Friday, 22 October 2010

Last of the Sullivan questions

It's been four weeks I think since I got buried beneath the avalanche of questions from Sullivan Upper SU, and I am just now emerging - to the students at Sullivan, thanks for your questions and thanks for your patience.  If you have any follow ups then let me know:

How do you know what an atheist thinks about God?
This is a bit of a curious question, and I'm not sure if it relates to anything I said on the day at Sullivan, so I'm not sure if the question is "How do you know what an atheist thinks about God?" or "How does one know what an atheist thinks about God?"  Either way, I think the answer is the same, and it's not as naive as it may appear at first, I know because the Bible tells me.  Now before anyone rolls their eye, just consider something: I have many reasons why I believe the Bible to be the Word of God (for example, here, here and here), and the view it gives of the world.  It proclaims a message that corresponds with the way the world really is.  It presents a view of reality that is consistent with our intuitions about logic, morality, and justice.  It proves its divine origins by its prophecies; the Lord Jesus put His stamp of authority on the Old Testament (e.g. John 17 v 17) and gave His guarantee of the New Testament (John 14 v 26 - the Gospels; John 16 v 13 - the epistles and the Revelation). 
So I have good reason to take what the Bible says seriously - God has spoken and His Word carries that authority, and it says that all of mankind has an intuition about the existence of God, and to deny His existence is to suppress what we know to be true.  I think you can see this at work because people can't live consistently with atheism - they recognise transcendent absolutes like logic, they recognise objective morality, the intrinsic worth of humans, a sense of purpose etc.  The foundation of these things is a transcendent, holy, personal God who made us in His image for Himself and for eternity.  You speak to an atheist and they will soon smuggle in concepts that actually require God for those concepts to hold and make sense, just note the moral outrage of Hitchens and Dawkins!

How do you deal with a Christian who has gone out of the way?
I suppose it depends on how well you know the person, if you know them well it would be good to talk to him or her.  In any event, we can talk to the Lord about them, and have confidence that if they are truly the saved then the Lord won't leave them alone, He will work to bring them back to Himself.

I want to thank the students at Sullivan again for the opportunity of being there for the SU.  Hope to be back soon.