letter quoted below, all
emphasis is mine, )
am intrigued by your website, as I am intrigued by those of other
atheists, and the arguments of my (sometimes militant) atheist
do find myself asking the same question over and over and over....why
do you even ask for people to present an infallible argument or
irrefutable evidence for Christianity? In other words, why are
you so wedded to logic and reason? Leaving God out of it for a
moment, do you not think that logic and reason are, ultimately,
limiting? Logic leads to 'truth" in in one, very specific,
factual sense. But there are other forms of truth. The world of
art is a prime example of this: what logic is there to the elation
and gut-wrenching response one can, at different times, feel when
looking at a Van Gogh, the Sistine Chapel or the sculptures of
Rodin? Not to mention the ecstasy induced by listening to Mozart
or Leonard Cohen or Royksoop or whoever else turns you on. I'm
sure it would be possible to trot out facts about necessity of
a biological attraction to bright colours or symmetry or the basis
of all music in human mating calls or something else...but that
really only goes so far for me. Getting hung up on logic and evidence
is like being stuck on the 26 letters of the alphabet while other
people have moved on to Dostoyevsky. Our gut response to beauty
and art is TRUE in a way that leaves logic a long way behind.
CANNOT be proven. Some arguments can be formed on the basis of
what evidence does exist, however, there is no evidence that can
or will ever convince you of Christ's resurrection, the one event
on which all of Christianity is pinned. It cannot be proven. So
what? Who, in two thousand years of history, has ever argued that
it COULD be conclusively proven?* John Locke may be right in insinuating
that Christians "use" evidence and reason – it's
nice to have reiteration of things you already believe to be true
– but no convert to Christianity ever based their conversion
on evidence and reason. It's impossible. In fact, as you must
know perfectly well, one of the primary claims of Christianity
(of Christ himself) has always been that, to be a 'believer',
one needs to have the 'faith of a child'. Paul takes this even
further in 1 Corinthians 1:18:
"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are
perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written,
WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE
CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE."
is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of
this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not
come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness
of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed
Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach
Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ
the power of God and the wisdom of God.
the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of
God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many
wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the
wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame
the things which are strong, and the base things of the world
and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that
He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before
(I apologise for the length of this passage...I'm not trying to
thump you over the head with Scripture, but the passage can't
really be truncated any more than it is already.)
any case, again, I'm not using this particular set of verses to
try to force you into change your mind, and say "Oh, I see.
You are absolutely right! Christianity appears to be complete
nonsense, therefore, according to this passage I should take it
as truth!' As I've stated already, I recognise that there is NO
argument I could present that would alter your view. I am simply
using this passage to show that the notion of Christianity appearing
to be foolishness is certainly not new to modern, 'enlightened'
man in the last couple of centuries! The earliest Christians would
have been mocked in precisely the same way that you (and so many
others) mock us now.
said that, truth CAN be demonstrated in Christianity, although
not in any way that a slave to logic can accept. Truth is shown
in the transformation of lives that takes place when people encounter
the risen Christ. Maybe you can bring to mind examples in your
own coterie of family and friends where lives have been dramatically
impacted by faith; maybe you can't .
Examples are everywhere...from Mother Theresa to the plain, self-sacrificing
spinster nurse who wipes the old people's butts at the nursing
home, to the alcoholic who experiences full healing and regeneration.
Knowledge of Christ transforms. Christianity is fundamentally
a love relationship, a heady seduction, and Christ is the inexorable
it would be pointless for me for me to conclude by saying, 'So,
obviously, you just need to have faith.' If you could, presumably
you would! I find that, as a person who does have faith, trying
to explain or even articulate what that means is futile. It is,
to use an appropriate simile, like trying to explain sight to
a blind man. If you ain't got it, you aint' got it. ( If you do
want to read someone who CAN articulate ideas about faith, read
I would be happy just to know that I had caused you to pause and
think about a few new things...though I doubt that I will do that
either! I perceive your world as being much smaller and narrower
than mine...again, I marvel at that extraordinarily limited notion
of "truth" as being facts and evidence alone.
all the best.