Thank God for atheists

Thank God for atheists December 17, 2011

What I mean, of course, is “Thank God for allowing atheists to be atheists.” I DON’T mean “Thank God for atheism!” But I also think atheists do Christians a service–unintentionally, of course.

My thoughts today are stimulated by the passing of famous atheist author Christopher Hitchens (who died Thursday). Hitchens was, of course, the author of the 2007 book God is Not Great (which is anything but a great book). And they are sparked by an article in The New York Times by Jennifer Schuessler about Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga who, in his new book Where the Conflict Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism, argues that theists should stop merely defending belief in God as not irrational and go on the offensive to show (as he has spent a lifetime showing!) that ONLY belief in God is rational.

Like most of you would be, at first I was a little shocked to read that Peter Rollins, a postmodern Christian prophet, led his community IKON in “giving up God for Lent.” They agreed to spend Lent reading the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins and others of the “new atheism movement.” Why would anyone do that? Well, perhaps for the same reason that I required my students (at a Christian university where I previously taught) to read In Defense of Secular Humanism by atheist philosopher Paul Kurtz. Then I invited the president of the local Humanist Association chapter to come to my class and interact with us. Of course, that’s not all we read and he was not the only visitor to the class. (We also read books of Christian apologetics which was the subject of the course.)

So, let me explain further.

First, I don’t really believe there are true atheists. As Paul Tillich well pointed out, everyone has an ultimate concern and the object of their ultimate concern is their god. He called secular humanism as quasi-religion and the U.S. Supreme Court picked up on that and used it in a ruling about religion in the public square.

Second, every atheist I have ever read or met does not reject the God I believe in and worship and serve. The ones I know are rejecting an idol (and, of course, replacing it with one of their own making)–e.g., the God of the gaps, the deus ex machina of bare theism or the all determining reality of Calvinism.

Third, atheists do Christians a service by making us pay attention to what we believe and why. If it were not for atheists, there would not be the amazing renaissance of Christian philosophy that Alvin Plantinga rightly points to in his New York Times interview. We probably wouldn’t have the likes of Plantinga, Keith Ward, Richard Swineburne, et al.

Fourth, atheists do Christians a service IF they force us to purify our theism of elements foreign to Christianity. Is our “God” too often a projection of our ourselves or ideal selves into the heavens? Is our “God” too often a mere object, a prop to support our cultural values? Is our “God” too often a mere explanation for what we cannot yet explain so that he gradually disappears as science fills in those gaps?

Several modern and contemporary theologians have identified atheists as allies of true Christianity in its battle against “religion.” Barth praised Feuerbach for helping Christianity overcome its captivity to culture religion; he found Feuerbach an ally in his attempt to promote a non-religious Christianity that tried to correct the German tendency (and probably human and even American tendency!) to identify God with the cultural ideal. Bonhoeffer, of course, wrote about “religionless Christianity” in Letters and Papers from Prison. Jurgen Moltmann was stimulated by atheist philosopher Ernst Bloch to say that only a Christian can be a good atheist. Now, Peter Rollins (in his most recent book Insurrection) is promoting a form of Christian atheism–one that denies and rejects a bland theism that treats God as an object–as the explanation for things or the support for our own interests.

Fifth, having said all that, I do think that belief in a god, the sole supreme being, the creator and moral governor of the universe, is more rationally satisfying than its denial. I think Mortimer Adler’s wonderful little book How to Think about God is a good example of how that can be demonstrated. Hans Kung’s book Does God Exist? is compelling. Adler uses a form of the cosmological argument to show that without belief in god there is no explanation for the universe. Kung uses a form of the moral argument to show that without belief in god there is no escape from nihilism. These arguments have value when believers in a deity (theists) are up against aggressive atheism (e.g., in some secular schools).

However, I think that far too many Christians especially in the Western world tend to think of God along the lines of what Christian Smith calls “therapeutic, moralistic deism” and/or tend to think of God as the prop, the support for their own happiness and personal fulfillment. Rollins is right that atheism can be a kind of therapy for those idolatries.

