3. The Foolishness Of Atheism
It has always struck me that God is so brutally frank about how He sees atheists. In Psalm 14:1, God calls atheists fools. I mean, there are a lot of immoral and rotten people in this world that He doesn’t categorize with nearly as demeaning a descriptive. What is going on here? He really gets all over the God-deniers. Slam bam! They are summarily lumped together by God as all a bunch of fools. Yikes! The Hebrew word for fool used in Psalm 14:1 is nabal which means empty and void. In other words, He is really calling them empty heads. There are thick-headed people in the world, and then there are empty-headed people in the world. Both are a real challenge! But at least the thick-headed person has something in his head to work with. Empty heads do not!
God is saying about these atheist-fools that they are empty of all sound reason and wisdom. In no uncertain terms we know from the Word of God that the atheist is an empty head and his atheism is an empty philosophy. All the more important when I realize that prominent atheists are often viewed as some of the most brilliant people in the world! God says that when it comes right down to it, they are dumber than a rock. Amazing stuff! It is interesting isn’t it how Christians are portrayed by Hollywood and on television. The percentages are very high that the Christian will be characterized as a retard or a degenerate or both. Basically, that was exactly the case in the film Inherit The Wind, in which the religious townspeople were presented as a bunch of ignorant rednecks, and the prosecuting attorney as a Bible-thumping, emotionally affected dohdoh. On the other hand the attorney for the defense, a Bible-mocking, God-slandering atheist was conveyed as a brilliant logician and orator. Typical!
So it becomes us to confront these pseudo-reasoned and pseudo-superior atheists. We must answer all of their arguments and expose their folly head to head. So we read in Proverbs 26:5, “Answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
This is how it goes. When the devil has planted his no-God lie in man’s deceived heart, the heart puts the head to work to come up with some arguments to validate the heart’s deceived posture so that it can rest easy and content in its atheistic disposition. This is where the atheist begins to expose his foolishness, and where he really begins to sound and appear as the fool that he really is. So Proverbs 12;23 states, “The heart of the fool proclaims folly.”
Let us then answer him argument by argument as his folly deserves, and in so doing we can take off his mask of heightened reason.
A. The Same-O – Same-O Theory
I am certain that you have heard this one a time or two. Says the atheist’s head to the atheist’s heart, “Be assured of your atheistic convictions, and be passionate about them, for all one has to observe is that the world continues ad nausea as it always has. All of this talk by Christians of a returning Savior and a coming judgment is nothing more than just that – talk! Anyone can see it with half an eyeball. Things just continue in the same vein and proceed day after day on their same course.” This they say disproves history as some dynamic play or divine drama leading to some great climax. They conclude that there is no director behind the universe who is the overruling, governing potentate and distinct from the visible world as we see it. History is going nowhere and is being orchestrated by no one. The teaching that there is some great cosmic conductor is disproved by the status quo of “Same-O–Same-O” argument. Another way of saying Same-O–Same-O is what Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is all that is or ever will be.”
Of course, most Christians already know that God anticipated this argument long before it was argued. We read in II Peter 3:3-4, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’”
Mocking mockers! They mock Christians and say that the Bible is false, that there is no God, and that Jesus is not coming back. Their entire argument is based upon the unbroken time continuum. God knew that the atheist mockers would come, and He quoted them word for word before they spoke. This ought to shake one or two of them up just a little bit. If you will, they are really mocking themselves. Peter’s prophecy about them, which they say is not true, they themselves have fulfilled word for word thousands of years after it was first written. And they would have us to believe that history is just Pete and Repeat in a boat? Are you serious?
And then for the status time factor, i.e. that time continues just as it was from the beginning!? Nothing is happening!? Day in and day out, that’s about it!? So the atheist says! Of course, this is all sheer foolishness and empty reasoning and rhetoric. The prophetic pieces of the Word of God are snapping into place in God’s prophetic time table quicker than the eye can blink. The dramatic increase in famines and earthquakes and pestilences is overwhelming. (Luke 21:11) If you were to collect recorded accounts of all of these phenomena, you would run out of room on your computer. History is not stagnant, and nothing is staying the same.
