God’s Not Dead Series
Psalm 19:1-14 (HCSB)
Pastor Rich Lancaster
March 23, 2014
“Christianity has been successfully attacked and marginalized… because those who professed belief were unable to defend the faith from attack, even though its attackers’ arguments were deeply flawed.” –William Wilberforce, Real Christianity
1 Peter 3:13–18 (NLT)
Their strategy is simple:
- Use ridicule and mockery to label people of faith as anti-intellectual or irrational.
- Set up a false dichotomy between science and faith, telling people to choose one or the other.
- Keep the debate one-sided by not allowing a dissenting opinion in the public arena, making sure the only places where expressions of faith are allowed are in strictly religious settings.
Their strategy is bold:
- They present their case with great fervor, passion and conviction
- They boldly assert
- there is no rational proof for the existence of God
- the Bible is a book of fairy tales,
- flawed with contradictions
- religion in general is a bad thing
- They feast on unprepared religious people who unintelligently hold to beliefs they have merely inherited, who have only a second-hand faith.
- They seldom take time to examine how erred and unsustainable their own views are.
- God’s Not Dead, Rice Broocks
Their strategy is working…
According to the Pew Research Center in 2007, 83 percent of millennials (those born between 1980 – early 2000’s) said they never doubted God’s existence.
- In 2012, the number dropped to 68 percent.
- That’s a 15 point drop in 5 years.
God’s Not Dead, Rice Broocks
Their strategy is working…
Much more than half of the young people in America who attend church will drop out after they leave high school for college.
One of the key reasons – these students have never been prepared to handle the objections about their faith they will face from the skeptics, many of whom will be their professors.
–God’s Not Dead, Rice Broocks
“God is dead” is a widely quoted statement first made around 1882 by the liberal German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The idea is stated in “The Madman” as follows:
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?” –Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125
The “God Is Dead” Movement
A popular debate over whether “God is dead” was promoted in the 1960s by a certain group of theologians (also known as “Christian atheists”). The best known proponent was Thomas J. J. Altizer, then a professor of religion at Emory University in Atlanta.
“We must realize that the death of God is an historical event, that God has died in our cosmos, in our history, in our [existence],” Altizer claimed. –P. Gray, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, edited by NGE Staff
And then there is Dr. Steven Hawking…
And yet 90% of the people on the planet believe that God exists.
Psalm 19 (HCSB)
Romans 1:20 (HCSB)