Saturday, October 23, 2010

The circularity of atheism and the argument of irrefutable testimony

There is a huge amount of circularity in much atheistic thinking.

It goes something like this.

1. It is fair to assume that there is no God because there is no compelling evidence [though they often prefer to use the lower case 'g' - perhaps we should refer to "richard dawkins"]
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not compelling evidence for the existence of God because it is not from reliable sources
3. The sources are unreliable because they believe in the possibility of the miraculous
4. Miracles can only happen if there is a God.
5. Therefore the miraculous cannot happen because it is fair to assume that there is no God

Thus the assumption that there is no God a priori rules out any evidence to the contrary.
Dawkins, for example says "‘accounts of Jesus’ resurrection are about as well documented as Jack and the Beanstalk’.'" Yet, I have never heard of him seriously interacting with those accounts. I would love to hear Dawkins attempt to try to refute the historicity of the gospel accounts.

One of the things I find so compelling about the gospel accounts of the resurrection is that the disciples are not presented as people who think that things like resurrections happen! As D.A. Carson points out, they are not sitting in the upper room on Friday evening saying, "I'm so excited, I can't wait until Sunday." They are despondent, disillusioned and fearful. They were as surprised by the resurrection as I think Dawkins would be. So much so that when 10 of them try to persuade the one who wasn't there that Jesus is alive, he says that  he will not believe unless he not only Sees Jesus, but puts his fingers in the nail marks and his hand in Jesus' rather unique wound in his side. As it happens, seeing is enough.

Through history there have been many who have said that they would not believe unless they saw with their own eyes: but then for them, in the end, hearing has been enough: hearing about Thomas who should have believed on the testimony of 10 eyewitnesses, but didn't.

As much as we can, let's start moving our conversations with Non-Christians away from the details of irreducible complexity and intelligent design to irrefutable testimony.

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