So, where should Christians turn to find a true alternative to atheism and theism? Nicholas Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf said “If I did not believe in Jesus, I would not believe in God.” I think this was best interpreted and lived out and proclaimed by his distant spiritual descendent Christoph Blumhardt who cared nothing about a vague God of explanation (theism) or God as security blanket. Blumhardt (who inspired both Barth and Moltmann) preached a God of the future Kingdom who both loves us all AND judges all our ego-centered attempts to use God and religion for our own purposes. Blumhardt’s motto was not “Believe in God” or “Fight atheism” but “Die so that Jesus may live!” In other words, live solely and exclusively for the coming Kingdom of God in the here and now. That’s authentic Christianity and atheism can be one tool that corrects us and turns us in that direction and away from reliance on arguments or proofs or angry denunciations of atheists.

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  • Brent J. Nordquist

    “Richard Swineburne” I think is spelled “Swinburne”?

    • rogereolson

      Simply a typo from keyboarding too fast.

  • Brian Westley

    First, I don’t really believe there are true atheists. As Paul Tillich well pointed out, everyone has an ultimate concern and the object of their ultimate concern is their god.

    Using that definition, I can also claim that there are no true theists. It’s a pretty useless definition.

    • rogereolson

      That’s illogical.

      • Beau Quilter

        What is illogical is hazily defining god as any particular “ultimate concern” in order to assert that everyone is a theist.

        • rogereolson

          You missed the point. It is not that “ultimate concern” automatically makes a person a theist. It is that everyone has some ultimate concern, not only theists, and therefore they are all quasi-religious if not explicitly religious.

  • Karlton G. Kemerait

    I would be interested in learning why you believe that faith or belief in God is a more “rationally satisfying” position than is the lack of belief?

    I was a born-again Christian for approximately 25 years of my life and spent the vast majority of my time in the study of Christian apologetics and in evangelizing. I have been an atheist for the most recent 20 or so years and personally, find it much more “satisfying” on multiple levels, not the least of which is from the perspective of rationality.

    I look forward to your response.

    • rogereolson

      I mentioned some theist authors who demonstrate that theism is more rational than atheism. Have you read them? If not, I suggest that you do.

      • Karlton G. Kemerait

        With respect,

        I didn’t ask what other authors think about the issue, I was looking forward to having a dialog with you, about your thoughts on the matter.

        • rogereolson

          I can’t get into as much detail as you may want here. I’ll just say I agree with Hans Kung (and others) who say that atheism leads inevitably to nihilism and a person who claims to be an atheist but claims not to be a nihilist just isn’t thinking clearly.

          • Karlton G. Kemerait

            I think that the concept of absolute morality in a vacuum is flawed. Morals are not, or should not be considered ends in themselves, but rather, their validity is determined by the goal you intend to achieve.

            Most rational individuals of sound mind, would not argue for living in a world consumed by fear and hatred, where people were denied basic needs such as food or health care, where individuals were stripped of their dignity and treated as chattel. I would argue that there are multiple, equally valid paths available to achieve a society whose goals are set in opposition to those stated above.

            I do not feel, as an atheist, that I am obligated to live a life absent of value or meaning. I see no reason why we cannot supply our own meaning to the life we live and the society that we try to create.

            Those who choose to follow divine edict as their moral guide have also provided their own morality, they have simple chosen a different source, i.e. the musings of priests, fishermen and shepherds from 2000 years ago which is a far less rational approach to building a society than is using our current knowledge of the human condition, however flawed, but with the ability to grow and change overtime as we learn more about ourselves.

          • rogereolson

            “Most rational individuals of sound mind, would not argue for living in a world consumed by fear and hatred, where people were denied basic needs such as food or health care, where individuals were stripped of their dignity and treated as chattel.” Why not? What makes that a more rational argument than its opposite? What if I am absolutely convinced that I can live a happy, fulfilled life by stripping others of their dignity and treating them as chattel? What reason could you, as an atheist give, that I shouldn’t? After all, I could argue that the law of nature (which is all there is) is survival of the fittest and in such a world, devoid of anything transcendent to ground moral absolutes, might makes right? All you could say is you disagree with my choice and you might add you think in the end I won’t be happy living that way. But what rational argument can you offer why my chosen way of life is objectively wrong? See my newest post.

          • TiltedHorizon

            “a person who claims to be an atheist but claims not to be a nihilist just isn’t thinking clearly”

            A variant of the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy, if that were true the proof would be self-evident, our prison population would be likely comprised of atheists, Switzerland would likely be a threat equal to or greater than Islamic extremism, after all, as nihilists, laws, order, and morals would hold little to no influence.
            As you seem like a rational man I won’t accuse you of not thinking clearly but I will say you have fallen victim of your own bias, atheism leads to nihilism because you want to believe it, not because it is true.

