Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Responding to Scoffers - You Don't Go Far Enough

       There are many people, like the author of this poster, who say there is no god, no Son of God, no soul, no… _____________.

     The problem with this poster is that it doesn't go far enough. The poster should go on to say, "and, there is no meaning and purpose to this life."

     When we deny the Creator and ultimate Law Giver and Lover of the universe, when we believe that all of life and existence is the result of random accidents, we lose any sense of justice; right and wrong; or meaning and purpose in life. This is nihilism (Latin: nihil, "nothing"). 

     Nihilism is the black hole of atheism. Some atheists accept it, but many try to avoid it. It is difficult to live with a nihilistic worldview. How can you honestly look at your beautiful little child and say to yourself, "this is just a bunch of molecules that happened to come together after a long process of evolution"? How can you argue for justice for yourself personally or for this world when you have denied that there is no ultimate justice. It's all arbitrary.   

     Most atheists say that they overcome this problem by looking for the meaning to life within themselves. But this is also meaningless. What is there "within themselves" if they are the product of accidental mutations? Even their very thoughts are accidents of nature. How can randomness give rise to permanence? How can meaninglessness have meaning? These things are completely contradictory to one another. They want their "cake" of randomness and godlessness, and they want to "eat" or live by a sense of justice, meaning and purpose that is only possible if is permanent and eternal and therefore established by God. 

     David wrote in Psalm 14.1 "The fool says in his heart there is no god." The Hebrew word translated "fool" (נבל, nabal) means "futile, worthless." That is exactly right. To deny the existence of God is to say that all of life is ultimately futile and essentially worthless. It means nothing.

     God does not want us to view life in this way. Rather, He urges us to believe that there is an ultimate purpose in this life. Paul said, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8.28).  That purpose, as Paul goes on to say, is that we might be justified, forgiven of our sins, and permanently established in His eternal glory.