occurs apart from arguments & evidence.
C. In certain contexts (like church services), responses to certain truths indicate that the person is genuinely experiencing God by the Holy Spirit.
D. Such an experience of the Spirit's authenticating work provides personal assurance and genuine knowledge that the God of Christianity exists.
E. Arguments and objections that attempt to overthrow the Christian's faith are overwhelmed by this authenticating witness of the Spirit for the Christian who gives themselves regularly to fellowship, prayer and the scriptures.
Biblical texts: John 14:16-17; 16:8-12; Col 2:2; 1 Thess 1:5; 1 Cor 2:10-13; 1 John 2:20,27
This observation of being able to know or experience God is important when making the case for the reasonability and superiority of Christianity over atheism. We have shown that one can indeed be a rational person while "knowing God to be true". As will be noted in the next post, other sorts of various arguments for God's existence can function as a second-type of ground for "showing Christianity to be true".