In a recent discussion on theism and atheism with the Oxford professors, John Lennox and Peter Atkins representing both ends of the spectrum, the dialogue stopped, and a time of questions and answers began. One person, a scientist, wrote in saying that he is an atheist, but his commitment as a scientist to follow the evidence suggested to him that God does exist. For him, the issue isn’t the evidence, but his own feelings, instincts and emotions.
When this question was put to the two guests to respond, the answers were very intriguing. John Lennox, the Christian, suggested that the man should continue to question and research and to test the position (that God exists) personally, not from afar. The response of the atheist, Peter Atkins, was simple: stick to your “commitment to rationality” (which to him presupposes atheism).
Think about it. Would you suppose the answer, to stick to your commitment, would more likely come from the Christian or the atheist? I would. I think most people would expect that answer to come from the Christian, but it doesn’t in this case. It’s the atheist sticking dogmatically to a presupposition.
Part one of two – let’s be honest about the who and what of our underlying presuppositions…
“[Christ] told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves,’ but also ‘as wise as serpents.’ He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good as children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.” C.S. Lewis ~ Mere Christianity
Many believe that people must check their intelligence at the door of faith in order to be a Christian. Certainly atheists and agnostics think so, but believers also act as if intelligence is something that must be discarded or even worse, not to be trusted.
A read through the Bible, however, reveals that God is as concerned about a person’s mind as He is about a person’s heart. In fact, the mind and the heart are often mentioned together. (See Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27)
If we believe in God, and believe He created the heavens and the earth, then we can trust the intellect He gave us. In fact, if He gave it to us, does He not expect us to use it?