Don’t let the passage of time throw you off either. The atheist mocker sees it from the human perspective in terms of unending seconds, minutes, day, weeks, months and years. Rather, the Bible tells us that to the eternal God, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (II Peter 3:8) Jesus has only been gone for a couple of days, or for hundreds of thousands of years. Oh my, the brazen gull of putting the eternal God on man’s time table. That is like trying to put calculus into a baby’s brain. But if history seems to the atheist mocker to have gone on far too long for there to be a history Originator and a history Terminator, he is really trying his own patience. Why? The reason why Christ’s fulfillment of His promised return is still waiting is because of them, as God says in II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
He doesn’t want them to throw their souls away eternally, so He continues to give them more time to change their minds and turn to God. Once again, they are the fulfillment of the very prophecy which they mock and deny. They just continue to run smack dab into themselves. They are the invalidators of their own arguments, and every argument they use to disprove God only proves Him in the end. What folly! What fools!
B. Floating Atoms/Proteins = Fantastic Universe/Man Theory
You know what they want us to believe, don’t you? They tell us that there was something like an innumerable and infinitely disordered number of little bodies called atoms. Atoms are ultra-microscopic units of matter and are the smallest unit of any element. They are so tiny that they can only be discovered by super-powerful atomic microscopes. These electrically charged atomic eternal wanderers were flying and floating around in a void and dumb space. Somehow these little rascals all got together for a big atom reunion and they decided to stay hitched together. From which clandestine union they grew and grew into these magnificent, unfathomable and exact structures called the universe and man. Hello! How, when and where, who knows? No one!
It is a theory more suited to a loony farm than an institution of higher learning. It not only totally violates common sense, but universal experience. It is comparable to positing that anyone can take a bucket full of sand and dirt, shake it until the shaker can shake no more, and then dump it out and the elements and atoms will fall into a fully formed horse, or a bald eagle, or a fish, or even a man. You know, sort of like standing back and literally hurling the contents of a full paint bucket, and there on the canvass is a masterpiece, a Rembrandt. Of course, the hurled splattering paint would be accepted in any configuration as modern art today, much as noise today is considered music. No, for you see, art requires an artist, even as a structure requires an architect and a builder. Design requires a designer! Of course, none of that even begins to compare with the elaborate intricacies and structures of the universe and man. This not only requires a designer and builder, but one of supernatural intelligence and power. Even an atheist like Julian Huxley admitted that the odds of all of this evolving by chance is 1,000 to the millionth power, which is 1 followed by 3 million zeros.
So much for atoms! What about proteins? Writes David W. Cloud of “Way Of Life Literature” in his article Can Evolution Produce An Eye, “Over a thousand different kinds of proteins have been identified in the human body, and each has a unique chemical composition necessary for its own particular function. Proteins are polymers, whose chemical composition depends on the arrangement of many smaller subunits called amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids that are used to construct the protein of all living organisms, including man. These amino acids are linked together end-to-end (like a string of beads) to form a single protein macromolecule. The average protein consists of a string of 500 amino acids. The total number of combinations of 20 different amino acids in such a string is, for all practical purposes, unlimited. Each protein in our body, however, must contain a specific sequence of amino acids if it is to function properly. It is the task of the genetic system in our cells to organize the assembly of the amino acids into precisely the right sequence for each protein.”
David Cloud continues, “We can appreciate the improbability of randomly assembling one of the essential proteins of life by considering the probability of randomly assembling the letters of the alphabet to form even a simple phrase. Imagine if we were to try to spell out 23 letters and spaces in the phrase “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION” by using the evolutionary principle of “chance.” We might proceed by randomly drawing letters from a Scrabble set consisting of 26 letters of the alphabet plus a space (for a total of 27). The probability of getting all 23 letters and spaces in the order required for our phrase can be calculated by multiplying together the probability of getting each letter and space 1/27 x 1/27 x 1/27 – for a total of 23 times. This calculation reveals that we could expect to succeed in correctly spelling our phrase by chance, approximately “once” in eight hundred, million, billion, trillion draws. If we were to hurry the process along and draw our letters at the rate of a billion per second, we could expect to spell our simple little phrase once in 26 thousand, trillion years. BUT EVEN THIS IS A VIRTUAL CERTAINTY COMPARED TO THE PROBABILITY OF CORRECTLY ASSEMBLING ANYONE OF THE KNOWN BIOLOGICAL PROTEINS BY CHANCE.”
