Presentation on theme: "THIS WORLD IS AMAZING, IT CAN’T HAVE JUST FORMED. THERE MUST BE A GOD! GOD THIS WORLD IS AMAZING! HOW INCREDIBLE IT EXISTS & WE ARE HERE TO ENJOY IT!"— Presentation transcript:
THIS WORLD IS AMAZING, IT CAN’T HAVE JUST FORMED. THERE MUST BE A GOD! GOD THIS WORLD IS AMAZING! HOW INCREDIBLE IT EXISTS & WE ARE HERE TO ENJOY IT! FULL STOP.
“INTRODUCING GOD DOESN’T HELP. WHERE DID GOD COME FROM? WHEN YOU GET TO THE BRICK WALL AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE, WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE? SAYING SOMETHING COMPLEX & AMAZING GOT HERE BECAUSE OF SOMETHING EVEN MORE COMPLEX & AMAZING JUST MAKES THE QUESTION BIGGER.” GOD
RICHARD DAWKINS The improbability of God
DISCUSS: We say the wonder of creation points to the existence of God. Dawkins says that simply shifts the unexplained mystery upstream. What do you think?
STEPHEN FRY “You can’t have it both ways… If you want to look at a sunset and claim it as evidence of a loving Creator, you also have to account for bone cancer in children.”
WHY’S THE SKY BLUE? BECAUSE! MUMMY… AFTER A LONG DAY OF QUESTIONS… YES DEAR…
THE CLASSIC ARGUMENTS: “God either wishes to take away evil and is unable, or He is able and unwilling, or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. In the first three cases (unable, unwilling, both) he is not very Godlike. Only the fourth case seems Godlike but then one is left wondering about the prevalence and persistence of evil” - John Allen Paulos, Irreligion
N T Wright The key question is which God atheists are rejecting
THE MAJORITY OF ATHEISTS ARE NOT REJECTING GOD THEY ARE REJECTING THE IMAGE OF GOD THEY HAVE SEEN IN THE DOGMA OF RELIGION.
“With or without religion, good people will do good, and evil people will do evil – but for good people to do evil, that takes religion” - Steven Weinberg
THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH’S ACTUAL NARRATIVE OF GOD IS OFTEN VERY POOR. THE PROBLEM IS…SO IS OURS…
RICHARD DAWKINS “The world looks exactly as I would expect it to, if indeed life had evolved by chance and nature existed in a scarce competition for survival. It doesn’t look at all like I would expect it to if it was the product of a loving, all powerful, all present Creator.”
DISCUSS Is the world as we see it and experience it consistent with the Biblical story?
DESPITE ALL THAT, ATHEISM BRINGS SOME AWESOME QUESTIONS TO THE TABLE. WE’LL SPEND THE REST OF THE SESSION ON THESE…
RICHARD DAWKINS Sin & Redemption
DISCUSS: If God is all-powerful, then why bother with all the fuss of the cross? Why not simply choose to forgive us and be done with it?
RICHARD DAWKINS Suffering
DISCUSS: Why is it that when a disaster strikes and 10,000 people are destroyed but one child somehow survives, you call that a miracle and it increases your belief in God? What about the other 9,999 people: why didn’t he save them? When you look at it rationally, isn’t it really just blind chance?
PENN JILETTE The Bible Will Make You An Atheist “You can read Dawkins’ God Delusion or Hitchens’ God is Not Great but I’m convinced that if you just actually read the Bible itself, that will turn you into an atheist faster than any of these!”
DISCUSS: What do we do about the apparent inconsistencies and hideously offensive passages of the Bible?
How should we train our children in relation to faith?
SOME PERSPECTIVES THAT MIGHT HELP…
Identifying how something works (mechanism) does not explain why it exists (agency + purpose) We can’t define things that define us – Isaiah 29:16 Eternity is set within our hearts not our minds – my heart wonders at the stars, my mind works to understand my wonder – Ecc 3:11 Until we receive new hearts and transformed minds we will misinterpret these signals – Ezek 36:26, Rom 12:2 Once they have been transformed and renewed, reason and the desires of our hearts guide us in how to live the faith we receive – they interpret the light that shines but they are not the source of it. Religion equally undermines the pursuit of our hearts and uses replaces the privilege of seeking God with a demand to accept certain dogma. Atheism does an excellent job of exposing religion in a way that would be unlikely to arise from within.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C. S. Lewis
MY DAD’s FAVOURITE: If God is everywhere (omnipresent), knows everything (omnisicent), and is all powerful (omnipotent), can He: 1)Make a rock so big he can’t lift it? 2)Ask himself a question he can’t answer?