I usually try not to write these entries in the first person. It always bugs me when I read something like this and the first word is “I”. Oops, I did that, didn’t I.
Well so much for my standards . . .
Anyway – I could never be an atheist. It’s not that I was raised in the church, or that I went to seminary, or that I’ve been a professional Christian for over 30 years. And it’s not even because almost all the significant relationships I have in my life are with people of faith.
I must confess that I do not have enough faith to be and atheist. My problem is that my undergraduate degree is in biochemistry and I know too much about the complexity of life to have the faith it takes to hold the atheist position that all of this just randomly happened. It takes more faith than I can muster to believe that a bunch of amino acids in some primordial soup just happened to be in the right quantities; and that just the right amount of heat or electricity from a lightning bolt happened to be applied at just the right time in the earth’s developing climate to not only create but sustain life.
I can’t work up the faith for that, let alone that that single celled life could, either on its own or by an array of random forces, arrange itself into a multi-celled organism, no matter how much time you gave it. I can’t even fathom getting from fish to reptile to mammal to human.
And I haven’t even mentioned that it takes even more faith to believe that all the stuff it takes to create life and all those conditions necessary had to come from someplace! Where did the first two atoms come from? If from the Big Bang, then where did the energy to make the big bang come from? See, when it comes to atheism, I am the portrait of “Ye of little faith”.
Paul warned us not to be fooled by those who are too smart or too “Faithful” to believe in God:
Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in Him, so you can see and hear Him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without Him. When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. Colossians 2:8-10 The Message
Society is increasingly unaccepting of the Christian point of view. It seems like you can’t discriminate against anyone except Christians (and white men who are fat). And being a fat white man who is a Christian pastor, I’m a prime target for folks who want to convince me that my faith is childish, old fashioned, and weak-minded. They want to enlighten me to the postmodern realities of this post-Christian world, and to connect me to the certainty of atheism.
My response lately is that I just don’t have enough maturity, intelligence, or hipness, and I certainly do not have enough faith. I guess I’ll just have to believe in the existence of a God I can’t see, hear, or prove.
Would that I had more faith . . .
Pressing on toward the goal . . .