          • rogereolson

            Read my latest post.

          • Karlton G. Kemerait


            Quite simply, I am not making that judgement. I think it is quite “reasonable” to allow the majority in a society to determine the type or quality of society they wish. What I am saying is that once that has been done…then I believe you can separate those ideas which which will bring you closer to that goal from those that will make it more difficult to achieve. (moral/immoral).

            Secondly, as I pointed out earlier…simply saying “God says…” does not make it any less subjective and I suspect that even among those who profess faith in a supernatural being would not necessarily agree on what He/She says is moral.

          • rogereolson

            I think you are confusing epistemological subjectivism with metaphysical subjectivism. I agree that there is inevitable subjectivism in all knowing; what I am arguing (again!) is that objective right and wrong must exist independently of our knowing else those categories are nothing other than a matter of individual or community preference which cannot adequately ground moral absolutes such as “torturing babies is always wrong no matter what.”

  • Doug Mc

    I don’t quite follow you on something.

    “Everyone has an ultimate concern…”
    Ok, perhaps a fair enough statement.

    “the object of their ultimate concern is their god…”
    That’s a pretty big assumption to make. I would think it would be more correct to say that the object of the ultimate concern is life (or any form of existence) after bodily death. That concept can exist with or without a god.

    As far as the only atheists you know rejecting idols versus God itself, I’d have to wonder why those “atheists” even refer to themselves as such. I mean, either they believe there is a god, or they don’t. Not being sure is a perfectly legitimate position, of course, but you must default to non-belief until you decide you have enough reason to gain belief.

    And I do agree that a positive impact of atheists upon any religious person is to have them reflect upon what they believe. Unfortunately, it causes many theists to recede further into their beliefs.

    • rogereolson

      There are religions that do not include belief in any supreme being (e.g., some forms of Buddhism). So, Tillich simply believed that the word “god” should not be limited to one concept of ultimate reality. When you set side-by-side all the concepts of “god” in the world, they don’t have much in common. So he simply proposed a definition of “god” that would work to cover all religions which left him with “god” as a person’s ultimate concern. As I said, the Supreme Court agreed and decided that even secular humanism is a “quasi-religion.” You will find that people with Ph.D.s in religious studies do not think the concept “god” can be limited to any particular concept of a supreme being (such as the average person assumes).

  • Tim Reisdorf

    Hi Roger,

    Thank you for these thoughts. There is also a flip side to what you are saying. Exposing yourself (or encouraging others) to the best of the atheist thoughts, then there is a danger that they will somehow ring true. The battle of ideas is not for everyone, though all ought to be ready to account for their faith.

    One of my students – at a Christian school I taught at many years ago – left Christianity because of this battle of ideas that he waged at the University. He lost the arguments and his faith.

    • rogereolson

      That’s too bad, but if he didn’t encounter “the battle of ideas” in university he probably would have encountered it elsewhere. I don’t think sheltering young people from the best arguments against Christianity is helpful.

      • Tim Reisdorf

        You are correct that we shouldn’t be sheltering young people from the best arguments against Christianity. Yet, how many are able to successfully grapple with these ideas of Hitchens, Dawkins, et al, in a clear and fair way – and then do that in front of the young as well? The school he was from was not well equipped to prepare him on that level (myself being one of the teachers). Neither was his small church able to adequately prepare him. Surely, hindsight has better vision, maybe there were some books or speakers that could have been brought in, but . . . alas.

        • I think this speaks to the corruption of education as a whole. If simply being exposed to alternative ideas is something to be feared, there is a serious problem with how we as a society are teaching anything.

