Atheism, Faith and Fruits
JAMES D. BALES

Volume XI --  Number 2
Winter, 1965
pp. 17-31
(C)opyright 1965
All Rights Reserved
The Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary
    Our subject this morning is "Atheism, Faith and Fruits."  Some are under the impression that atheism is not a very live subject.  The old farmer was supposed to have said of the giraffe, "There is no such animal;" and there are people who believe that there is no such animal as an atheist.  Still there is an international movement which has in its membership around forty-three million atheists.  This is the movement known as Communism, and it is militantly atheistic.  Communists believe that history has conferred upon them the task of ushering in the new world.  They are out to remake men and women into the new soviet, godless man and godless woman.  These individuals say they are atheists, they act like they are atheists; my conclusion is they are atheists, although they may have certain substitutes for God and certain idols.  Among the atheists, one must also count those in our country who are not communistic but are atheistic.  Then, too, one might even want to include those who are in practice atheists: although they would affirm the existence of God, yet they live as though God does not exist.

    There are some who would try to shame us out of our faith in God.  They leave the impression that two hundred or one thousand years ago and more, when men were not blessed by living in an age of reason and science, that there could be some excuse for a person's believing in God.  But now in an age when we walk by the cold light of reason, how is it that one can be a believer?  As a matter of fact, they use the very term "belief" as a term to shame us.  When we ought to be men of reason, we are men of faith.

    I remember several years ago the difficulty I had getting an atheist to admit that he believed anything.  He walked by reason.  The passage which was read a few moments ago stated that the "fool (not the wise man) hath said in his heart, there is no God."  It is not the rational man, but the man irrational in this area, who denies the existence of God.

ALL BELIEVE

    We want to unfold briefly some things concerning atheism which enable us to understand the wisdom of the statement that it is the fool who hath said there is no God.  This denial of God leads to the dehumanization and brutalization of man so that indeed certain men would eat up the people of God as they eat bread.  Fearing not God, they regard not man.  Dethroning God, they degrade man.  Everyone, as a matter of fact, in our age or in any age must be a believer.  The only question is the choice of one's faith; but a faith, one of necessity has.

    When we say believer or when we say unbeliever these terms within themselves have no positive content.  Visiting a Buddhist shrine in Japan, I was an unbeliever.  Going through a mosque of the Muslim of the Islamic faith in Istanbul, I was an infidel, I was an unbeliever.  I do not accept Mohammed as a prophet of God nor the Koran as a part of God's revelation to man.  When you say a person is an unbeliever, you do not mean that he is without any faith at all.  A system of denials works its way into, or is based upon, a system of affirmations.  For he who denies God must affirm his belief that matter is eternal, and that it is the creator of man and of all.  To reject God is not to reject faith, it is to accept a faith other than faith in God.

    I had a debate with an atheist who affirmed a negative.  He affirmed that the Universe is not governed by intelligence.  In other words intelligence had nothing to do with its creation, with its ordering, or with its function.  This involves the affirmation that non-intelligent, non-purposed, and non-planned matter and motion had created all the manifestations of matter which we see today.  The unbeliever is an unbeliever only in the light of a context, but in light of another context he is a believer.

LIFE STAKED ON FAITH

    Every man stakes his life upon his faith and his destiny depends upon his faith.  There are some people that say to the  Christian, "Well, what if you lose?"  To the atheist I would say that we both stake our life upon what we believe.  He his faith, I mine, he his destiny, I my destiny.  If the atheist is right and I am wrong, then I shall have lived a happier life here because I have had my faith, though it is an illusion--all would really be an illusion as far as any meaning for life is concerned.  I would have had at least some sense of direction, some source of comfort, some meaning and purpose in life and then, when I die, I drop out of life on even scores with my atheist friend.  Because, as it said on the tomb of an atheist, "Here lies an atheist all dressed up and no place to go."  Certainly no atheist will ever get up in eternity and say, "Bales, I told you so, there is no God."  Death ended all.  If I am wrong, I shall never know that I was wrong.  If I lose, I shall never know that I lost.  For that which I thought was the transition stage was the end.  On the other hand, if he is wrong, he lacks meaning and purpose for life here and now, and we do not drop out of life on even scores.  So really we stake our all, our here and our hereafter, whatever it may be, upon what we believe.

