4/18/13 Dan, about 65
At the coffee shop an older man looked busy on his computer, so I just asked politely if he had time to answer an interesting question. He did, and I went on to find out that he – Dan – grew up in the Methodist Church but became an atheist in college. He seemed to be very well-read, and made many assertions based on secular philosophy in support of his atheistic beliefs. He talked about an illustration he had read by the secular philosopher David Hume (who, interestingly, said he did not have enough faith to be an atheist) in which he stated that just because a billiard ball takes off in a certain direction when struck by the cue ball, that doesn’t mean the cue ball caused it to happen. This is going the next step beyond the scientific evidence required by many atheists or agnostics in order to believe in God. What Dan was telling me, and boldly stated when I asked him directly, was “There is absolutely nothing God could do to prove to me that He exists”. Post-modern skeptics and scoffers like Dan become so critical of the faith believers have in God and in the Bible, that they then move on to distrust any kind of authority, including physical laws, logic, reason, and their ability to interpret their own senses. I often ask agnostics what sort of evidence they would need in order to believe God exists, but Dan not only denies God and faith, but evidence and reason as well. All of my appeals to a logical, reasonable faith, based on a body of evidence, fell on deaf ears and a hardened heart. “ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:18-20) Where to go from here? Prayer, of course.