I hope your end of the year is going well as we push into the final weeks of December! I know that this time of year can be a whirlwind but stay strong and I want to encourage you again to keep reading and interacting with one another so that 2020 will be different because you are better equipped to share the gospel in a loving manner.
This chapter dealt with psychological objections against God. Here, Andy builds off the last chapter as he continues to show how these objections commit the genetic fallacy over and over. It may be true that belief in God does bring comfort and eases pain in difficult times, but the feelings that accompany belief have no effect on the truthfulness of that belief. The how and why someone believes the way they do has little usefulness in assessing its truth value; however, I would like to point out that the how and why behind beliefs are of tremendous use in answering the questioner over the question.
Next, the chapter reviews the motives certain atheists have given as to why they don’t believe God exists. The narrative in each of them repeats the desire for personal autonomy and one even goes so far as to say, ‘I don’t want God to exist because I know that would bring entailments that I don’t want.’ None of these reasons given are for academic or intellectual consideration but rather for negative emotions, and if positive feelings towards a belief do not say anything about its truth value, neither do negative feelings.
Reflection and discussion questions, if needed:
- Are you beginning to see a pattern in these objections? None of them have solid foundations to ground themselves in. How is this affecting your conversations with your non-Christian friends and family?
- What specifically stood out to you from this chapter? Why is it sticking with you and what are you going to do about it?
- What is a practical step that you will take to begin using this information in your daily life?
You may have also noticed that I try to ask at least one question each week about doing something with what you’ve read. The reason for this is that I know, personally, I acquire lots of information but a lot of times I just hold on to it without application. However, that’s not what Jesus asked us to do. Jesus didn’t say, “study this book and make sure you have it memorized” or “he who knows the most will enter the kingdom of heaven.” No, Jesus said, “Go make disciples of all nations.” He sent us to bring the lost to him. That’s the reason we read and study; so that we can see our friends and family follow Him, not so we can win online debates or sound smarter than other people. That’s my prayer that as we continue to increase our knowledge, we have our eyes on the right goal. Lastly, I want to finish this post with a quote that has moved me recently:
“My perception is that, as it relates to Christianity, study should not become an end in itself. Study must have, ultimately, some sort of an application. Unless your study affects your behavior, you’ve studied fruitlessly.” – John Wimber, 1985