Category Archives: Conscience

The Question For Atheists Is Not “How Do I Find God?” | The Question is “How do I Miss Him?”

While God is a hidden God and is surrounded by mystery (we will never totally understand Him – He transcends us), He also has revealed much about Himself in the world that He has made (cosmos) and in how He has made human beings with an in-built God awareness (conscience). This is what theologians call “Natural Revelation.” This in itself provides enough evidence for a reasonable belief in God and renders us without excuse.

In Romans 1:20, Paul states: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

God has planted evidence of Himself throughout His creation so that we are without excuse. Even if you were a non-Jew without the Torah, according to Paul, you are totally responsible for your behavior and cannot plead ignorance of God or His ways because God has revealed Himself to us in what He has made.

Paul’s argument is this: If you looked long enough at what God has made, you would come to understand something of His beauty and nature. Glittering stars flung across a black heaven. The earth in perfect orbit around the sun – close enough to sustain life but far enough away to keep from burning up. Sculpted mountains. The earth’s crust carved into breathtaking canyons. Fish that glow in the blackest depth of the sea. A butterfly breaking free from a cacoon. The meticulously spun web of a gray spider. The growth of a child in the womb. Birth. God’s fingerprints are all over.

After all of this, how could we ever come to the conclusion that we can live life any way that we want; that there is no God; that life is all about my glory, not His. From the greatest feat of forming a beautiful cosmos out of nothing to the intricate details of the smallest little insect or cell, each act of God in creation serves as a missionary in miniature form. They are sermons without preachers; they are biblical texts without Bibles. And while general revelation is not adequate to explain the Gospel, it renders all mankind without excuse and calls for a response.

God is everywhere, yet invisible. God is a hidden God. God has given us just enough evidence so that those who want Him can have him. Those who want to reject Him can do that as well. Think about it. It’s the only way a relationship with God could not be forced. If He was here in visible form, ruling with great power, would anybody choose differently? Evil melts away in his presence. So God must hide and self-limit in order for a free-will world to be possible. The direct presence of God would inevitably overwhelm our freedom. God gives everyone the room to either choose or reject. He’s a hidden God and He will not force love.

What you will find in your spiritual journey, is that it’s not so much that you find God; He finds you. And you realize you knew Him all along, but you suppressed knowledge of Him in your life (Romans 1). So don’t so much focus on “How do I find God?” Turn it around. “How has He already found me?” He brought me to this blog. He’s communicated via the Bible (Special Revelation). He’s placed me in an intelligently designed world that operates according to natural laws. He’s used crisis, confrontation, catastrophe, and even some fantastic blessings in life, like friends, baseball, family, and a day at the beach to get my attention and to cause me to tune in to Him.

Many former atheists have come to this conclusion: “God has found me! He’s known me all along and has never lost me, even though I’ve suppressed knowing Him. If I would have just looked at things close enough, I would have seen Him looking back at me. I don’t want to suppress Him anymore. I want to see and know Him.”

“How do I find God?” you ask. I reply: “How do you miss Him?” Look closely, and the very fact that you’re looking indicates this startling reality. He already found you.

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Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Conscience, Creation, Earth, Existence of God, First Cause, Free Will, Hidden God, Intelligent Design, Theism, Truth

The Existence of God (without Using a Bible)

If you were to ask me to argue for the existence of God without using a Bible, I would argue along these lines (see my other blog posts for an elaboration of these arguments).

I would argue from a position of conscience, this internal sense of right and wrong that we have written into us; this natural law of the heart that guides us in our moral decisions. And if there are moral laws there is a Moral Lawgiver.

I would argue from a position of design in nature. All that we see and experience in nature has structure built into it. It’s not a random cosmic carwreck that we see; it’s design and if there is design, there is an Intelligent Designer.

I would argue from a position of special revelation or Jesus Christ. Extra-biblical sources verify that Jesus existed during the time period and in the place that he supposedly existed found in the Bible. Furthermore, if he was the Son of God, then there is a First Cause – God the Father.

Finally, I would argue along the lines of the apologetic of human desire. Humans desire truth, beauty, honor, justice, courage, love, heroism. These longings go beyond just our senses. We can’t smell truth or touch love, yet we reach for them. We desire to be free, to discover our self-worth, to correct our immoral behavior, to piece the hurts of life into some larger picture of meaning (Mark Cosgrove). All of these desires are seen clearly in our mass production down through the ages of literature, art, music, worship, and movies, each of them featuring the innermost longings and deepest needs of human beings.

We reach out to worship something, even atheists do. How do you explain this longing for things beyond the natural, empirical realm, and our interest in blogging about them? Just like the presence of appetite presupposes the existence of food, the presence of worship and human longing presupposes that something or Someone exists who can satisfy these longings. And if there are these human desires, then we can conclude that there is a place or experience where they can be ultimately fulfilled – Heaven and a New Earth.

God exists and we don’t even need a Bible to know that this is true. But what the Bible does do for us is that it tells us His Name with specificity and invites us to know Him.

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Filed under Anthropic Principle, Anthropology, Apologetic of Desire, Atheism, Atheist, Beauty, Bible, Christian Worldview, Conscience, Desire, Existentialism, First Cause, Intelligent Design, Pleasure, Theism

What We Cannot NOT Know – The Witness of Deep Conscience

There are some things that we cannot NOT know. Of course, this does not mean that we know these things with perfect insight and clarity. But we do know them simply because we are alive: like the fact that children should be cared for, or the property of others should be respected, or that incest is a terrible offense against the moral order. Our conscience just tells us that we know this. Our conscience does not rely on the five senses or by just being told to feel a certain way. This automatic internal guide is the witness of deep conscience at work. We know many things without even noticing that we know them.

The greatest thing that we cannot NOT know is that God exists. The only way to get around this witness of deep conscience is by self-deception, to tell myself that He doesn’t exist. The atheist must tell himself/herself that “I do not know what I really do know.” The atheist must pretend that they don’t hear or feel this witness of deep conscience.

It’s like the lady who was getting an abortion and she asked, “Is it OK if I don’t feel like a monster about this?”

If someone has guilty feelings for not having guilty feelings, then she is bearing witness to deep conscience. She knows it’s wrong, but she has to tell herself that it isn’t. And the fact that she asked if it was ok to feel that what she was doing was ok, tells all of us that it is NOT ok.

This is the plight of the atheist. “Is it OK if I feel OK using profanity now that I’m an atheist?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about not having any moral values?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about excluding God out of every part of my life?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about flipping God off?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about reducing the Bible to mere myth?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about teaming up with other atheists bloggers and getting the red “A” on as many blogs as possible?”

The very fact that an atheist has to identify themselves as “Coming Out” at all, signifies that they have played dumb to their guilty feelings, but cannot hide the fact that they have a “guilty knowledge.”

“Is it OK for me to feel OK about being an atheist?” “Is if OK if I feel OK about putting a red “A” on my blog?” Atheist, you have just given testimony to the witness of deep conscience.
https://spiritualquestions.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/a-large-red-atheist-a-and-the-ichthus/

There are some things that we cannot NOT know. That there is a God is one of them. Stop pretending like you don’t know. You may not feel guilty for proclaiming that you are an atheist, but you have demonstrated that you know atheism is wrong.

Your deep conscience is fine and is working properly. The problem comes with the interface – the human will, suggests J. Budziszewski. Let the witness of deep conscience be the new guide by which you make your spiritual decision to either believe or disbelieve in God. Get your human will out of the way.

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Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Christianity, Conscience, Epistemology