  • Michael Waterhouse

    Thank you for this post. Although an athiest, I am intrigued by its arguments. I have often thought there that an idea of Christian atheism was not a necessary contradiction. It seemed to me that one need subscribe to no supernatural beliefs but could still get quite a lot from the Christiam message (depending on what you took that to be). I recently read Philip Pullman’s novel “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ”, which I interpret as a profoundly Christian but atheistic book.
    I am intrigued by your statement: “I don’t really believe there are true atheists. As Paul Tillich well pointed out, everyone has an ultimate concern and the object of their ultimate concern is their god.” Is this just defining the word “god” as a person’s ultimate concern? If so, does “ultimate concern” mean concern of greatest importance to the person? If so, then, yes everyone must believe in ‘god’ because everyone must have something of greatest concern to them. But for some people this would be money, for others the success of FC Barecelona, for others addiction to heroin. Is this all you mean by not believing in true atheists?
    The trouble is this definition of “god” does not seem to correspond to traditional definitions of those theists who assert God exists – with properties such as omipotence, omniscience and omibenevolence.

    • rogereolson

      Not all theists assert those definitions of God.

  • John C. Gardner

    This is a brillant post. We need to see ourselves from the other’s perspective to be able to respond intelligently and frankly to them. We need to remember, for example, that Jews were not legalistic Pelagians(as Lutherans and some evangelicals have taught). We need to be challenged and as Ken Schenck states develop(in my case as a layman in the Wesleyan church) expertise so that we can speak somewhat authoritatively(on topics such as religion and science) with the young who are now operating in a post modern, secular and religiously pluralistic world. Thank you for writing such a wonderful post that has made me think. God bless you and your family this Christmas.

  • Of course a belief in god is rational, that’s not the point. Humans cannnot just “turn off” their rationality in their minds, unless they were schizophrenic, so anything that a mind is capable of thinking, as crazy as it might seem, is rational in that sense. The point is: not everything that a mind constructs is real, and the only way to determine whether an object of our consciousness is really out there or not, is by using our higher cognitive functions, our inductive and deductive reasoning. Therefore, there’s a direct relation between how good we are in assesing the reality of things and how good we use our inductive and deductive reasoning. That’s what we would call a “rational attitude”, as opposed to the “irrational attitude” that voluntarily tries to refrain from using the higher cognitive functions that separate us from the rest of the animals. In other words, a belief in god might be bad logic, but it only becomes irrational when is bad logic on purpose.

    As for the statement “everyone has an ultimate concern and the object of their ultimate concern is their god”, that sounds good only as a figure of speech, a literary metaphor, but as for propositional language is concerned, is completely false and misleading. Leaving aside that it’s doubtful that everyone is bound to have “an ultimate concern”, the fact is that atheism is defined as denying the existence of god, so anyone who does that, is a true atheist. I deny it, I’m a true atheist. To make it clear: I reject the existence of any god you may believe and worship. Whether I have other “ultimate concerns” doesn’t change that.

    • rogereolson

      Everyone believes something is ultimately real. All atheists I know believe nature is ultimately real and all that exists and the explanation for whatever is and how it is. Nature, then, functions as god in their worldview. But they can no more prove that nature is all there is than a theist can prove that God exists (although I think belief in God is more rational than reductive naturalism).

      • Again, that you can metaphorically call an atheist’s worldview “god”, is just that, a figure of speech, it has no propositional value. You could as well call it “building”, doesn’t mean that’s what it actually is.
        By definition, nature is “all that exists”. If we found that an entity called “god” existed, it would become immediately part of nature, part of the group of things that exist. We have been learning about lot of things that do exist, and so far, god is not one of them.

        • rogereolson

          “All that exists” is not part of the definition of “nature.”

          • Call it nature, universe, world, cosmos, whatever, is the same: it encompasses all that exists. If a god existed, it would be part of it. How could something exist outside existence itself?

          • rogereolson

            That’s the whole point of the word “supernatural”–something that transcends nature. You’re simply defining “nature” as “all that exists,” but that’s not a traditional or valid definition of nature. But this gets us nowhere; there’s no point in debating definitions as if words have essences.

  • Steve Rogers

    Your summation that authentic Christianity is “liv(ing) solely and exclusively for the coming kingdom of God in the here and now” suggest two things to me. Atheists can do that without even realizing it. And, Christians, while operating from a xenophobic, militaristic worldview, are in reality antagonists toward authentic Christianity.

    • rogereolson

      I’m not sure I’d agree with the first part, but I concur with the second part. For me “kingdom of God” (both in its fulfillment and consummation to use Ladd’s language) connotes Jesus as Lord and something supernatural.

      • Steve Rogers

        Would you agree that an unbeliever can unwittingly move toward and contribute to the unfolding of the kingdom prior to acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ? This season of the year the Magi come to mind.