That is answering a fool as his folly deserves! I think this answer has been more than adequate, don’t you? Let us restate it in a more simplified way. As Mike Oppenheimer of “Let Us Reason Ministries” writes in his article There Are No Atheists, “An atheist must assume that personal unique intricate organisms arose from impersonal disorderly chaos.” In other words, blind chance and accident cannot be the origin of such sophisticated and minute order. Chance and accident do not produce order, but rather they are always the parents and originators of disorder, confusion and chaos. Strong Point! This is contrary not only to all sound reason, but even to common sense. Says Oppenheimer, “All designs have a designer, and the universe has proven to be incredibly designed. Even the minutest organism is more complex than the space shuttle.” The only reasonable and logical explanation for it all is found in Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
To believe anything else is not only for man to renounce his Creator, but his right reason as well.
Tragic isn’t it? Lucy O’Brien, one of the pioneer newspaper women in Florida, then turned entrepreneur, once wrote, “The most important question a person ever asks is, ‘If I die today, what will my life have stood for?’” The atheist must answer, “I stood for no-God atheistic evolution based upon totally shoddy reasoning.” What a memorial!
C. The Matter X Monkey = Mankind Theory
Or if you will, from the goo to the zoo to you! All of that of course based upon the eternity of inane matter and not upon an eternal, omniscient and omnipotent being named God. From molecule to monkey to mankind! Atheistic evolutionists believe only in eternal material substance, therefore the thought of immaterial substance is out of the realm of possibility. All reality is measured by sense knowledge, and nothing can be admitted into the realm of reality except those things that can be confirmed by the ear, the eye, the touch etc. Atheists are materialists, not in the values sense, but in the sense of the eternity of matter. My first encounter with a materialist-atheist was when I did an interview with Duncan Littlefair who was the then pastor of Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When I asked him how he comforted families at the death of a loved one, he forthrightly answered in part that he tells the bereaved that the dead loved one at burial or cremation feeds back into the eternal cycle of matter, as well as fertilizes the earth for succeeding generations. I kid you not! Here lies fertilizer Freddie.
For the materialist atheist, if anything falls outside of the scope of the outward senses, it is a mere foolish figment. This then means that the odorless, unseen and untouchable air that we breathe doesn’t exist either, although when you ride through Gary, Indiana you can smell it as well as grind it between your teeth. Nonetheless, for the atheistic evolutionist, material substance and reality are synonyms and equivalent terms.
Well then, as the theory goes, this eternal primordial ooze over billions of years produced primitive protozoan. Then the complexity began to increase into worms, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, apes, and apes slowly evolved into man. The eternal goo through the developing zoo to the evolving you! How do you do! There is only one big problem, and one gigantic bridge that the atheistic evolutionist cannot cross, and that is what the pure biological science of the Bible describes as “After Its Kind,’ or, “After Their Kind.” We read of it in Genesis 1:21, “And God created the great sea monsters,and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.”
God has fixed something into every species, or what is called by some the fixity of the species. The atheistic scientist runs into this at every turn, namely that organisms only reproduce after their kind. The species are fixed! That truth appears 10 times in the first two chapters of Genesis. On yes, there is mutation, but no transmutation. There are a variety of dogs – mutation within the species of dogness. In fact, one can mate a horse with a mule, but the mule is sterile and cannot reproduce, and the transmutational theory is stopped in its tracks.
If atheistic evolution is factual, then transmutational forms should be in abundance, like picking up clam shells along the gulf coast of Florida. Yet out of all of the millions of fossils, not one transitional form can be found. You can’t fool nature. Not only is the missing link missing, but the entire transmutational chain between fish, birds, apes and man are missing as well. No intermediate fossils have ever been discovered. The discovery of the missing link along with transmutational forms along the evolutionary path, are what atheistic evolutionists are desperately searching for to substantiate their theory which was passed down to them from Erasmus Darwin and his grandson Charles Darwin.
