Christians Who Behave Like Atheists

Augustine

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In my recent post Are Atheists Haunted by the Possibility of Being Mistaken?, I suggested that it may be common for atheists to entertain severe doubts about their atheism, and contemplate the possibility that God does exist and is worthy of belief and even worship.

It would be easy for Christians to explain atheistic belief in terms of rebellion against a God whose existence is only too obvious and personally offensive. But I would encourage Christians to consider that something resembling this may be found among believers, as well.

Any refusal to face the facts about God in the light of ample evidence is rebellion and idolatry. So one may believe that God exists, but refuse to believe certain things about God. Or one may believe certain things about God but then act in defiance of such a God. And one may assert the existence of God, even argue vehemently that God exists, and yet remain indifferent toward God on the personal level.

A believer, then, should be careful not to apply a double standard in comparing himself with nonbelievers. He should reflect on the possibility that he is like the typical skeptic in fundamental ways.

There are varieties of triumphalist apologetics. One form chastens nonbelievers for attitudes that one would find in oneself if one simply looked closely enough.

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

12 Responses to Christians Who Behave Like Atheists

  1. Pingback: Did God actually say . . . ? - Attempts at Honesty

  2. Pingback: Building a relationship | ITSOGS

  3. coco cocoon says:

    Such people seem proud of the fact that they believe he exists –as if that is somehow meritorious or worshipful.I agree with it!

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  4. coco cocoon says:

    There are varieties of triumphalist apologetics. One form chastens nonbelievers for attitudes that one would find in oneself if one simply looked closely enough.I agree with it!Such people seem proud of the fact that they believe he exists –as if that is somehow meritorious or worshipful.

    Like

  5. Dante says:

    Thank you, sir. I find this post really helpful personally.

    Like

  6. Mike Gantt says:

    “There are varieties of triumphalist apologetics. One form chastens nonbelievers for attitudes that one would find in oneself if one simply looked closely enough.”

    My favorite part of this good post.

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  7. Pingback: Did God actually say . . . ? « Attempts at Honesty

  8. Ray says:

    Lest you think I only offer negative comments, Doug.

    Nice treatment of an issue that never seems untimely to address!

    Like

  9. Doug Geivett says:

    Adam, I recommend the book The Making of an Atheist, by Jim Spiegel.

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  10. Adam says:

    I have wanted to read that book The Making of an Atheist and see if it could apply to me… and I am a seminary student!

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  11. Alex says:

    I have often noticed that many people who say they believe in a personal God, and are, it seems, not ‘revelational theists’ to borrow a term I once learned. Such people don’t think there are any inspired religious books where God communicates anything about human life, misery, and salvation. And yet, such deists (I’ll call them) seem entirely ungrateful. This God they say made them, gave them life, talent, and a host of other goods both bodily and of the soul is not in the least given homage or a token of gratitude. Such people seem proud of the fact that they believe he exists –as if that is somehow meritorious or worshipful. They give no sign of gratitude. It is a most depressing observation. I’d rather confront an adamant atheist convinced he must rid the world of this religious disease. At least he recognizes the uttermost importance of the issue.

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  12. Mike Austin says:

    Thanks for this brief but important post, Doug.

    Like

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