Recently I’ve been sharing the gospel with some new friends. Chess-playing friends. Atheist friends. [Hello to those friends if you are reading this post!]. My friend Bill (not his real name) and I have been verbally sparring over the issue of God’s existence. His questions to me are quite good. [My questions to him are also quite good, if I say so myself].
Some of his questions are:
- With our limited senses, how dare we think we can explain the universe?
- Are some religions better than others?
- Why are humans so arrogant as to think they are of more value than other creatures?
- How do Christians know they are not projecting their desired qualities on God, making Him in their image?
Some of my answers have included the following points:
- Christians don’t really claim to explain the universe, but are trying to make sense of why there is something, rather than nothing. We do not have to have exhaustive knowledge to have sufficient knowledge.
- I would hope most of us would oppose religions that practice child sacrifice (teenager sacrifice I can understand!).
- It’s hard to explain human arrogance about our creaturely superiority. But, if we are made in God’s image, that’s certainly not a small thing. Faced with rescuing your grandmother or your dog from being run down by a garbage truck in the street, I asked Bill, he seemed to hesitate. Now, if we were talking about a mother-in-law (not my mother-in-law, mind you) . . .
- One wag said that “God created man in his image — and modern man is returning the favor.” Of course, we can project our ideas of what we would like God to be. But if He has revealed His characteristics, and if we share some of those characteristics, then that is a different matter.
Two Psalms (Psalm 14 and 53) say rather indelicately, “The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There is no god.'” I asked my friend to read Psalm 53 — and he did. I’ll let you know what he said in my next post.
Discussion Questions: Got any atheist friends? What have you found helpful in talking to them about spiritual matters?