Someone not too many years ago found a tooth in Nebraska. He sent it to some evolutionary scientist in the northeastern part of the United States. The scientist examined the tooth and shortly thereafter introduced what came to be known as “The Nebraska Man.” Henry Fairfield Osborn, a professor at Columbia University and a most prominent paleontologist, as well as several other distinguished authorities in the field, proclaimed to the public about the tooth, “Here we have proof of what early man was like in North America.” Osborn went on, “The tooth is like a still small voice. Its sound is by no means easy to hear, but this little tooth speaks volumes of truth in that it supports man’s descent from the ape.”
However, someone suggested returning to the site where the tooth had been found and to dig deeper in the area. It was then that an entire jaw bone was unearthed in which the reinserted tooth fit perfectly. The enthusiasm of the scientists suddenly turned to dismay as they realized that they had made a terrible mistake. The jawbone from which the tooth was taken was identified as that of an extinct pig. What an embarrassment to the entire evolutionary community. Of course, very little publicity was given to the error, for after all no one wants to end up looking like a monkey. Though the evolutionist scientists tried to make a monkey out of pig, the pig ended up making a monkey out of them. It is almost humorous if it were not so pathetic, how the least bit of similarity between man and animal gives the atheist evolutionist the nerve to trumpet to the world that they have found the long sought for ape-man connection. The fact is they never will, because it does not exist.
D. The Suffering World – No God Theory
This is the one that quickly becomes very heated in which atheists not only deny God, but they become angry disputants and attackers at the very thought of a God. You have heard it said over and over again, and perhaps you have even sunk into thinking it yourself on an occasion or two, namely, “How could there be a God of love Who allows so much suffering in the world?” It is a denial of God that is more of an out and out denunciation and a renunciation, not from reasoned arguments, but from hostility toward and even hatred of God for screwing up man’s life. Man has always in the face of suffering and pain put God on trial, as he then becomes the self-appointed judge and jury and passes his verdict of guilty on the Almighty. He sentences God to a lifetime of banishment from his life not only, but to the death sentence of non-existence forever. But even then he cannot be fully rid of God, as captured by the phrase from Thomas Altizer, “God is dead, thank God.”
Has it ever struck you how the atheist and the run-of-the-mill unbeliever continue to curse the non-existent God Who will simply not go away? We read of that in Psalm 10:7, “His mouth is full of curses….” I mean, when things don’t go right, somebody has to take the blame, and God is always handy. Interesting isn’t it that man never says “IBM damn it” but always “God damn it.” Man continues to call back the non-existent God into existence for the purpose of taking His name in vain and venting his rage at Him when he is ticked off. Why? Because God is the One Who is supposed to make everything nice and comfy, and when He doesn’t, man gets nasty with God. When there is a lot of fluff and stuff in man’s life, then it is OK with him that some people believe that God exists. When there is a lot of agony and pain, then God may not and does not exist. There it is! God cannot have anything to do with suffering of any kind, and if He does He is worthy only of our unbelief and our hostile disbelief.
Man has always been far more concerned about comfort than character, even as today much of the modern church is far more interested in riches than righteousness. As Warren Weirsbe wrote, “Our values determine our evaluations.” How true! It is man’s self-centered and soft-advantage philosophy of life that determines his God concept not only, but also his harsh evaluations of God when He proves to be something other than a “Sugar-Daddy Cotton-Candy God.” Which is why Bishop John Spong, who was ordained bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Newark, New Jersey, gutted the very heart of the Christian Gospel when he said, “I would choose to loathe rather than to worship a deity who required the sacrifice of his son.”
