What Dawkins, Hawking, and Hitchens Know About God 5

I faithfully read Rev Dr David P Murray’s blog, Head Heart Hand. David is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In his post,  “What Dawkins, Hawking and Hitchens know about God“, he lists eight things the visible creation tells every atheist about the invisible Creator?

I like his approach, because he relies solely upon the claims of the Bible concerning these eight points. It is easy for believers to think that they need to be skilled debaters armed with scientific data to have any success in refuting the claims of ‘Dawkins-like’ opponents. But such debates are unnecessary. The truth is, God’s Word clearly states that such men know these eight things.

  1. God exists
  2. God is eternal
  3. God is powerful
  4. God is God
  5. God is angry
  6. God will judge
  7. God is good
  8. God is glorious

Read David’s entire post here for an elaboration of his eight points.

On the other hand, this video, featuring Dr. William Lane Craig, is one of the best ‘creationist’ arguments I’ve heard.

5 thoughts on “What Dawkins, Hawking, and Hitchens Know About God

  • Soli deo gloria

    1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

    To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    The key to the progress of a regenerate soul is ‘thankfulness’ and ‘giving glory’ to God. All the teaching and persuading in the world that does not terminate in this key result is ineffective. We don’t combat tricky logic with even more tricky logic! God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to display his glory. Logic and science are crude instrumrnts in comparison, and rate a poor second best to what God has revealed in His word. Even the weakest newborn child of God sees well beyond anything that Dawkins et al could ever dream of.

  • Don

    Thanks for your observation, SDG.

    You and other readers of this post may enjoy reading this long essay published in The New Atlantis, “Getting Over the Code Delusion” by Steve Talbot.

    Concerning science’s quest for discovering the origin of life, it goes some way to put into proper perspective the scientific community’s exuberance surrounding DNA, molecular biology and the human genome project. According to Talbot, as marvelous as this research is, it has done nothing to progress man’s understanding of life. He writes, “The central truth arising from genetic research today is that the hope of finding an adequate explanation of life in terms of inanimate, molecular-level machinery was misconceived.”

    He concludes his essay with this; “The hopeful thing is that molecular biologists today — slowly but surely, and perhaps despite themselves — are increasingly being driven to enlarge their understanding through a reckoning with genetic contexts. As a result, they are writing “finis” to the misbegotten hope for a non- lifelike foundation of life, even if the fact hasn’t yet been widely announced.”

    Believers need not fear for a moment that science will “out their faith”.

    • Soli deo gloria

      I watched the William Lane Craig video, and then the series, and then a few other related debates, and it was interesting to note the positions taken by each side, and the unfolding arguments and counter arguments. You are absolutely right Don, the believer has nothing to fear from science. One of the points made by Peter Atkins is that science does not have all the answers, that it is continually changing and refining its position. He does however believe that science will SOON have all the answers!

      After reflecting on all this, I was reminded of Jobs struggles with his circumstances, and the debate he had with his ‘friends’ following his personal tragedies. There was so much he did not know and could not know, nevertheless he struggled on in his argument for the integrity of his own character (which others had begun to question ….. ‘God must be punishing you for sin’).

      We should note that Job did not ‘win the debate’, but God stepped in at the end to shut the mouths of these ‘friends’! And Job received the rebuke first: ‘where were you when I…..’?

      It seems to me that there is a place for Christians to engage in proper debate on important subjects, but I have noted that there is a very natural tendency to ‘compete’ and score points. The ego loves it …. even the Christian ego!

      Then it struck me how appropriate and effective is the wisdom of God in using the foolishness of preaching to save some. I have never heard of many (any) people being converted through debate, but the pages of scripture and church history show us numerous occasions where God has owned the preaching of His Word, through the weakness of human instruments to bring people to Jesus Christ.

      Was there a greater intellect in NT days than Paul’s? Yet he preferred to be a fool for Christ’s sake, and to be abandoned, dismissed as weak and unimpressive, and finally submit to execution for his Master’s sake. Why? So that the Gospel might advance through his weakness, and Christ’s strength.

      It is no different for us.There will be times when we are made to feel embarrassed and ashamed of ourselves in this world. We will feel the personal affront. We will hear the taunts and jeers, and see the sneers. But so did Christ. His response should be ours, if we truly are his friends and servants.

      Our task is not to argue with people to get them to change their views, but to introduce people to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by helping them with the truth, and demonstrating to them the power of it in our lives.

  • Don

    I agree with your words, “It seems to me that there is a place for Christians to engage in proper debate on important subjects, but I have noted that there is a very natural tendency to ‘compete’ and score points. The ego loves it …. even the Christian ego!”

    Isn’t it strange, this ego thing? As if we can ‘defend’ the very creator of the universe – as if he needs defending – how foolish we are in our wisdom!

    Do we think ‘clever’ argument will change the minds and hearts of people? Rarely! I suspect such tactics have the opposite effect. If we are able to mount a ‘case’ by such means, the natural tendency is for those taking an opposing position is to go back to the drawing boards to re-draw their argument. It doesn’t change their position, it hardens it.

    It is the Holy Spirit’s role to change the hearts of men, not ours. It’s the Holy Spirit’s task to apply the Word of God preached by His faithful, humble servants – not ours.

    • Soli deo gloria

      I was reading a friends blog last night, and he provided this link to David Robertson’s (he provided a response to Dawkins controversial attack on Christianity) ‘fleabyte’ videos. This is very much on topic, and I think you will find this encouraging.

      Sometimes we need the perspective of men such as David:

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