    Since one must believe, and since one stakes his all upon his belief, then one should believe that which is most reasonable; and he ought to commit his life to the best, to the highest, that he knows.  For certainly by giving my best to the highest that I know, I can not go wrong if it is at all possible to go right.  Even many of our atheistic acquaintances, and others after whom we read, have paid tribute to Jesus Christ as the supreme embodiment as what it means to be a real man.  God as revealed in Christ is the highest I know and I certainly cannot go wrong, if it is possible to go right, by staking my all on faith in God as revealed through Jesus Christ.

THE ETERNAL

    Concerning this matter of the beliefs of an atheist--what are some of them and why is it, more specifically, that he must be a believer?  Briefly this is the reason.  Out of nothing comes nothing.  If at one time there was not anything, there would not be anything now.  Now the Bureau of Internal Revenue can come closer to getting something out of nothing than any organization that I know about.  But they still can not get something out of nothing.  And if it ever comes to the place that I have to borrow more money than I can, to pay more income-tax, they still cannot get something out of nothing.  A woman in London finally admitted the reality of the Universe and somebody said, "Yes, you'd better, because if you don't, you'll certainly stub your toe on it sooner or later."  There is something here now.  Therefore something has always been; for out of nothing comes nothing.  The question is, "What is the nature of the eternal reality?"  Something has always existed; uncaused, but the cause of all else.  There are only two possible answers: it is either God or matter, either Spirit or dead matter.  It is this simple a choice.  That which is eternal is God or it is matter.  It is one who has life, or it is that which has no life.  This answers the question of some who say, "Well who made God, if God made man?"  Nobody made God.  Once you get back to the eternal reality, which is the most reasonable to accept as eternal reality?  I agree it is difficult to fathom or comprehend the idea of eternity; but it is no easier to comprehend from the standpoint of eternal matter than of the eternal God.  If it were reasonable that matter was the eternal reality, I would not ask who made matter, because we are dealing with the eternal reality.  Some ask: where did God come from?  He did not come from anywhere, He always was.  You might as well ask, if it were reasonable to believe that matter is eternal reality, where did matter come from?  Everyone must start with an eternal reality.  The only question is, "What is back of our system and of life?  What or who was the creator?"  Was it a what, matter, or a who, God?  Atheists as a rule will admit when cornered, or sometimes when not--as Max Otto in Human Enterprize and Bertrand Russell--that they cannot really prove their atheism.  They think the weight of evidence is not in God's favor, and there they leave it.  Of course, they could not prove atheism.

    What is the nature of fact in the material world that could disprove the existence of a spiritual being?  Futhermore, one would have to know too much to know there is no God.  He would have to have all knowledge.  The very thing that he did not know could be that which points to God.  He must be everywhere present, for the place he was not could contain the footprint of the Creator.  One who knew all, and was everywhere present, would be God himself!  Some might turn this on us and say, "Before you can have sufficient reason to believe in God, you will have to know everything and be everywhere.  You will have to know all the forces that ever operated."  Such, however, cannot be done.  Let us illustrate.  Charles Darwin said that we came from an old world order of monkeys.  Some people say he did not say this, but said that we just have a common ancestry.  If evolution were true, it would not make any difference to me whether they were our cousins or grandfathers.  But, at any rate, Darwin did say it.  If somebody were to try to prove that he did not say it, they would have to have every page and paragraph of everything Darwin ever wrote.  For the very paragraph they missed, could be the one that contained the evidence.  For me to know that he wrote it.  I just have to have that one page and paragraph.  For Robinson Crusoe to know no one else was on the island, he would have had to keep the whole island under surveillance at once.  For the very place he was not, might be the place where that fellow was.  For Robinson Crusoe to believe that somebody else was there, all he would have to do, if he was my size, would be to find a small footprint.  A small footprint could not be mine!  Thus in that little area of the island he could see the evidence which showed that somebody was there or had been there.  I think that in this little section of the universe that we can see, we can see the footprints of God.

