What if all you have ever taught or believed was wrong? If you were following the argument wherever it lead you then would you be willing to admit that you had been wrong for much of your life?
Many Christians are repelled by this line of questioning. “Of course not!” they cry. Being a Christian is a matter of faith in God, submission of the human will to the Divine will, the grace of God which forgives people and justifies them and the work of the Holy Spirit leading people to the truth about God. All of this would seem to be difficult to reverse away from.
Still, there is scope in the Bible for exactly this kind of thing. The Apostle Paul, writing about the Resurrection, said:
“If there is no resurrection of the dead then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
1 Corinthians 15:13-14
Clearly, there are some things which are required to be true in order for a Christian to remain a Christian. If Christ was not raised from the dead then the Christian faith is useless. So if someone were to demonstrate for me, in some kind of logical way, that Christ was not resurrected then I would be correct in abandoning my belief in Christianity.
What about when the case is put to the opponents of Christianity? If they follow the argument where it leads them, would they change their minds if the evidence demanded it?
At least one of them has done so.
Anthony Flew was a committed atheist and philosopher. He wrote several books from an atheistic standpoint and was considered one of the world’s leading atheists. Later in life, after considering the evidence even more, he converted to deism – a belief in the existence of a god who created the universe but who is no longer involved in it. Here is what Flew said:
“Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature. But it is not science alone that guided me. I have also been helped by a renewed study of the classical philosophical arguments.”
― Antony Flew, There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
In Just the Facts, Nothing Without A Cause and Horses, Donkeys and Mules I have written about how the use of reason and logic can lead us to a very profitable conversation about God’s existence. So far we have concluded a few things:
- The most reasonable position is that this universe requires a cause.
- The cause of the universe is spaceless, timeless, all-powerful and eternal.
- Because of the existence of people and time, the cause of the universe must be personal.
I will carry these thoughts on a bit further in later posts. What may be helpful for the reader to know now is that others have walked this same path. Anthony Flew was not a friend to Christianity (although with a Methodist minister as a father he was at least respectful) yet he considered these arguments and came to believe exactly what I have said.
Belief in God is reasonable.