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Atheist Geisler

by Jared Byas

Growing up Evangelical, I noticed a trend to make Christianity more attractive to people by making it sound like it’s the most reasonable thing in the world. Like the book title to the left. See, Christianity is so reasonable, it takes more faith to be an atheist (hi-fives to everyone for that clever play on words).

However, I have theory: by telling people that believing a dude came back to life and that God inspired a book “makes a lot of sense if you think about it” or that it’s even “common sense” means that if someone doesn’t believe it they must necessarily either be ignorant or evil.

When we make the truth of the Christian story obvious, largely to make ourselves feel better about believing it, we must explain then, if it’s so obvious, why so many other people don’t believe.

And, well, if someone doesn’t believe something that is obvious and common sense, after a while, it’s because they are either ignorant, in the sense that they aren’t even capable of grasping the most common sense truths, or they are evil, in the sense that they know its truth but the “hardness of their hearts” keep them from accepting it as their own.

If Christianity is obviously true, I am not sure of other options we have.

For instance, if you tell a man to do something that is “obvious” and “common sense,” like “Go pour your coffee in the sink,” and he pours it in your fake flower pot instead, what will you think? Either that he is so dim-witted that he didn’t even understand what the sink was, or more damning, he did it on purpose as a malicious deed. Either way, the guy who didn’t follow the “obvious” and “common sense” instruction isn’t looking good. He’s either evil or ignorant.

And so, in an attempt to make ourselves feel better about believing what actually isn’t “obvious” or “common sense,” we implicitly give people the choice to be A. Christian B. Ignorant or C. Evil. I’m not sure there’s a D. What about this wouldn’t give people the impression that Christians are judgmental and arrogant?

Jared Byas, M.A.

As a former teaching pastor and professor of philosophy and biblical studies, he speaks regularly on the Bible, truth, creativity, wisdom, and the Christian faith. Tweets at @jbyas