    Certainly the atheist has to agree finally that it is with him a matter of faith.  One atheistic friend of mine said that some of his friends were not really atheists.  I guess they had fallen for grace instead of from grace!  He said that they believed there is some sort of ultimate truth other than matter and motion.  However, matter in motion is all the atheist has to deal with.  He starts with, and ends with, matter in motion.  These are his only resources.  If the universe is just matter and motion then this is all we are, this is all anything is.  Regardless of how refined this matter or into what complicated structure you might arrange it, it is still just matter.  If you thought the universe were made of bologna, and the bologna were the only reality, no matter how thin you sliced it or whether you sliced it straight or zigzag, everything would still be bologna.  So it is, everything would still be matter, no matter how refined it was or how complicated an arrangement it might be in.  This to the atheist, is the eternal reality.  But he has to admit it is a matter of faith.

CREATOR: THE WORKER OF MIRACLES

    He believes also in a Creator, a miracle-working Creator.  I must admit I do enjoy sometimes reminding my atheistic acquaintances that they believe in a Creator; because they seem to make this such an unreasonable thing when they are talking to me.  But they, too, believe in a Creator that makes miracles.  The difference is that their Creator is dead and mine is living--this is a vast difference.  They do not believe that life always existed, that man always existed, but he does exist now. They believe he was created by matter in motion.  Matter kept shaking around until it shook out man.  Thus he has a Creator, and a Creator that worked miracles.  These miracles, from all the evidence we have, are not being wrought now.  What are some of these miracles?  First, he believes this dead Creator created life.  Yet they scoff at the virgin birth where at least there was a human mother and Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  They do not start with a living mother or father. They have only matter in motion.  They find it difficult to believe that Christ was raised from the dead.  But they find it easy to believe that where there had been no life through all the eternity past, finally life came.  The non-living created the living. Every atheist must believe it.  Every evolutionist, except the theistic evolutionist may bring in God at this point, must believe in the spontaneous generation of life by the non-living from the non-living.  This is a great deal to believe.  First of all, there is no scientific evidence for it.  All scientific evidence is that life comes from life.  And thus a reasonable conclusion would be that life cannot have its source in the natural.  Human life points to a supernatural and superhuman source.  But some people say, "Oh, science is about to prove the contrary."  I have been reading this in the papers for decades.  However, even if man created life, which he has not done, it would not prove that non-intelligent matter created life.  It will only prove that an intelligent being can create life.

    There is no science of the origin of life, and there cannot be.  If man created life he might think this makes it more reasonable to believe that life was created by matter and motion, but he still cannot go back and prove this is the way it happened.  Furthermore, scientists are not agreed on the nature of the original environment in which life supposedly originated.  Hypothesis or guesses concerning the origin of life are tied in with one's idea about the nature of that original environment.

    To get life from the non-living you would have to have the right things come together in the right amount, in the right proportions, and in the right structural arrangements.  Structure is as important as that substance of which it is made up; and the structure is so complicated that George Wall, who believed in the spontaneous generation of the living from the non-living by the non-living, said that the most complicated machine that man has devised, an electronic brain, is child's play compared to the simple cell.  I do not recall that he used the term "simple," for as a fact of the matter there is no simple cell. A cell is highly complicated. Life magazine a few years ago had some articles on life.  They had a large drawing which endeavored to describe a cell.

