An atheist denies the existence of God. Mocks Him and does his own test, puts it on a public platform, and God gets a flawless victory. Some say it is coincidence. Well, even if it is coincidence, you just put a name of God. Then, the next path of investigation is to explore how this “coincidence” leads to a man named Jesus.
Yearly, I attend Frank Turek’s I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist live discussions, and he details several arguments (i.e. moral, teleological, cosmological argument), and how, not only does this evidentially point to a resurrected Jesus, but it makes atheism a very difficult worldview to pledge allegiance to.
In my discussions with plenty of atheists over the years, one of the most common observations I have seen from them is that most do not present their atheistic worldview as an affirmative case, but more from the vantage point of gathering a theistic worldview and attempting to poke enough holes in it that they just do not think that it sustains the whirlwind of tests. However, not only does this rely on theism to “prove” atheism, but it shows that the atheist needs God to convince people that He is not real. That’s self-refuting.
This is cognitive dissonance at its finest (see video below regarding more about cognitive dissonance).
Moreover, just because God does not pass your specific litany of tests to your specific approval, this does not invalidate his existence. Oftentimes, when someone really does not desire to explore to possibility of their worldview being destroyed, they apply a confirmation bias to redirect and affirm their own erroneous thinking. In other words, if the resurrection is not good enough, there is not much of anything else that will be either. Especially, since Christianity hinges on the resurrection, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 15.
There have been atheists who stated that, even if God were to come down directly to them and speak to them to affirm His existence, they still would not believe. If I was an owner of a restaurant, I would present this as a Chef’s Special of Confirmation Bias stew, extra Cognitive Dissonance with a side of Anchoring Effect.
Thankfully, we as Christians serve a God who can transform the heart and mind of someone in a blink of an eye. Look at the life of Paul. Someone who was reveling at the seeming demise of Christianity, even the point of commissioning his followers to imprison Christians to prevent its spread.
Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. Persecution Scatters the Believers A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.Acts 8:1-3
God is bigger than the atheist’s objection to His existence. He is bigger than people’s attempt to disprove Him. If He can save Saul. He can save anyone. Christian, when you are conversing with atheists, know that an argument is less effective than prayer. Civil discourse is very beneficial when exhibiting apologetics, and God could very well be using you to cause questions in the atheist’s worldview. However, do not be overwhelmed with feeling you have to chance the person in one discussion. That’s God’s job anyway.
Just be led by the Holy Spirit, drop the necessary seeds in your conversations (be intentional about doing that instead of winning an argument), and pray that God sends others to water the seeds planted and for Him to give the increase.
– Dr. Chris