Last evening I spent a few hours talking with a former Christian, now a “skeptic.” Andrew Rappaport had me join him for the discussion, which I thought was going to be more on the history of the NT, manuscripts, etc., but turned out to be a more general “there’s just no evidence” exchange. You can watch it here.
You will notice how things completely changed when, noting the time, I turned to the inconsistency of his worldview. He could not help but use God-language at that point. How he ought to do this or that, how we should minimize hurt, and how we have duties to others, that kind of stuff that, when you dig down on it, reflects the image of God in each of us. It surely doesn’t come from Darwin!
I asked the gentleman the question I asked Dan Barker years ago. Barker is a concert-level pianist, and so I asked him, “Will your music be beautiful the day after you die?” When I put that question to our skeptic, he had to say that it would be beautiful only in the minds of those who are still alive. Beauty, therefore, is not an abiding thing.
I pointed to the beauty of my granddaughters caring for my new grandson, and pointed out that we have representations of that beauty in art going all the way back to ancient times. Our skeptic lives in God’s world, and sees the beauty of creation all around him. He can’t escape it. But all the arguments, facts, and refutations in the world won’t change his heart. I was reminded yet again of the fundamental truth that outside of the gracious and powerful work of the Spirit of God there is no hope for those who love darkness. That heart of stone must be removed.