Of course, in Christianity true eternal values transcend and supersede our temporal conveniences and physical ease. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “God, if it is the blueness of the wound that will make me a better man, then pinch me.” No pain, no gain. Sometimes we have to blister the child’s bottom in order to mature him. Spare the rod and spoil the kid. And it follows that if the child embraced the atheist’s “Suffering World–No God Theory,” then the child could only conclude during his spanking that there are no such things as parents. At least not any that he would care to have in his life. However, it was Job who said in Job 23:10, “…When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Trials are meant to help us to be what God requires us to be, and those that hurt us the most help us the most. That is why the Palmist declared in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that
I may learn Thy statutes.”
But all of this is really nothing new in the life of man. Not only does man do this to God, but he does it to his fellow man as well. If he has been seriously or even mildly inconvenienced, hurt or pained by someone, you may hear him say things like, “I hope that I never see that jerk again. I certainly will never ever speak to him again. As far as I am concerned he doesn’t exist anymore. I wish he was dead. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a dead man.” And if looks could kill, that man would be dead already! Man not only has death wishes for his fellow man, he has them for God as well. Anyone who causes man discomfort and disease is not worthy to exist.
Okay then, the “Suffering World–No God Theory” is foolishness first of all because it is based totally upon carnal self-interest and self-easement, and goes no further than external values. However, it is also foolish and irrational because if we could totally account for and understand God in all of His actions and allowances, then He would not be God, and we would be God. There is not a finite believer or unbeliever in the world who can put God into his human paradigm, and then expect the infinite God to function accordingly. If God could be put into our paradigm, He would again not be God, and we would be God. There is not a believer or unbeliever on the face of the earth who can explain the ways of God on each and every occasion. Why? Because this is the very essence of Godness, even as we read in Romans 11:33, “…How unsearchable are His judgments, and unfathomable His ways.”
We can only the see the surface and the outside of things when it comes to God in action. As God rules and overrules the affairs of nations and of men throughout history, there are so many windings and turnings that surpass human understanding. Hey brother, I can see the hands of our grandfather clock and the swinging pendulum, but I can’t for the life of me give you an adequate reason for its motion or exact time-keeping mechanism within. Anymore than the silver encasement around my wristwatch can give an exact explanation for the intricate workings inside of the watch! Magnify that a million times with man and God! If we were able to fully interpret the ways of God, we would then have to be the originators of them too. Which of course we are not, and He is!
There is a form of science known as chaology – the study of chaos. The basic assumption of this discipline is that some things in life are basically unpredictable. For example, the weather! Our ecosystem is so interrelated that I am told how a butterfly flapping its wings in Beijing may ultimately affect weather over in New York City. There are simply too many variables to ever give a completely accurate long range weather prediction. And yet according to computer models there are patterns even to these supposedly chaotic events. The patterns are so huge and so complex that they only seem chaotic to us. The Biblical testimony is that there is a basic pattern to all of life. You and I can’t discern it anymore than a fish can analyze the water in which it swims. If we could step out of space and time with God, we could see the pattern, and we could see that He does work all things together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28) But right now we see through a glass darkly. All we know is that God knows and therefore things are all right, even when they seem all wrong.
Let’s put it this way, either God’s ways will be embraced by faith as mysteries, or they will explode our brains as contradictions and destroy our faith, or even the possibility of faith. Yes a mystery! To be blunt about it, who can explain the mystery of the Cross of Christ? Why did God choose the cross? Why did it have to be the cross? How is it that the cross alone can be the perfect way to salvation? Oh yes, we may come with some theological explanations, none of which ultimately answer the questions. God says in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Without trying to explain the cross, the Lord says to us, “In faith, accept the fact that I love you. Jesus is my only begotten Son, and He has endured your hell for your sin, that you, by faith in Him, might be forgiven and rejoice forever in my Heaven.” The cross looked like the greatest tragedy in the history of the world. The disciples viewed it exactly that way, as it seemed to write the very finish to their faith. But never judge suffering or even death by the day or the season in which it occurs. Yes, Jesus was crucified, but He arose, ascended into Heaven, and is coming back to take us unto Himself. God’s ways we cannot fathom at the time, and therefore the suffering we endure seems so cruel and senseless. But that is because we only see the beginning, while God sees the beginning and the end and all of the reasons why in between.