    That first form of life would have to be highly complicated, indeed, because it would have to draw its sustenance from an inorganic environment.  It would not have other forms of life with which to live in a symbolic relationship of one kind or another.

    This business of believing that the non-living created the living--this takes too much faith for me; and all the evidence we have is that life comes from life.  Certainly he who can believe that the non-living created the living does not need to scoff at me for being a believer in the miracles of Jesus, the miracles of the Old Testament, or those of the apostles and prophets in the New Testament.

    The atheist also believes that the non-speaking created the one who can speak--man.  He finds it difficult to believe Balaam's ass spoke; but matter finally did speak in man, and man, being but matter, is thus a particular arrangement of matter that speaks.  He believes also that matter which cannot converse, which cannot plan, which cannot arrange, which could not foresee created man, yet created man.  He believes that all of this came about without any intelligent foresight, direction or planning.  He further believes that the eye was not made for seeing.  The eye came about gradually, and because it performed some useful function it further developed, and now we have it.  But it was not made for seeing.  Darwin said he shuddered when he thought of the eye evolving little by little; but he said then when he thought of small variations, he quit shuddering. On this whole question of the order in nature there is a book by Sir Charles Sherrington entitled Man on His Nature.  He was an agnostic and an evolutionist, but in a sense it is a modern work on natural theology.  A modern Paley, so to speak.  For he shows that design is so evident in life that they, the unbelieving, adopt the language of design even when they dissent from it. They unconciously find themselves saying that the eye, for example, was made for seeing.  So though he is an agnostic, yet his book--and he has a fascinating treatment on the eye--certainly indicates what a number of fabulous things one must believe in order to be an unbeliever and believe that the non-living created the living; that the non-orderly created man and other areas of order which are found in life.

THE NON-RELIGIOUS CREATED THE RELIGIOUS

    Atheists further believe that non-religious matter created man with his religious aspiration.  Wherever you find man, you find the faith in some being higher than man--whether you go back through time or whether you go throughout the world today. Furthermore, as far as one can make this kind of an experiment, some have tried to rear children without any faith in God; and they have found that the children came to some concept of a being back of the universe.  It is natural for children to believe in God.  The Communists find, despite their control of all manners of channels of communication, they still have many young people who are religious and believe in God.  Furthermore, the naturalness of faith in God is illustrated by how man almost instinctively turns to some higher being in a time of crisis.  Perhaps not every individual, but it is certainly widespread enough to be significant.  Then, too, so natural is faith in God that when men deny God they seek a substitute for God.  In Communism, for example, some of them deified Stalin.  This was devil worship indeed.  And even when they do not deify Stalin or some other leader, they make dialectical materialism their God; for they believe it is a power which is working for justce or righteousness; and for the society of peace, prosperity, and good will.  They believe man can cooperate with this power, but that man cannot ultimately frustrate the workings of this power.  This is the definition that some give of religion and of faith in God.  God, of course, is not an impersonal power.  He is superior to man.  Man may work with Him--His  workings man cannot ultimately frustrate, although he may frustrate God's plan for his own life.  God is working for justice or righteousness; not upon the basis of our merit; of course, but at any rate He is working for a just, righteous condition.  Faith in God is natural.  Man is a religious being.  Men who deny God seek substitutes for God.  Some worship a particular human being or some something else.  It was of interest to me that Owen, the opponent of Campbell, finally ended up as a spiritualist.  What is the nature of the universe?  and what is the nature of man, that leads matter in man inevitably to work out, at least in the overwhelming majority of cases, faith in some sort of superhuman and supreme being?  How was it that matter got around to such a universal illusion, if illusion it be?