        • rogereolson

          Yes–moved by God.

  • Feurerbach, Barth, ‘religion-less Christianity’ and Zinzendorff all being mentioned in the same post. I love it 🙂

    I love how Barth refers to Feuerbach to thwart a religiousity that is merely a reflection of one’s self and one’s culture. Life and faith are to be based on revelation of the Word. For Barth this leads to a fidiestic approach to everything under the sun (this opens up some questions about the task of apologetics when encountering atheists).

    […every atheist I have ever read or met does not reject the God I believe in and worship and serve] if this is the case (though I am sure there are some people whose rejection of God would discredit even this claim). Then what can Christians be doing differently to talk about God in a way that is more compelling?

    When does sincere piety and Word-centered worship cross the line into the kind of religiousity that draws the ire of athiests and reflective Christians?

    • rogereolson

      When it becomes totalizing and triumphalistic. I can’t imagine that any well-intentioned (i.e., not rabid) atheist would have any problem with a Christianity that is genuinely for the world and practices Bonhoeffer’s secret discipline. However, there is a form of atheism that is itself militant, totalizing and triumphalistic. I am just as opposed to that as to religion that is militant, totalizing and triumphalistic.

  • Ivan A. Rogers

    In heaven there is a special fraternity called, “Atheists for Jesus.” Christopher Hitchens has been accepted into membership and is even now attending the ‘new believer classes.’ I believe this to be true. It beats hell out of that eternal conscious torture doctrine (pun intended).

    • rogereolson

      So you do believe in purgatory? I blogged on that some time ago. I don’t know that I agree about Hitchens; it all depends on the state of his heart as he expired. That we’ll never know.

  • Craig Wright

    Of all the best selling atheist books that came out the last couple of years, because of Hitchens’ wit and captivating writing style, his is the only one I bought and read. My first response to hearing of his death was to pray for him. In my view of God now, I see the two of them having a good discussion at this time. I am an evangelical Protestant, but I believe that God is love, and that he cares for us into eternity.
    I attended a debate, sponsored by Biola Univ., between Hitchens and William Lane Craig. I walked out thinking that Hitchens won because he spoke from the heart. Craig’s method was to use logic in a mechanical way and just repeat his points. Hitchens challenged us to deal with a God that would tell the Israelites to massacre people. Craig never answered that.
    I gave up my faith while attending a Christian college, and after returning from the war in Viet Nam, I came back to the Lord, because I was losing a moral battle that bothered my conscience, and I needed a reason and purpose for living. We should not be afraid of looking at the arguments of atheists. Like Roger Olson, I believe we can learn and grow from them.
    I also enjoyed hearing Alvin Plantinga speak on the theme of his recent book. Thank God for great minds like his that help us to engage with the greater world outside the church.

    • Kenny Johnson

      It’s funny how people can respond so differently to the same thing. I didn’t see or hear the debate, but read a transcript of it and while I certainly think your criticism of Craig is valid (in fact, while I respect him a lot, it’s become pointless to hear him debate more than once– it’s always the same)… but I digress… I thought Hitchens performed terribly.

  • //I don’t really believe there are true atheists. As Paul Tillich well pointed out, everyone has an ultimate concern and the object of their ultimate concern is their god.//

    Suppose a person’s ultimate concern is her new-born baby.

    She is a Naturalist in full agreement with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and late Christopher Hitchens.

    So you say she is a “theist” because her baby is her god?

    Are you kidding?

    • rogereolson

      Tillich said it and I agree. But I’m not sure a baby can be one’s ultimate concern. It’s is definitely a penultimate concern, but “ultimate” implies more–that which is ultimately real.

    • Jordan

      Tillich’s Courage to Be would be the easiest intro to this. The baby would point to something beyond itself as being the ultimate concern…one’s ultimate concern is more in response to the existential condition of being-toward-death…as it manifests in authentic and inauthentic ways.

  • Heard Peter Rollins explaining himself on the Homebrewed Christianity podcast. It is an intriguing proposition. Isn’t the reality that Christians often want to argue theoretically about God’s existence, when in fact their behavior points to their actual belief that God is dead? ( Thanks for this post, it is pretty new for me but I can tell it is critical to grasp.

