An atheist will tell you that Christians must have faith to believe in God. As an atheist, on the other hand, he has the scientific evidence on his side. There is no need for faith. Christians and Jews believe in God without evidence. That requires faith. An atheist has facts.
Too often Christians have cowered before these claims.
The truth? The universe in all its beauty, order, simplicity/complexity, and grandeur, communicates God’s existence.
Psalm 19:1-4 poetically captures how the creation itself declares the existence of the Creator:
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
Creation COMMUNICATES the existence of the Creator! The glory of creation speaks of the glory of the Artist who created the universe. This revelation is proclaimed in the full sunlight of day and in the darkness of night. There is no place among human beings where the voice of revelation is not heard. And yes, if there were no human beings to hear, the voice would still go forth.
The apostle Paul makes the same argument in Romans 1:19-20.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Paul goes even further. What can be known of God—His existence, His eternal power and divine nature—is so clearly seen in creation that human beings have no excuse if they attempt to deny His existence. They are rebelling against reality.
What an atheist does not see
A beautiful sunset, the starry night sky, the birth of a baby, the spring flowers on an Alpine field … all these bear witness to God’s existence. And science has now revealed, in a naturalistic frame, the narrow parameters required for human life to exist. Even an atheist cannot refute the science.
Scientists acknowledge the tight parameters required for the existence and continuance of life on earth. Dr. Hugh Ross, a renowned astrophysicist, has identified nearly 1,500 characteristics that define this narrow environment—he calls it a “Design Compendium”—that will support life. In Reason to Believe, Dr. Ross writes that this compendium may be divided into four major categories:
Part 1: Fine-Tuning for Life in the Universe — lists 140 features of the cosmos as a whole (including the laws of physics) that must fall within certain narrow ranges to allow for the possibility of physical life’s existence.
Part 2: Fine-Tuning for Intelligent Physical Life—describes 402 quantifiable characteristics of a planetary system and its galaxy that must fall within narrow ranges to allow for the possibility of advanced life’s existence. This list includes comment on how a slight increase or decrease in the value of each characteristic would impact that possibility.
Part 3: Probability Estimates for Features Required by Various Life Forms—identifies 922 characteristics of a galaxy and of a planetary system physical life depends on and offers conservative estimates of the probability that any galaxy or planetary system would manifest such characteristics. This list is divided into three parts, based on differing requirements for various life-forms and their duration.
Part 4: Probability Estimates on Different Size Scales for the Features Required by Advanced Life—presents a breakdown of the characteristics required by advanced life (from Part 3) as they must occur, separately, in the galaxy cluster, galaxy, star, planetary system, planet, moon, planetary surface, and ecosystem where advanced life exists.
The intricate details of the Design Compendium concur with the testimony of the expansive, glorious night sky. With Paul, we can say that human beings are without excuse when they view creation and conclude there is no God.
An honest atheist
It seems to me that atheists do not profess atheism out of a lack evidence for God’s existence. No, they are atheists for moral reasons. Quite simply and crudely, they want to have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want, without moral constraints. To do this, they must deny the existence of God.
I had reasons not to want the world to have meaning, and as a result I assumed the world had no meaning, and I was readily able to find satisfactory grounds for this assumption … for me, as it undoubtedly was for most of my generation, the philosophy of meaninglessness was an instrument of liberation from a certain moral system. We were opposed to morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. [emphasis added]
C.S. Lewis captures the irony of this denial when he writes in “The Weight of Glory,”
We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
- Darrow Miller