THE NON-MORAL CREATED THE MORAL

    The atheist also believes that non-moral matter created man with his moral sensitivity.  The Lord willing, I shall publish a book on "The Communist's Code of Conduct" in which I argue, apart from the Scriptures in this case, that a number of things in human experience indicates the reality of the moral realm and of moral law.  We do find this true concerning man: that man is a being with moral sensitivity; that wherever you find man you find the fact of conscience; not that he knows all the good and all the evil, but that he is morally sensitive.  A. E. Taylor said that although man may differ as to where to draw the line between good and evil, all men draw the line somewhere.  What is there about the nature of reality which makes man a morally sensitive being?  Man has a sense of duty.  Man is obligated.  You find this characteristic concerning man wherever you find him.

    Some may narrowly limit to whom or to what one is obligated; but everywhere you find man, you find some sense of duty. The Communist cultivate it.  What is the first and foremost duty of every Communist Party member, asked Lin Shao-chi in his book on How to Be a Good Communist?  It is, he said, to make a Communist world.  This is their duty.  They emphasize to their people they should die for their duty.  So man is morally sensitive, he has a sense of duty.  He is tormented by it often times.  He makes a distinction between good and evil; and, sooner or later even people who deny that there are moral absolutes will back off as a general rule from making the leap into the unfathomable abyss of complete moral relativism.  I was talking to an anthropologist friend of mine a couple of years ago.  She was speaking of quite a few of the anthropologists who were cultural relativists and moral relativists--they think one society is as good as another.  Her husband broke in and said (he had been impnsoned by Hitler), "Except Hitler."  Neither of my friends were relativists.  Some of the relativists can make apologies for Communism, and almost everything else.  But they do not seem to make apologies for Hitler.  But why make Hitler an exception?  Unless there is a standard, you cannot say anything was wrong with Hitler.  You like ice cream; but somebody likes people in the sense that some have dined on them in some parts of the world.  It is all a matter of taste. But sooner or later everybody draws a line between good and evil.  There may be an exception, man may become very degraded and depraved without God; but I have never run across an individual who did not think something was beneath him. There is something to which he would not stoop.  Men and women sooner or later draw a line between good and evil.  They are sensitive to the concept of good and evil.  Furthermore, wherever you find man you find that man is convinced that his obligation is to the good, not to the evil.  He may think in some cases that he must do evil temporarily that good may come. One may try to justify adultery on the ground of the good.  The diabolical deeds of the Communist are justified by them upon several grounds; one of them is that they are necessary in order to usher in the society of peace and prosperity.  "History will absolve me," said Castro, the bearded Communist.  (Without any secret source of information I knew he was a Communist before he ever took over Cuba).  What did he mean, history would absolve him?  The forces of history are working for that beautiful Communist society of peace and prosperity; the stateless society where men so live as to call forth the best in others and where good will, prosperity, and peace reign.  He claims history will show that he is justified in his deeds which he has done.  Man seeks justification.  Even the process of rationalization (so well known to psychologists, and so well known to all of us from some of it we have all engaged in) is a testimony to man's sensitivity to the idea of good and evil, and a man's effort to seek justification.  I have reference to the fact that there are sometimes two sets of reason in life.  One, the reasons we do a thing; two the reasons we give for it.  Now we may give the real reason, I am not saying that we cannot; of course, we can, and should.  But at any rate, I am speaking of the reasons that people give that are not the real reason.  This striving for some sort of justification is a testimony the sensitivity of man to the concept of good and evil.  Man thinks that his duty is to the good, not to the evil.  I read only recently in a Communist publication the claim that some individuals know Communism is right, and yet for the sake of capitalistic pottage they sell their souls, so to speak!  So man is a morally sensitive being.  How was it that the non-moral created the moral?  The fact of the matter is, how is it that if all is but just matter in motion, that some motions of matter are moral motions and some are not?  Why, when a man says, "I am obligated," he is just describing a physical sensation.  According to Materialism, as C. S. Lewis in his book on Miracles, A Preliminary Inquiry said, he is saying the same as a man that says, "I itch."  Generally if a fellow itches you can tell where to scratch, but when you say, "I ought," where would you scratch?  But matter and motion is a sole reality.  So our "ought" is simply a physical sensation.

