Posted tagged ‘atheism’

Reflections on Confidence in Faith and Atheism

November 29, 2018


Lord Richard Harris, the once Bishop of Oxford, and author of Haunted by Christ: Modern Writers and the Struggle for Faith, participated in a podcast discussion with the former Catholic priest, now agnostic philosopher, Sir Anthony Kenny and Justin Brierly, the host of the Unbelievable podcast. During the interview, he reflected: “On [the] issue of transcendence…. there is something about the experience of beauty which is tantalizing. It … mysteriously pulls us into itself and beyond itself, but it is ultimately ungraspable.” Harris likened this “mysterious pull” to “an elusive call that haunts us” and which “has its fulfillment in God.”

Harris is quick to note that the tantalizing pull of beauty is not an argument for the existence of God, but it is also not irrational. He says, “Once you come to believe [Christianity], everything falls into place. It coheres together. This experience of beauty makes sense, as the experience of morality makes sense.”

Of course, this observation is reminiscent of CS Lewis when he said, “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.”

Sitting opposite of Harris, Sir Anthony disagreed, saying that he grew up in the church, but Christianity makes less sense to him to day than it previously did. As “proof” he commented on a couple of different aspects of theology (the idea of punishment for sin among them) that just don’t make sense to him.

As I listened to him I thought, as I often do when I listen to atheists and decided agnostics, that Kenny puts a great deal of stock in what he, himself, thinks. Because it made no sense to him, it made no sense at all. In that sense, he elevated his own understanding into the place of an ultimate arbiter of truth.

Of course, what else are we to do? That’s a fair question. We only have ourselves, ultimately, as tools for deciphering truth.

(more…)

One Too Many Gods

September 3, 2016

A.C. Graying, in The God Argument, the Case Against Religion and for Humanism, claims that religious belief is really just wish fulfillment. The book accepts the premise that many atheists and agnostics assume, which is that people believe in God for psychological reasons. I would add that people believe for emotional reasons as well, but generalizations usually belie a different truth.

The wishful thinking premise is a common assumption and is often used to undermine the basis of faith. But does it really support the point it boasts of making: that faith is the product of wishful thinking? (more…)

One Less God

August 31, 2016

Stephen F. Roberts famously said that we are all atheists, he just believes in one less God (or less gods) than others. It is a rather clever statement that many self-described atheists or agnostics have repeated often, but it’s merely a kitschy statement with no substance or meaning.

Atheism could be defined as belief in no God, but atheists often object to that because they don’t perceive themselves, or don’t want to perceive themselves, as believing or having faith in anything. That’s absurd, of course. We we all believe in something – even if what we believe is there are no gods.  (more…)

Intellectualism and Scholarship for Christ

September 16, 2015

Olin Hall


As Christians, we naturally emphasize faith because faith is what God rewards. Faith is what connects us to God. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. But, faith also separates people from God – when they don’t have it.

Faith is a stumbling block for the agnostic and the atheist.

When agnostics and atheists (and sometimes even Christians) talk about faith, they often talk about faith in the “blind” sense, divorced from reason and rationality. Real faith, however, is anything but blind or irrational.

For the Christian, faith informs a God logic that is captured in doctrine. This logic is far from irrational or inconsequential. Faith is part of that God logic, but it isn’t divorced from logic or truths discoverable in  the material world that God created. Atheists and agnostics, however, don’t see the connection. (more…)


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