[quote=Neithan]This may be indicative of how weak and fragile my Faith is (i’ll be the first to admit it) but I recently came across this website written by an atheist and expert debater, Adam Marczyk.
Suffice it to say, I am very impressed. He has some compelling arguments for his beliefs (or lack thereof) and I am at a loss to find any satisfactory theistic response. His articles are relatively short but are poignant and cover a lot of ground. The top seven (from “All Possible Worlds” to “Unmoved Mover”) are particularly arresting. Seriously, it’s stuff like this that really shakens, and threatens to shatter, my faith. This bothers me because… why should I fear the Truth? Why should any of us fear it? If Christianity is wrong (and face it… we HAVE to face this possibility or we are closed-minded) than we should feel liberated, right?
I suppose I’m still young and inexperienced (I’m not as deeply educated–in theology and philosophy–as I’d like to be) but Mr. Marczyk seems to sweep away with majestic style any and all reasons for a Christian worldview. The deconversion stories on the site really hit a nerve. What do you all think? If you have the time, please click on the above link and check it out (but a warning to those who don’t want to test their faith). Am I overreacting? Are there any good apologetic responses to all of this? Are we all fooling ourselves?
1 Cor. 15:19
First, let me say that atheism is, itself, a position that is, from a traditional Thomistic based philosophical world view, untenable. In other words, it cannot be absolutely proved that God does not exist. Atheism, therefore, is a matter of belief and of lack of supernatural faith, not fact, despite what others who adhere to it espouse concerning it.
Such encounters, as the one you have expressed above, inevitably come to the Christian. These can be opportunities for growth and hope, or opportunities for doubt and despair. As ex-atheist turned evangelical Christian pastor, Sanjay Merchant once said, “It’s easy to claim atheism, but it’s difficult to live atheism.”
I remember one of my first encounters after I had decided to follow Christ was with a Jehovah’s Witness. At the time, I was rather naive about reading scripture in its context. This person pointed out verses in the Bible that seemed to contradict what I had believed to be true. The struggle caused me to examine the Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings on my own, and in doing so, I learned how far removed from Christian orthodoxy they were. Instead of weakening my faith, I was strengthened and more aware of why Christians have believed as they do for 2,000+ years.
The challenges are all around you. Not only from atheists, but from hedonists, individualists, minimalists, post-modernists, and from a wide variety of alternative religious philosophies and belief systems. Often these systems overlap. You will also be challenged by persons from within the fold…maybe even more so than from those outside of the Church.
At this stage in your journey with Christ, my advice would be to bone up on the fundamentals of the Christian faith that has been passed on to us from the Apostles. F.J. Sheed’s classic, “Theology For Beginners” may be a good place to start. While it was originally published quite a while ago, the book is an easy read and explains complex theological beliefs in sensible terms that any layperson can readily understand. For more information on this book, go here: catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_gensym-64.html. When the time is ready, you may want to check out Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s, “The Ball and the Cross,” available in the “Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton.” This little story will help you better appreciate the value of authentic interactive dialogue between Catholics and atheists. I do not suggest that you engage in such dialogue at this point in your walk with Christ as a member of His Church, but later on, as you become more fully equipped in the articulation of your own faith. Good things often take time.
As for the numerous ex-Christians turned atheist sites out there on the web, don’t be too discouraged. There are far more ex-atheist turned Christian sites than you may realize. Remember that supernatural faith, is itself, a gift from God. Pray for an increase in supernatural faith. Pray for those who have lost or willfully abandoned their faith, that they may be restored, once again, to the only Truth that will set them free.
God bless you!http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif