Not enough evidence God…

This is a repost of one of the blog’s most read posts. If you think there is no evidence to support Christianity, you may want to think again.

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The great atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if he found himself standing before God on judgment day and God asked him, “Why didn’t you believe in Me?” Russell replied, “I would say, ‘Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!’”

Interesting sentiment from Russell until you give it some thought.

I’m not trying to show any disrespect for Russell, or to diminish his intelligence, or make light of his sincerity in the least. I’m sure Russell’s beliefs were sincere and I believe he had genuine and, in his mind anyway, logical and rational reasons for having such beliefs

That being said, the statement “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!” is loaded with problems.

Problem number one is what God Himself has to say. I don’t think He minces any words here. [emphasis added]

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

– Romans 1:20

…without excuse

…without excuse

…without excuse

Let that sink in a minute then ask yourself if Russell is making the arrogant mistake of blaming his lack of belief on the failure of a divine being who can do no wrong and gave humanity no excuse.

Are you making the same mistake Russell did? If so, how do you think the conversation at judgment will go?

You: “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!”

God: “…without excuse.”

Seems fairly cut and dry to me.

“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

– Proverbs 26:12

Posted by James

…and by His wounds we are healed.

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Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

40 replies

  1. …without excuse

    …without excuse

    …without excuse

    But aren’t theodicies nothing but inventive “excuses”?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent Proverb.
    I’ve found that people don’t like to be called fools, even when they clearly are. They also exhibit the same level of discomfort and hostility when you mention the name of God and Jesus. [That’s brought on by conviction, because they know in their hearts there is a God. God cannot lie, every person has an intuitive knowledge of Him. He writes His laws on our hearts, another reason we’re without excuse]

    Someone needs to explain how it is that those considered fools in ‘ancient times’ are now today’s ‘wise men’ ummm scholars.

    I’m not trying to be disagreeable, I say this in all sincerity, only a fool would say there is no God.
    That a person can look around and all that he sees – pens, cars, clothes, shoes, computer, books, you name it, all have a manufacturer (cause) and all serve a purpose, yet that same person can look at the complexity and absolute precision of the universe, at the brilliant language of DNA, at themselves even, then expect you to believe these lack a cause/manufacturer & purpose. Where did logic go?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you. But never underestimate the deadness of the human soul apart from divine intervention. The fallen will is paralyzed by inherent depravity and Adamic rebellion.

      [They also exhibit the same level of discomfort and hostility when you mention the name of God and Jesus.]

      Try this experiment.
      In a place where people gather (like a restaurant or bus) begin talking calmly about the blood of Christ, what it signifies, who it defeated, what blessings it brings, what it atones for etc. and see how people get stirred-up/uncomfortable. The squirming can become palpable.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you. I’ll read it as soon as I get a chance.

    Like

  4. I have never met a genuine, open-minded atheist who ever asked “show me the evidence” in hopes that what could be shown might lead to belief. Those who say “no evidence” have already determined there is no evidence to be had, therefore “no evidence” is evidence. To the atheist “no evidence” is his alibi, but to God it is the proof of a faithless, hardened heart. The very fact that the atheist sees “no evidence” further justifies his condemnation before a God who says that “without faith it is impossible to please [Him].” The evidence is all around, similar to the watch on the sand, pointing toward a Watchmaker. But for the atheist with no desire to believe, a million watches on the shore wouldn’t make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Couldn’t agree more Anthony.

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    • There is plenty of evidence, Anthony, but it is all spurious.

      Like

    • I can see what you are saying about atheists not sincerely hoping to believe, but I think there are a few caveats. I will say (and I say this frequently) that if I am wrong, I sincerely want to know. The stakes are huge, and I see no reason not to be as well informed as possible. Yet, I’m not going to say that I hope for evidence (and thus belief) because personally, I see the effects of belief as being harmful. I hope it’s not true, but if it is I definitely want to know.

