How many times have you heard and read these statements from atheists
- Christians are stupid and blindly believe what they are told.
- Christians are lazy, if they don't understand something, they just cop out with God did it (God of the Gaps)
- Christians can't think for themselves, they just accept all the myths on faith
- Faith makes people stupid.
- Christians don't understand science or evolution.
- Christians speak out of ignorance
Now I am not sure who started this line of reasoning. As far as I know, Christians have been avid scholars for the past 2000 years. If we had to add up the amount of hours of research that has been done by Christians, I think the time would astonish us. If we had to collect all the books, and papers that have been written by Christian scholars, the amount of work would overwhelm us. I do not see the ignorant lazy Christian in history.
This studying after 2000 years have not slowed down. Every Christian bookstore around the world is filled with books which Christian authors studying life, scripture, history, science, and God wrote. One book, the Bible has inspired incredible amounts of research in every field of human life and beyond. Christians throughout the ages have wresteld with the big and small questions and it is no different today.
I think it is ignorant of any atheist to think that Christians are stupid. Even more so to say they are lazy. I have to say though, that there are Christians that claim to be Christians, but have never opened their Bibles for themselves. The only knowledge they have is what they have gained from their pastors. These are not seekers of the truth. They are followers of doctrine. They are the ones atheists refer to when they say Christians are lazy.
In my 24 years of Christianity, I have to say that in most cases, Christians are avid scholars. They read their Bible, they ask questions, they read books, they listen to others ideas, they are for the most part seekers. Anyone that opens his Bible will inevitably have questions. Many might opt out by saying God's ways are not our ways. Mostly though in my ministry I found that the question would be raised and discussed and pulled apart. The advice and opinions of others are sought and systematically the believers faith and understanding is built.
Often I have heard that Christians claims to know everything. That of course is just silly. There is not one single human being that has been everywhere on the planet. How could anyone even think that we know everything. Another silly argument that is raised is that Christians opt out of the origens argument by saying God created everything. I don't see how this is different to saying everything came from a quantum fluctuation. It is as much faith as saying God did it. What is left for both the atheist and the Christian is to answer how did god do it, or how did the fluctuation cause everything. So the Christian's science does not end with the fact that God made everything, as a matter of fact our curiosity is peaked tremendously by how God made it all.
Christians don't just say God did it and then sit back as if that is the end of everything. No, there are theories to develop, models to put together, and showing how God did it. Is sound, the voice of God the ultimate creative force? Is it the vibrations from his speech, or was it sound plus light? The questions keep rolling in. Saying God did it does not stop the search for answers to questions.
It is an incredibly ignorant statement to say that faith stops progress in academic study and science. As a matter of fact, Christians that are interested in the subject of origens, find themselves studying a whole lot more than the average atheist. We are offered the theory of evolution and we have to study its mechanisms and doctrines to see if it is at all plausible in the bigger scheme of things. To force a natural origens argument on anyone that knows their is a supernatural dimension to existence is going to cause them to question your theory. It is this questioning that causes study. It is the contradiction to held beliefs that causes study.
Evolution cannot account for everything. It would like to, but the minute it steps outside the natural it breaks apart and becomes just another religion. One with some fantastic explanations that requires more faith than to believe in God. To say nothing caused an explosion and cause everything is just as much a belief as is God created everything. To say that nothing does not actually mean nothing like we know it, it is a different kind of nothing that contains something, yet is nothing is faith.
There is of course another side to this that seems to get ignored. There are many people that don't actually care about the origens question. They will not study creation, neither will they study evolution. Now you are welcome to say they are stupid but that is just not realistic. I for one have no interest in embroidery and therefore have no knowledge on the subject. does this make me stupid? Maybe? But I am just not interested. I have met both atheists and Christians that had no desire to discuss the subject not even in their own belief system. When I probed the answer is always the same: "I just could not be bothered"
I know to us that deals with these issues, we might think these are the be all and end all of everything. Does God exist? Did he create or did it all evolve? Is Christianity true? Is evolution true? Is the Bible true? Did Jesus even exist? We wrestel with all these issues, and these are front of mind for us at all times. There are people that quite happily go through life without even considering any of these things. Are they stupid, or are they just not interested in embroidery?
They might have other interests, like cars, and they would be able to tell you everything about every car that has ever been built. This is their interest, this is where they apply their mind. So to try group all people into the same category and refer to them as stupid because they do not share your interest is just rediculous.
The other accusation is that Christians use the Bible as their authority. It is an old mythical book, and we base our whole life on it. This of course is true. We believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God and the words contained in it pertain to life. We are accused vigorously for this act. How dare we say: "The Bible says…" Well we read it, studied it, thought long and hard about it, and came to the conclusion that what it says is true – so we believe it is what it claims to be.
What does everyone else in the world do. They read a book, like what it said, think about it and decide they agree with the author. Thus starts their faith. The only difference is that the atheist will not say, I follow this person or that persons thoughts. They will plagiarise the thoughts of others and make as if it is their own. They will make as if they are the originators of the idea when they actually just believed the words of someone else. The Christian on the other hand does not lay claim to the knowledge he professes. He admits it comes from the Bible.
Even science comes from the mind of one man. Look how from the writings of one man the whole scientific community was convinced. Darwins book was their Bible. Is still for some, although there are new translations out with the same thoughts and titles, it is still a belief gained from a book. To say that science has advanced and it is the only thing that has advanced because of knowledge gained from the scientific process is untrue. Just as the scientific community hold on to the ideas put forward by one man, so the Christians hold on to the ideas put forth in the Bible.
To say that you can recreate the tests of science to prove what is being said is true is also nonsense. How can any normal person that is not in university or working in a laboratory go and see the inner structure of the cell. How many of the world has access to an electron microscope. Scientists talk about RNA and DNA and show the double helix structure. How will any everyday person get to see this for themselves. It just will not happen. What we do have is the work of others. We have to trust that they are not lying, that they are showing us the truth. Yes other scientists can verify what is said, but we are still left with the words we read in a book. We have to trust it, because we cannot do it ourselves.
The Bible is our authority. The difference is that for some of its claims we can put it to the test for ourselves. We can come to Christ and experience the rebirth, the peace, the joy, the victory and the love. We can do this all on our own, we can put the Bible to the test without referring to anyone. This makes the Bible personally testable.
For 2000 years the Bible has been under strict scrutiny by atheists, believers and scholarly critics and after 2000 years it is still around, still highly regarded and still held as a precious, authoratative work by those that have accepted its claims.