THE NON-RATIONAL

    Is atheism intellectually respectable?  No.  It is the fool that said in his heart, "There is no God."  The next step of belief of unbelief is that the non-intelligent created man with his intelligence.  The non-rational created the rational.  Man can think.  I do not mean that people think all the time.  As one fellow said one time, "We do not always think; sometimes we just rearrange our prejudices."  You know, sometimes this takes a lot more thinking than just going ahead and admitting the truth! But it is possible for man to plan, to purpose, to carry out his plan, and to realize what he has achieved.  It is possible to be reasonable.  Matter, which cannot reason, created man who can reason.

    However, if atheism is true there is no realm of the rational.  The atheist must believe, when consistent, since all is but matter in motion, that there is no reason for one to call one motion of matter rational and another irrational.  It's all a wiggle or a twitching of the nervous system.  If that matter and motion be the sole reality then I think as I do simply because of physical pressures.  My internal and my external pressures make me vibrate.  As one atheist friend said, "It is just a vibration in the brain, mechanically produced."  We told him we thought he had static; if thought is just a vibration, I could not help that remark either because I was made to vibrate that way.  You cannot help thinking as you think because your physical conditions are as they are.  All thought is of the same nature as when you get hit on the head.  You sometimes see stars that are not there.  According to materialism, this is what it is all about.  These are just our reactions to physical pressure. Whether there are any real stars out there, we will never know.

    C. S. Lewis traces this out in a good way (I do not agree with his analysis of the first chapters of Genesis).  The atheist maintains that our thought is but our inevitable response to the movements of the atom or the smaller physical unit of which we are made up.  Now, as to whether this constitutes an insight into reality you never know.  In the atheist's mind, alleged mind since it is just matter and motion, matter shook out atheism.  In my mind it shakes or rattles faith in God; in most of us it vibrates that way, too.  So maybe on this belief we are right and he is wrong, but we will never be able to know!  When an atheist begins to advance to me what he calls an intellectual argument, I need to answer him for the sake of other people.  But I could reply, from his premise at any rate, that all he is doing is mechanically sounding off--just vibrating.  At least we assume atheism to be a correct representation of his vibrations; but we can never know that either.  He is just sounding off; there is nothing intellectual about it, and I do not have to answer it.  Really is it not an amazing thing that God so made man that when man denies God he not only brutalizes and dehumanizes himself into a non-moral bit of matter, but he also ultimately denies his own rationality?

    You can find illustrations of this.  There are psychologists who claim that all reasoning is rationalization.  If this is true, then their own position that all reason is rationalization is a rationalization.  Therefore it is not an insight into reality.  And yet we get the impression that they think they are brilliant and that we are not.  They are using their minds and we do not use ours.  But we both use our vibrations because we cannot help but use them, internal and external pressures being what they are.  Deny God and you deny your own rationality.  If you are just matter in motion, no individual has the right to say one motion of matter is rational and another is irrational; or that one is an insight into reality and the other one is not.  It is just all a matter of physical vibrations.  The man who says, "I think," is saying the same thing as the man who said, "I itch."  Both are describing a physical sensation.