  • Ade

    You really need to start defining atheist, and if you want to even hint at a worthwhile point, perhaps don’t generalise in every other sentence.

    To me, atheism means free-thinking rationalism. Literally it means ‘not theist’. But to think you can generalise about all those that don’t believe in your version of a god is no different to an atheist (wrongly) generalising that all christians are fanatical. You yourself are a non-believer in hundreds of gods, you just happen to have one you do believe in. I’ve gone one further, and find no reason to believe in any of the human created deities. That doesn’t mean I’d ever suggest ‘there is no god’ in the sense of a creator of the universe, because that’s not someone I, or anyone else could know. There’s no evidence to suggest there is, but if an atheist starts asserting knowledge without evidence (there is no god, there is no afterlife, there is no life on other planets, there’s no pub at the end of the universe) then they’re no better than religious folk who do the same.

    I do agree about atheism making the religious have to defend their beliefs and pay more attention to them though. That can only be a good thing. If someone won’t challenge their own beliefs, won’t listen open-mindedly to non-believers (or believers or alternative religions), then their real belief can’t be that strong. But there are some who view all evidence against their religion merely as a test of faith in itself, and hence further proof in the affirmative. With those people debate becomes sadly futile.

    The vast majority of atheists, rationalists, scientists have a passion for knowledge in common. That’s what leads to the non-belief in the many gods, merely an absence of any evidence to suggest we should. It’s not a motivation issue, we’re not burying evidence and trying to back up our preconceived beliefs, because our beliefs are about expanding knowledge. That’s why we’re comfortable being wrong, or admitting we don’t know something. That’s what underpins science – studying what we don’t know, expanding knowledge. If it disproves a theory, fine, it’s knowledge that’s the goal, not being right or wrong.

    Curiosity is the key, and that’s what I’d wish for anyone, whether brought up religious or not. The most intelligent people are curious, they question things, research them, look for answers and are willing to change their mind if the evidence presents itself. If you believe in a god, I think there should be just as much motivation to study the universe this god created. The more you understand and learn, the more complex and bewildering it becomes, surely the more impressive your god becomes with it?

    • rogereolson

      You wrote “atheism means free-thinking rationalism. Literally it means ‘not theist’.” No, not really. A free-thinking rationalist can also be a theist and “a-theist” means “against theism” or “denial of the existence of any god (defined as a supreme being).” There are plenty of people who are “against theism” who aren’t atheists (e.g., process philosophers and theologians). Please read my latest post.

  • james

    Hey Roger.
    I really enjoyed this post because it helps me to see that my view of God is irrevocably and sometimes problematically shaped by the culture which i am part. I like Rollin’s idea of lenting God because i think that our Christian spirituality can easily move towards primarily supporting our ego and being self serving. Further, we are often blind to how our picture of God is formed out of a sinful and self protective bias. I think that the evangelical and catholic churches desperately need help with this. I would assume that atheists who have ultimate concerns about ethical and social issues would be glad to see Christians who are thinking critically about how our view of God impacts our ethics.
    I would really like to hear more about Christoph Blumhard. He sounds like an intriguing thinker.

    • rogereolson

      I plan to post more about Christoph Blumhardt. Thanks for your comments.

  • Ivan A. Rogers

    I once worked with a professing atheist who constantly mocked my Christian faith. But one day I overheard him tell another worker that he sent his children to Sunday School. That gave me the opportunity to accuse him of being a ‘closet Christian.’ He just smiled.

  • John C. Gardner

    You mention Alvin Plantinga in this post. He has a new book on science and religion. Would it be appropriate for a college graduate with limited scientfic background since that time? What did classical Wesleyans say about atheism?

    • rogereolson

      I don’t think a limited scientific background would be a problem, but Plantinga is generally difficult to follow without philosophical training. However, with due diligence, I have always been able to benefit from what he writes. I don’t know what classical Wesleyans said about atheism. I’m not one. 🙂 I’m just a garden variety Arminian Baptist.

  • Phil

    The atheist posits God’s existence merely by the allocation of his (atheist) resources on the discussion. If he, the atheist, believes that God does not exist, then why write books or hold positions of such in various formats? In deed, the existence of God is proven by the attention given, and the presentation of any “arguments” against his being real are efficiently dismantled by the atheist himself. If I were an atheist, would I not keep my mouth shut and thus, lay down the strongest of positions?