There seems to be huge wall between The New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennet and Harris) and their followers on the one side and Christians on the other. Most of the time neither side listens well to the other. This is because there seems to be little common ground between the two parties. Even though there are huge differences on some issues there are also points of total agreement.
For example the concept of truth. One of the things that the New Atheists (and their followers) and Christians can agree on is that there is truth that doesn’t change or disappear even if we don’t believe it or don’t understand it. Albert Mohler in his great book Atheism Remix says this about the New Atheists and truth:
The New Atheists are not relativists, and they do not believe that all truth is merely the product of social construction. To the contrary, the New Atheists dignify the truth question even as they oppose the truth most central to Christianity – the existence of the self revealing God.
What Mohler is saying is that even though the New Atheists deny the existence of God they uphold the existence of objective truth. The belief that there is objective truth and that this truth is knowable are ideas that both Christians and atheists can wholeheartedly agree on.
But how do you uncover what is true? This is something that Christians and non Christians can agree on too. You uncover what is true by looking at the evidence, by researching and using your mental faculties. In this I agree and disagree with Sam Harris when he writes
“When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn’t. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.” ― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
I totally agree with him that in considering truth we have to as honestly as we can look at the evidence. But I disagree with him that all people who hold to a religious belief think that there beliefs are not subject to evidence.
The evidence from the Bible runs counter to Harris’ assertion. Jesus told his disciples to look at the evidence. If we look at the Gospel of Luke’s account of the resurrection of Jesus you will come across this scene where Jesus talks to his disciples after he rose from the dead:
He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
Notice what Jesus says, he is saying look at my body or in other words look at the evidence. Now even if you don’t think that Jesus really rose from the dead and this story is a piece of first century nonsense you still have an evidence based claim by Luke who is the writer of this gospel. He is,in effect saying through Jesus “Check out the evidence!” Or in Harris’ words “engage in an honest appraisal of the evidence.”
The question is, whether you are Christian or not, are you going to honestly look at the evidence for the resurrection this Easter? If you would like to we are looking at the evidence for the resurrection this Sunday at Resolved as we kick off our Jesus Vs Atheism series. We would love for you to come and join in the conversation.
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