    This is true concerning Communism both from the standpoint of its materialism and also from its analysis of the nature of man and the nature of thought.  They believe that man has no basic nature and that the nature that we have is created by the economic system and our relationship to it.  We are class creatures; our class being determined by the relationship we sustain to the economic system.  The two basic classes are the owners, of the means of production and distribution, and the proletariat--the working man in industrial society.  Your relationship to the economic system determines your thinking.  Karl Marx, in his book Capital, said that thought is just the reflection of the external world (by this he meant basically the economic world) translated in the mind in forms of thought.  We reflect our relation to the economic system.  And so he says that the reasoning of the capitalist is just a means of rationalizing his position.  And the same would be true of the proletariat. If this be true then even Marx's thinking was the reflections of an irrational world since they say all non-communist and non-socialist societies are irrational.  How could something rational be reflected in the mind if the external world, the basic element in our thinking which is reflected and translated into forms of authority of our mind, if it is irrational?  How could thinking be rational?  Thus Karl Marx discredits himself because Karl Marx was not of the proletariat, he was a disgruntled intellectual who was supported by some capitalists and others.  In his theory, his mind and thinking were shaped by the economic system and his relationship to it.  He said that the whole system of his day was irrational.  Then how could it have rational reflections in his mind?  How can Karl Marx transcend that which is true of all thinking so that it is not true of his thinking?  This is one thing to remember about these atheists: what they affirm of all men they are affirming of themselves. And I say, "Speak for yourself John, but you don't speak for me."  They affirm that men are just animals; they are affirming this of themselves.  If they affirm that life has no meaning, they are affirming this of their life.  If they say there is no real dignity in humanity, they affirm this of themselves.  But when you make that personal to them, some of them resent it; thus indicating that maybe they have a hard time living down to their unbelief.

    These are some of the things you must believe to be an unbeliever.   Since you must believe, why not believe that which is the more reasonable?   In the beginning God, Rational and Moral Being, created life; and man with his religious sensitivity, with his moral sensitivities, and man with his rationality.  Which belief is in line with all the evidence that we have?  That the non-living created the living, the non-rational the rational, the non-thinking the thinking, the non-moral the moral, the nonreligious being, the non-spiritual creating man a spiritual being?

     Since you must stake your life on something, why not give your best to the highest?  And remember this: you are going to face some of the problems and questions and doubts and fears of life no matter whether you reject God or accept Him.  In other words you do not get rid of the problems by rejecting God, you just get rid of the real solution.  You say that the problem of evil exists--it does.  Because there is some evil, what shall I do?   Plunge into total evil?  The fact of the matter is that the problem of evil is the problem for the atheist, for you cannot say a thing is evil except in the light of a standard.  When you say a thing is evil you automatically appeal to the existence of the good.  And how in an atheistic universe of mere matter in motion can you have the concept of the good?  If there is evil, there is good.  You can only say there is evil in the light of a standard of good.  Yes, there is a problem of evil.  We cannot answer all questions about it, but we do have some light on it, and we have a way of overcoming it.  Because I cannot answer all questions, shall I reach up and turn out the light and go into total darkness? Yes, there are questions and things that puzzle me in life and I cannot see sometimes as far as I would like to see, but thank God I have enough light to walk by.  What shall I do because I cannot see the end of the road, shall I turn out the light that I do have?  I find by walking in the light, that I do have, there is more light as I walk farther along.  If you turn from God you are not going to be able to get rid of the fact that you are a human being, and certain needs and certain aspirations haunt you.  And if these needs cannot really be met with God as revealed in Christ, then these aspirations are but allusions.  But you have great potentialities.  It is a matter of fact that man does have certain moral and spiritual potentialities, and they can be developed.  We have seen them at work in the crucible of experience in human history.  And so then, by giving my best to the highest I am giving my all to that which makes life meaningful; that which is not irrational; that which does develop my potentialities; and which does meet my basic deep needs.  Atheism's faith is an irrational faith.  Its fruitage, if we had time to go into it in detail, is so destructive that we must say it is an evil tree that bears such evil fruit.  And although there are atheists who do not live down to their atheism, being molded in their character by a religious background, yet atheism, in repudiating God, ultimately must repudiate man.  In repudiating the moral Creator it ultimately must repudiate the concept of morality.  And repudiating the existence of the eternal spiritual being it must repudiate man as a spiritual being.  One cannot have the affirmations of atheism and logically accept the conclusions of theism.  But if the conclusions of theism, as well as its presuppositions, are reasonable, it is irrational to accept atheism's faith and to bear atheism's fruits.


Scanned:  Michael Riggs
Edited:  Shelley Wozniak