      However, there are a number of atheists who, while in the process of coming out of faith, desperately want to believe and sincerely wish it could be true. Maybe they’re not the ones shouting “show me the evidence.” Maybe that’s a different stage in the journey–I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Jon,

        In all sincerity, what kind of evidence do you want?

        James

        Like

        • That’s a fair question, James, and one I’ve certainly pondered at length. Unfortunately I don’t know that I have a definitive answer. A lot of atheists say it could be something as simple as God manifesting in front of them or speaking audibly to them. I disagree. Would that make me believe? Probably not. I would probably start out with the assumption that I needed to see someone about checking my medications.

          I realize to you this will seem to confirm the idea that my heart is hardened against the idea of God and that there is nothing that could possibly convince me. I honestly understand how it seems that way.

          However, I could ask you what evidence it would take for you to believe in Kali. I don’t say this to sidestep the issue, but rather to show that you view evidence in much the same way. If Kali “proved herself” by speaking to you directly, you would probably automatically discount it as having come from Satan.

          At the risk of being a shill for my own site, I’ve actually posted on this in depth ( http://theheathensguide.com/take-believe-part-1-permission-doubt/ )

          Liked by 2 people

          • I don’t know Jon. If Kali proved herself then I would have no logical reason but to believe.

            I don’t believe in Bigfoot but if I saw him stroll past my dear stand, I would change my mind fairly quickly.

            I was an atheist for years until God began to call me, then the belief process began.

            I know you don’t get this (there was a time when I thought it was crazy) but people eventually come to just “know” God is real without anything remarkable happening at all.

            I also believe that God alows doubt and doesn’t force belief or prove Himself conclusively on purpose. He needs people to want to believe, not be forced into it.

            James

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          • Would you accept God appearing to you in a dream? Or a very intense spiritual dream that shakes you up, or would those simply be considered bio-chemical irregularities?

            Liked by 1 person

          • I would definitely have to say no on that one. I’ve had some really intense dreams in my life, horrible dreams that cause me to wake up sweating. Ultimately they weren’t real, though. There are all sorts of theories on how to interpret dreams and how they can be used to guide your life. I don’t put stock into the idea that my dreams will tell me when I might fall in love, and I don’t put stock in the idea that they are god’s way of talking to me. Whether it’s biochemical irregularities or just too much TacoTico before bed, a dream is usually just a dream.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Jon,

        I just read this again and think I may have jumped the gun with my last comment so I’ll try again?

        Do yoy think your not wanting. Christianity to be true because you believe it’s effects are harmful might be affecting your objectivity?

        James

        Liked by 1 person

        • No worries. And that’s a valid question. I try as hard as I can to be as objective as I can. Do I have biases? Certainly, but I think that going to be the case with everyone. We all approach life’s questions from the viewpoint of our collective life experiences. My approach is to try to acknowledge when this is the case, eliminate as many as possible, and try to work around the rest.

          Am I biased in that I say I hope Christianity isn’t true? Perhaps. However, I am not going to summarily dismiss the possibility–as I said, I do want to know if I am wrong.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Do you think that one day you will know for sure?

            Like

          • Hehehe – That’s the great irony of it all: if I’m right, I’ll never get the chance to tell you “I told you so!” 🙂

            My own personal opinion is that, assuming an omniscient, omnipotent god exists, he knows exactly what it would take for me to believe. I occasionally liken myself to the apostle Thomas, saying that if doubt was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me as well. Yes, Romans says that we see the evidence of God all around us. However, God also said that he desires that none shall perish. I may not know what it would take to make me believe, but if God exists, he knows exactly what it would take. He knows exactly what my tipping point would be, so I have to have faith (to assume Christian parlance) that he will thump me in the nose in whatever manner is necessary.

            Like

          • Kinda seems like you are waiting it out and taking a chance here.

            If so, with what, eternity? Eternity is a long time to be wrong. Why would you want to gamble with something as important as your eternal destiny? It takes only a m moment to trust Christ for your salvation. There will be an eternity of pain and regret if you don’t.

