Friday, August 08, 2008

Al Mohler on the New Atheism

Dr. Mohler has a great blog (on the blogroll at right) and he has a new book on the New Atheism. I love science and it has a great many truths to tell and yet to discover. It is, however, not our only source of true knowledge and can often be a source of fallacy and falsehood. Science once told us the world was flat, that the Earth was the center of the solar system, that Blacks were genetically inferior to Whites, etc., etc. (that humans have made the Earth warmer). The new Atheists are fundamentalist and evangelical in their cause. Here's a snippet of Dr. Mohler's book -- from his blog:

In terms of our own evangelistic and apologetic mandate, it is helpful to acknowledge that only a minority of those we seek to reach with the Gospel are truly and self-consciously identified with atheism in any form. Nevertheless, the rise of the New Atheism presents a seductive alternative for those inclined now to identify more publicly and self-consciously with organized nonbelief. The far larger challenge for most of us is to communicate the Gospel to persons whose minds are more indirectly shaped by these changed conditions of belief.

The greater seduction is towards the only vaguely theistic forms of “spirituality” that have become the belief systems (however temporarily) of millions. These are people who, as Daniel Dennett suggests, are more likely to believe in belief than to believe in God.

The Christian church must respond to the challenge of the New Atheism with the full measure of conviction and not with mere curiosity. We are reminded that the church has faced a constellation of theological challenges throughout its history. Then, as now, the task is to articulate, communicate, and defend the Christian faith with intellectual integrity and evangelistic urgency. We should not assume that this task will be easy, and we must also refuse to withdraw from public debate and private conversation in light of this challenge.

In the final analysis, the New Atheism presents the Christian church with a great moment of clarification. The New Atheists do, in the end, understand what they are rejecting. When Sam Harris defines true religion as that “where participants’ avowed belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought,” he understands what many mired in confusion do not. In the end, the existence of the supernatural, self-existent, and self-revealing God is the only starting point for Christian theology. God possesses all of the perfections revealed in Scripture, or there is no coherent theology presented in the Bible. The New Atheists are certainly right about one very important thing—it’s atheism or biblical theism. There is nothing in between.

His new book Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists is below:

It's almost cliche now but Atheists have just as much, if not more, faith as most Christians.


Samuel Skinner said...

Two oppsing position, if not equivalent, will have one more supported by the evidence.

That side will not require faith.

The best way to control minds is buzzwords. It is nice to see you are not an exception.

Troy said...

First... thanks for the comment and for finding this very lonely outpost. Nice bit of ad hominem too. It seems as though you smiled as you typed it. Nevertheless thanks anyway for stopping by.

Where is your evidence? I have plenty of circumstantial evidence of a God -- but will never have absolute proof. Faith is hope in things not seen. I'm willing to accept that (Pascal's wager and all that). What pray tell is the buzzword? "Faith"?

Atheists believe a lot of different things so it's hard to argue with a drive by insult without a fleshing out.