Tag Archives: agnostic

The Enemy [It’s Not Who You Think]

In view of this growing, hostile reaction to Christianity, you need to keep these three things in mind as you hash out your plan of attack–or retreat.

Books supporting evolution are not in short supply.

Stand just inside my local Barnes and Noble and you’ll see what I mean.

Lining a shelf of the new and notable science publications and you’ll see books like .


And .

Nothing unusual.

But it’s that last one–by none other than Richard Dawkins–that did it…

That got the gears going.

An Abundance of Books Easily Amuses Me

What surprised me most about this book was not that he wrote a book on the evidence of evolution…

But that he keeps on doing it. Systematically. Deliberately.

Naturally, his other books are just variations on the theme. The Blind WatchmakerThe God DelusionThe Selfish Gene.

Then there’s the hundreds more published by other authors. It’s a veritable cottage industry breaking into the big time.

But it’s also indicative of a sense of alarm about the future of evolution and the threat of superstition.

So, in the face of this sleepless opposition, what are Christians to do? Enter the Christian apologists.

Soon We Will Resort to Cage Matches

To be fair, neither is there a shortage of books AGAINST evolution.

For example, a month or two down the road Alistair McGrath, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, David Aikman–someone in the camp–will write a book called Evidence Against Evolution.

Or The REAL Greatest Show on the Earth: Evidence for Design.


Well, I’m banking on history here, because this is nothing more than the thrust, counter-thrust, counter-counter-thrust, counter-counter-counter thrust of our current scientific-spiritual climate.

A climate brewing for the last forty years.

My observation boils down to this: We get our underwear in a wad, convinced our privileged nation is going to hell in a hand basket, and so we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and single handedly stop the steamroller called evolution.

Or atheism. Or pagan spirituality. Whatever you want to call it.

I’m Guilty, Too

Believe me, I hear that same voice every time a new book opposing Christianity is published.

Whether it’s by Ehrman, Dawkins, Young or Tolle.

I want to write the book that saws off the branch that evolution sits on. That pulls out the rug from under higher criticism. That drowns false prophets.

Vicious, I know.

And don’t get me wrong: This competition is healthy.

Yet in view of this growing, hostile reaction to Christianity, you need to keep these three things in mind as you hash out your plan of attack–or retreat.

Three Reasons Why You Should Chill

One, this shouldn’t surprise one thoughtful Christian at all. .

Second, evolution,  like all scientific views, has a shelf life.

In fact, it may surprise many to learn that most biologists at the start of the 20th Century .

Darwinism revived when a handful of scientists merged his theory with Mendelian genetics.

This is not an isolated event. The history of science is full of such turnabouts.

Whatever Happened to These Scientific Theories?

Ever heard of the geosynclinal theory? Of course not. It was buried alive by plate tetonics.

Geocentric view of the universe? Shoved aside by Copernicus and his trusty heliocentric view.

That phlogiston caused heat?  Well, oxidation burned this one at the stake.

Yes, Darwinism remains the consensus. [As do the others.] How long? A lot longer, I believe, than most because it is truly a great idea.

But that’s where it remains. As an idea.

Didn’t See This Coming

My final and third point is this: the –the region that covers South America, Africa and China.

What’s so special about it? It’s a region of the world that’s experiencing unprecedented growth in Christianity.

And here’s the kicker: This is occurring in the face of rigid anti-religious cultures.

It’s really quite astonishing if you think about what’s going on in China, for example.

 in a nation very unkind to Christianity.

And while not the poverty and persecution of the extremely repressive Cultural Revolution in 3 decades China’s gone from 3 million Christians to anywhere from 54 million to 130 million.

Conservately, that’s 18-fold jump in Christians. Go with the liberal number and we’re talking a 43-fold leap.

And get this.

This wave of Christianity is not led by foreign missionaries: Christianity in China spreads from person to person.

Government crackdowns and public scrutiny. Christians beaten, arrested and church leaders jailed. Converts remaining anonymous for fear of persecution.

As much as changed in China, much has remained the same. But Christianity spreads.

So, while we fight for legislation to protect our freedom of speech or prayer or our right to insist marriage should remain between a man and woman, our .

What Gives?

Quite frankly, we could use a little persecution. And not only of the academic sort.

In the West, we have lots of bandwidth to do much with. No surprise that Christianity comes in 356 colors.

And then some.

And neither is it a surprise that most Christians affirm the view that as long as people leave them alone they’ll leave them alone.

We are comfortable and want to stay that way.

Perhaps it would do us well be stripped of our freedoms. To be limited in our movement.

Perhaps creating laws that decreed publishing a book opposing evolution could lead to death. To make a stand against abortion punishable by torture.