            You don’t take chances with guns do you? You don’t take chances and run red lights do you? Why would you take a chance on something that is far more important than these? Don’t take a chance on something eternal. It isn’t worth it.

            Jesus said He was the only way to God. He forgave sins, walked on water, calmed a storm with a command, raised people from the dead, and rose from the dead Himself. No one else in all of history has done that. If He can do all that, don’t you think you should listen to Him?

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          • That last comment was from a post a few months ago Jon, please don’t take it as being too blunt, that wasn’t the intent.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s not too blunt–besides, I can appreciate blunt.

            Essentially, I see a modified version of Pascal’s Wager in this: It’s safer to believe than not to believe. However, I believe you and I discussed previously though that I wouldn’t agree that belief is a choice.

            Also, I would argue that I have tried to believe. The first time I decided to read the Bible, I did so honestly wanting to give it a fair shot. At the suggestion of numerous Christians, I prayed that God would reveal himself to me and to guide me as I read his word. I’m sure you will question my sincerity, and I will concede to your argument: no, I was not sincere. I did not have a belief in God, and as a result, that prayer was probably what you would call ‘going through the motions.’ To do otherwise, though, I would have had to start out with the assumption that God was real. While I was open to the possibility, I was not open to the assumption.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I hear what you’re saying here Jon and don’t question your sincerity at all. In fact, you seem like a very sincere person to me.

            I rejected God for a while even when I suspected He was real so I know where you’re comming from.

            You’re right about this being kind of a Pascal’s Wager which I both love and hate. I don’t think Pascal meant that people should believe becuase it’s a safe bet but instead to honestly evaluate the choice instead of waiting for evidence or proof that may never come.

            Not sure what else I can say but I am open to questions as long as you understand that there is nothing I can say that will make you change your mind.

            What led to my mind changing was a sincere Christian who was there and consistent with a message that I didn’t want and didn’t know I needed.

            James

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Romans 1:20 is clear; I imagine the day would not be what Russell thinks it will turn out.

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    • I agree and refer people to Romans 1:20 all the time.

      Besides, if someone believes there is even half a chance the creator exists, do they honestly think they can match wits with a being who spoke the universe into existence?

      I hate to be wrong like most people do, it’s part of the human condition. But arrogance that stunning is hard to wrap my head around.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Evidence of God’s existence is all around us as the apostle Paul says in Romans. Not enough desire to accept the evidence which so richly abounds is perhaps the real problem. So many people are afraid of the “Christian message” and way of life, yet many are not even familiar with what it truly is!

    A number of people these days get their “religion” second hand. They hear someone say they don’t like this or that about faith, and they just tend to go with it themselves! If one chooses not to believe, then let that conclusion come as a result of their own exhaustive study into theology! I’d dare say if they studied it objectively, they could only decide in favor of our Lord…

    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I might have asked him “Why did you suppress the truth you already knew?” Up until he was 16, B.R. did believe in the existence of God, later declared he was agnostic and finally denied God’s very existence, so I’ve read. Again, Romans 1 is the basis for the question. At any rate, “man is without excise”. Well said.

    Given Romans 8:7 says that the carnal mind hates God, would objective study alone result in deciding for God’s existence, or is there a supernatural God thing humming in the background? Just a question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a great question, thanks.

      It is my belief that objective study and simply observing the world will always point to God, a belief that we all have the capacity to accept or reject.

      As far as accepting Christ as savior goes,I don’t think that is possible without being led by the Holy Spirit which we also have the capacity to accept or reject.

      I also believe that there could very well be a divine reason we can’t understand why God blocks certain people from belief.

      James

      Like

  8. If they could only see just how sweet His Presence is- they would run to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My pastor just used that Russell quote this past Sunday and I found myself thinking the same thing when I read this as I did when he read it “how is there not enough evidence??” Thanks for this awesome reminder. I’ve been out of the loop for a while but I look forward to catching up on your work! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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