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
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.
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…
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?
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?