Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another atheist comes back home

On another internet site I came across some posts by a former atheist from the U.K. who had actually served as the director of the Rationalist Press Association for almost 10 years, as well as a one-year stint as the president of the National Secular Society. He gives the following reasons for his return to Christianity after 20 years as a hardened atheist:

1. A realisation that the universe is not self-explanatory, and that - unless it is completely absurd - it needs a transcendent explanation.2. A realisation that science cannot - even in principle - even begin to explain why there is something and not nothing.3. A realisation that Hume's critique of theism is far from watertight; that Darwin's theory of evolution does not begin to explain either the emergence or the complexity of life, and that much 19th century criticism and modern scientism is founded on an untenable world-view.

My return to the Christian faith was facilitated by a recognition that much biblical criticism from the Enlightenment until quite recently was based on faulty premises, and by a recognition that - notwithstanding some legendary elements - the Gospel story of Jesus, his teaching, his death and resurrection were historically well-founded. Furthermore, the experience of worship and reconciliation was a source of inner conviction that has remained with me, and I hope always will.

There are a growing number of testimonies on the internet of atheists coming to Christ, or coming back to Christ. Some have come as a result of internet apologetics. This one appears to have come back to the fold through his own study on issues of theology and religion, and his recognition of the limitations of scientific explanations for the world as well as the ultimately incoherent worldview of scientific materialism.

Of course skeptics will point out that there are also testimonies of former Christians – even former ministers in some cases – becoming atheists. While this is true, the skeptical position is that atheism is strictly based on pure reason while religion is irrational. For a knowledgeable and highly educated atheist to turn to religion, then, should necessitate that a rational person has suddenly become irrational. However, these individuals do not give evidence of being irrational, and are able to give good rational arguments as to why they abandoned the atheistic worldview. Of course, these defectors are generally treated with the great contempt, mockery and abuse that are so typical of the atheist internet community.

Stay tuned, as there are surely more exciting conversion stories to come!

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My ministry in Hungary involved teaching theology and training Hungarian church planters. I have a great interest in apologetics as well as missions.