Atheist Billboards in Des Moines – 2011

Posted: April 6, 2011 by pastorerichann in Apologetics, Philosophy, Social Issues, Theology
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Some of you may have recently noticed billboards in the city of Des Moines which read “You Know There is No God! We Know You’re Right!” Even though I am a Christian “theist” – I am in some ways thankful these billboards have gone up. For one reason, this opens doors of dialogue. For another reason, the thrust of the “know” message suggests we really can “know” something as opposed to the prevalent “postmodern” notion that objective truth either doesn’t exist or can’t actually be “known.” When talking with an atheist, one item I try to respectfully note pertains to my own personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ – and what this relationship “experience” means to me. This is an important and powerful element of the dialogue. In some respects, this can be the most important part of the conversation. I can attest that knowing God through Jesus Christ has had the utmost impact on my life in countless ways. In fact, more than anything else, this defines who I am and my entire life outlook. Still, “experiences” can fall into the realm of the subjective. One person’s “testimony” can contradict someone else’s. One person says he has felt a certain “peace and joy” while praying to God and reading the Bible. Another person says “I’m glad that works for you – but my peace and joy is derived from waiting for the mother-ship which will appear with the coming of the Hale-Bop comet.” When thinking down these vistas, thankfully the foundations of Christian belief also transcend mere subjective, personal experiences. As Christian author Paul Little once wrote; “The Christian experience is not like a man with a fried egg on his ear who claims the egg gives him peace and joy.” Regarding just the “existence of God” many would likely say they’ve personally experienced God – and at least some others would say they haven’t. Although this can fall into the realm of a “willful” choice to disbelieve, even the Bible refers to ways “general” revelation evidences for the existence of God can point to Christian truths about both God and the need for Jesus Christ (see the Apostle Paul’s witness to Athens in Acts 17:22-34).

Therefore, are there any objective evidences for the existence of a “God” of some kind? In one class study we recently had here at Cornerstone, the notes of Australian Christian author John Dixon referenced these simple, objective evidences – which have correlating truths found in the Christian Bible:

 –God is the best explanation for why there is something here rather than nothing   Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-3; Romans 1:20

The universe’s complex arrangement/intelligence suggests a plan as opposed to “mindless chance” Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1

The reality of human conscience (a sense of right and wrong – that what we do matters, reflecting some kind of standard and accountability) Romans 1:18-19

Having a desire for a sense of meaning and purpose (with most affirming that the world and universe is meaningful, as opposed to being meaningless) Romans 1:19; Romans 8:28

A fear of death, and a sense of eternity (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3, 11; 3:11)

Based on the outworking of some of these “general revelation” evidences, various people in history have come to the conclusion that a “God” – of some kind – exists. One example was the former Oxford Atheist debater Antony Flew who subsequently wrote the recent 2007 book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Another example is an Oxford Scholar named C.S. Lewis who came to believe first that there is a “god” – and went on eventually to become a believer in Jesus Christ. Still yet another example is Chicago Journalist Lee Strobel who sought to apply his legal expertise skills to disprove Christianity, only to end up converting to Christ and authoring the 1998 book The Case for Christ. Although the motivation for the timing of the Atheist billboards and convention in Des Moines seems to be to counter the Christian Easter season, their timing couldn’t be more appropriate. Jesus, “The Christ” (“Messiah”) is the most important “special” revelation given from God to the world. Even outside the Christian Bible there are historical references to the life of one known as “Jesus” (Greek “Yesous” – Hebrew “Yeshua”) who lived; made distinct claims about being God’s unique, divine, representative; performed certain “acts” – and who was put to death in 1st century Palestine. History also notes that this person’s followers claimed He rose from the dead, and that this message spread in spite of the resultant persecution to suppress it. The veracity of the witnesses is detailed by the Apostle Paul in a very early document of ancient scripture found in I Corinthians 15:1-11. Based on the strength of this witness, people “believed” this Jesus could “save” them eternally from their sin, and because of the objective truth of Christ’s resurrection, their “faith” was not “futile” (I Cor. 15:17). In summary, as a Christian author named Bernard Ramm once put it… “If one could be reasoned into faith, then Christianity would have sacrificed its moral and spiritual dimension. But if there were no evidences at all, then our faith could not be differentiated from gullibility. Because Christianity is in part an historical and in part a spiritual decision, Pascal reasoned that God gave enough evidences to satisfy the mind of the man whose heart was surrendered to Christ, but not enough to tempt a man into Christianity by pure reason alone.” Thus, based on the objective facts of the existence of God and the truth of Jesus Christ – who died for our sins and rose again – take a “leap of faith” today! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (John 3:16; Acts 16:31).  

For more on this subject, go here and read part 1 of the “IS” articles.

Go here to read part 2 of the “IS” articles.

Go here to read part 3 of the “IS” articles.

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