I’ve been reading Alister McGrath’s excellent new book If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis (Tyndale 2014). Professor McGrath writes that one of the reasons Lewis moved from atheism to Christianity was that the latter provided a much more comprehensive and consistent worldview than the former.
There are numerous intellectual reasons to reject atheism and embrace Christianity and the scope of one’s worldview is only one of them. So, Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that the following is THE knock out punch for faith in Jesus but it is one of the arguments that one may look to for choosing Christianity over atheism. All that being said, here we go:
How do these competing world views answer how the universe is created? Christianity responds that an eternal, intelligent designer created the universe in an event we call “The Big Bang.” Atheists reluctantly admit there was a Big Bang but when pressed on how a creation could pop our of nothing, they respond, as Richard Dawkins did in an interview with Ben Stein, with “We don’t know that yet!”
How do these different world views account for the presence of complex beings like humans? Christians contend, once again, that we are the creation of a loving, intelligent being. Atheists argue it is the product of random, unguided mutations. Yet, the latter cannot account for the lack of fossil evidence to support their position nor can they answer how transitional beings could survive (i.e., a creature with an appendage that is neither a wing or a fin or an arm renders one extremely vulnerable to extinction, it does not given one an procreative advantage) or how such complex information is created and successfully passed on from one mutation to the next.
Advantage Christianity again.
How do these competing world views reply to the fact that people believe there are objective rights and wrongs? Christianity asserts that morality flows from the essence of an infinite, loving, omniscient God. Leading atheist thinkers like journalist S.T. Joshi concede that objective morality is a myth for finite products of random mutation cannot produce an objective moral system. He persuasively argues that if there is no God than any moral system is nothing more than a bundle of individual preferences.
Advantage Christianity once again.
How do these two opposite views of reality answer our inherent longing for meaning? Christianity responds that we are give the choice to choose a relationship with our creator who will gladly and graciously pay the penalty for every wrong we have ever done and guarantee an eternity with Him free of further temptation sin, vulnerability to pain or death. Atheism, on the other hand, holds that any meaning we ascribe to our lives is subjective, finite and arbitrary. We live, we die and we are forgotten. Any good we do (however you define it) will be lost in time either through the fog of history or when the sun reaches red giant status and swallows the earth. Moreover, because there are no objective means to test what is “good” under a godless world view, there is no way to say Mother Theresa lived a good life but Adolph Hitler lived an evil one (although, oddly, some of the new atheists have tried to attack the legacy of Mother Theresa despite dying with deformed feet from refusing to wear acceptable hand me down shoes because she gave the best shoes to the homeless…shameful and I can make that claim objectively).
Christianity wins again.
So, in the end, Atheism cannot tell you how creation came to be, why creation came to be, how to live or grant any hope for the future. Christianity on the other hand provides intellectually and existentially justified answers to all of these questions. Once again, these points are not the end all be all of arguments for accepting one over the other but they are factors to consider. I pray that if you have not accepted Jesus as your personal savior that you will consider all of the above very carefully.
Grace and peace.