I predict that much of what we know as the church today would run for the woods if this ever occurred…

Or commit outright treason against Christ. [I’m sounding rather alarmist myself, aren’t I?]

A Conclusion

In a nutshell, rather than wring our hands over the fear that the sky is falling in, our time would be better spent if we simply rejoiced and made discipleship of the nations a singular and solitary pursuit.

If we first sharpened our sense of sound doctrine and gospel truth.

And that we started with our own people.

Once we get back on that horse, then we can get on with the business of trampling evolution. Whacha think?

10 Questions with an Atheist: Luke Muehlhauser

Part of the 10 Questions with an Atheist series.

When Luke Muehlhauser was 19, he got depressed.

He confesses he probably got depressed because all he did was work at Wal-Mart, download music and watch porn.

Mind you, Muehlhauser is a pastor’s son. Born and bred under Christian parents, education and church services.

His struggle was honest and continued for the next 3 years through the help of his father, friends and an enviable bent to understand his Christian faith.

But ultimately, it just didn’t make sense.

Book after book and discussion after discussion, Muehlhauser couldn’t cling to his belief in the existence of God.

Muehlhauser celebrates his deconversion, but also relishes his 22 years as a Christian. In fact, he feels it allows him to “.”

On his blog , Luke makes a point of criticizing atheists as much as he does theists. A weak argument is a weak argument no matter who it comes from.

In addition, he maintains an impressive list–448 and counting–of .

Luke, thank you for your time. And thank you for your thoughts.

1. How would you describe yourself: atheist, agnostic or skeptic? Explain.

I’m a skeptic because the vast, vast majority of truth claims on any subject are false. I’m also a gnostic atheist because I “know” gods don’t exist the same way I “know” fairies don’t exist. I can’t prove the non-existence of either, but I’m pretty sure they don’t exist, having looked at the evidence. But all beliefs come in degrees (see: ). A creator god is extremely improbable already, but an all-good, timeless, spaceless, magical god who sent himself to earth to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself is even more improbable. In contrast, I’m pretty agnostic about the existence of Buddha, Jesus, Apollonius of Tyana, and Yeshe Tsogyal as historical persons: I just don’t know.

2. When did you know you were an agnostic skeptic? Did it scare you or was it a non-issue?

On January 11, 2008 I admitted to myself I could not believe in God. That decision came slowly, and it was terrifying. I’d been taught that without God, life was meaningless and miserable. I did everything I could to believe. For every atheist book I read, I read 5 books by the best Christian apologists (, , , …). But in the end I had to admit I had no better reason to believe in God than to believe in fairies. Only much later did I find out that there is plenty of joy and purpose without God.

3. Ever suffer persecution as an agnostic skeptic?


4. What do you want to accomplish with your life?

Travel, learning, deep relationships. There are also some open issues in meta-ethics to which I’d like to contribute.

5. Who are your heroes? Why?

No heroes live up to the myths we create around them, but…  saved a billion lives by studying how the world really works and applying his knowledge.  worked out the details of a radical option for human progress. ,, and  are criticizing destructive systems in entertaining and successful ways.

6. What would you like to accomplish with your Common Sense Atheism blog?

I’d like to show why theism is nonsense, and why most of what is said by atheists is also nonsense. I criticize bad atheist arguments very often on my blog.

7. What’s your favorite part about being an agnostic skeptic?

That’s like asking, “What’s your favorite part about not believing in fairies?” So instead I’ll tell you what my favorite part about being a critical thinker is. I no longer fear the truth. I’m no longer worried that new discoveries will overthrow my dogmas – because I have none. I am always excited by the truth, even when it overthrows something that is precious to me.

8. Are there any Christian concepts that you respect?

Everything specific to Christianity is pretty bad. But I admire some values from earlier traditions that also make their appearance in certain flavors of Christianity: non-violence, generosity, love…

9. Does it irritate you when Christians try to share their faith with you?


10. Were you ever a Christian? Would you go back?

I was a Christian for most of my life. I would go back if I found good reasons to believe.

Bonus question: What’s your take on Singer? Thumbs up or down? Explain.

Singer is popular for his work on animal rights, but he would be less popular if people knew Singer thinks it’s okay to kill retarded kids. At the meta-ethical level he defends evolutionary ethics, which is absurd and rightly dismissed by Christian apologists. At the normative level he defends preference utilitarianism, which is unworkable. I’m glad he gives so much to charity, but I say thumbs down. If you want to read a decent atheist ethical philosopher, try , , or .

Luke, thank you for your time and your honesty.  I especially appreciate your openness.

Now, anybody have any comments or questions for Luke? Ask away. Looking forward to hearing from you.