MORE EXAMINING “REASONS” FOR UNBELIEF
As Christians, we hold the Bible to be what it says it is: God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) revelation (Galatians 1:12). If, indeed, it could be proven that the Bible is neither of those; than we would have to toss it aside. It is disingenuous to say that the Bible is not the word of God when it says itself that it is.
The writer on alternet.org who listed her top 10 reasons for not believing in God also states that, “Sacred books and authorities can be mistaken. I have yet to see a sacred book that doesn’t have any mistakes. (The Bible, to give just one example, is shot full of them.)” She includes a link here to the Skeptics Annotated Bible (where I have not found any explanation of who is behind the site but I do find all sorts of judgments against the scriptures). The writer also asserts, “Pointing to the perfection of the Bible as a historical and prophetic document… when it so blatantly is nothing of the kind” (sic). (And another link to Skeptics.)
Two aspects of atheistic argument continue to bother me. The first is the attitude that those who do not believe in the Bible are more expert in the Bible than any Christian. The Skeptics Bible points out this “absurdity” in the Bible: ‘In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used “for signs”. This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read “the signs” in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth, 1:14’. This point would be problematic if there were a true Christian who believed that signs here relates to astrology rather than the simple meaning of indicating day and night and seasons and such. Stars can also be signs aside from the Zodiac. Doesn’t the north star have a particular function as a sign? The implication is that this verse shows absurdity when, in reality, it shows the ignorance of the critic.
Are we not continually treated to the many “facts” that unbelievers point out? The intimation is that we have been so stupid not to embrace them. The writer’s statement, itself, is presented as fact: the Bible is full of mistakes. Are we Christians so ignorant that we have not realized that the Bible rarely, it seems, says anything that is right? The smarter people seem to see these mistakes so easily, and it is just our blind devotion to scriptures that keeps us from seeing them, too. That set-up seems so foolish in itself. Lots of very intelligent people believe in the Bible. Maybe it is that these so-called “mistakes” and “contradictions” are not really as self-evident as the atheists believe. In fact, centuries of onslaught against the Bible have not proven it to be false.
The writer’s statement brings me to the second bother: The attitude that those who do not believe are objective about their unbelief. Certainly, the overt sentiment of our writer friend is that she has determined the fallacies of the Bible through her own completely objective, unbiased, free-of-preconceived-notion, scholarly study. She has no axe to grind, of course (though if you read about her, you will find the axe). It has been rare that I have heard someone who makes such strong claims against the Bible that they do not have some reason for feeling this way; and in many cases, the reason is sexual immorality. If not, it is a refusal to want to submit to any authority. Whatever it may be, there is usually a reason behind the view that makes such people no more objective than they say we are as Christians.