I received an interesting phone call on Friday. I am not sure who referred this man to me or how he got my cell phone number (maybe Jesus gave it to him), but that is really beside the point. This guy called and wanted to talk to an atheist. I am thrilled that I am the representative for atheism to this guy.
He told me that he had been tasked with his preacher (oh, no) to find an atheist and talk to him (yes, him, not her) and find out why he (being me) does not believe in a god, specifically the Christian God. Then he was to give me his conversion story and get my response to it. I didn't really have anything better to do at the time, so I said "Sure, what do you want to know?"
We actually had a nice conversation. He thought that I was going to argue with him, which I told him that I don't argue. I get my point across, and if the other person doesn't like it, they can move along. So we had some rules right off the bat; no one was going to argue.
He started by asking me why I don't believe in God when there is so much evidence for him in the Bible. I told him that for starters, I could write a book that said I was the creator of the universe and use that as evidence of me being the creator of the universe. This is called circular reasoning. Then I went into the type of being that would have to exist that was described in the Bible would be either a contradiction in itself, or would exist outside of our physical reality which would render it useless for our universe.
He also asked me about the origins of the universe and people, how I grew up, and if I had ever read the Bible. I think I had some pretty good answers for him, and I answered the personal questions honestly. I have read the entire Bible through numerous times, just as I have read the Koran through completely. It is kind of hard to argue with someone when you don't know what they believe (even though he admitted he had never read the entire Bible). We even had a short side conversation about the death penalty and how it doesn't jibe with his view that God is the only judge. If you can't tell, I am against the death penalty.
He called me again this morning to say that he enjoyed our conversation and was wondering if he could send me a short survey that he could use in his Bible study class on Monday. Why not? This is a first for me. So here are the questions that he sent me. After reading over them, I had to say that there were no short answers for most of these questions. I know it hurts Christians heads when we can't give them a one-word answer for the nature of the universe, but the universe is a complicated place. How would you answer these?
1. How do you believe we arrived here? Were we, as the Bible says, created by God and Jesus?
2. You commented to me that technology has proven that the Bible is not true. My response is that technology was not existent when we were created. In your opinion, what is it that technology has proven? (Just a quick note: I did not say that technology made the Bible a lie. I said that that the people, as described in the Bible, believed what they believed because they didn't have any other mechanism to find out the truth, i.e. science)
3. What are your thoughts on heaven and hell? According to the Bible, we have a choice.
4. Describe your father's ministry - ultra conservative, liberal? What denomination?
5. Explain your views on the word "reprobate."
6. As Christians, we know that Jesus is our shepherd, and we can trust that he will protect us, provide for us, and guide us in our everyday decisions, etc. As an Atheist, do you feel pressure and stress knowing that you are alone in your thoughts and decisions, and have complete control of your destiny?