Yesterday, I posted a rebuttal to Part 1 of Robin Schumacher‘s article at the Christian Post trying to take down my argument that atheists are helping draw people away from the Christian church (as a whole).
Schumacher is now back with Part 2.
Here’s his first issue:
Mr. Mehta says, “The myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity… To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles. There’s no proof of any of that ever happened”.
Let’s just stop there. Says who? Says anyone who doesn’t believe in magical fairydust and unicorns. Says anyone who has never seen these things happen in the modern day. Says anyone who needs some damn good evidence to believe in the supernatural.
But Schumacher says he has evidence of those things!
As far as Jesus’ resurrection is concerned, there is plenty of good historical and philosophical evidence that has been presented numerous times by many Christian apologists…
Great! What is it?!
… he gives us nothing.
He then argues that if atheists could just produce the body of Jesus (2,000 years after he died…), then we’d win. As if the burden of proof is on us that someone didn’t rise up from the dead.
As for Jesus’ miracles, again the question is: what proof are you seeking? The fact is, both the New Testament and external Christian sources hostile to Christianity agree that Jesus performed acts that could not be naturally explained.
Yeah, as far as they knew. Maybe, just maybe, they missed out on legitimate explanations for his “miracles” because they didn’t even think to look for them.
What proof are we looking for? How about proof that isn’t hearsay. Hell, get someone to perform those miracles now and I’ll accept that, too. Turn water into wine. Walk on water. Cure the blind. Heal a paralytic. Whatever you want. Bring a video camera, do it in controlled conditions, make sure it’s not a magic trick, and I’ll become a believer.
Later in the post, Schumacher adds:
Yes, there are very good apologetic arguments for God that contain compelling evidence and solid reason. And all will be flippantly brushed aside by unbelievers and labeled inadequate because of their a priori commitment to anti-supernaturalism unless God intervenes in their life. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as people act contrary to evidence all the time.
Of course, this statement will be laughed at and ridiculed by atheists but it is 100% Biblical.
Well, I agree with Schumacher on that one. Atheists are laughing and ridiculing that statement, because his claim that supernatural explanations are logical and sensible are laughable and ridiculous.
Schumacher is also upset about my statements regarding the “Christian Bubble”:
As to open marketplace exchange of ideas, Mehta first says: “Christians can no longer hide in a bubble, sheltered from opposing perspectives, and church leaders can’t protect young people from finding information that contradicts traditional beliefs.”
The fitting word for this comment is ‘preposterous’. Christianity has never hidden in a bubble; unlike other faiths, it has opened itself up to scrutiny and been forever out in front engaging other worldviews (including atheism) in dialog since the beginning.
Well, maybe that’s true in Schumacher’s world of apologists. But there’s no shortage of Christians who have been told to “just have faith” and to stop questioning what the Bible says.
Furthermore, even if Christians are not afraid of challenges to their faith, it’s still possible to live in another reality.
J. W. Christopher said it well in his book Thoughts of a Modern-Day Sojourner:
Today many Christians are growing up in a bubble called the Christian subculture, completely sheltered from the world. It’s tragic. A generation of Christians are losing experiences that could make them strong influences in the real world. The Christian subculture knows nothing about real life. We hang out with Christians, go to Christian schools, attend Christian events, listen to Christian radio, seek Christian coffee-houses, workout in Christian gyms, sometimes location inside our mega-churches. We even have Christian toothpaste! It’s ridiculous. We have lost our ability to engage the world. We can’t even relate. Yet we think those in the world just don’t understand. The truth is we’re smug. Jesus was the friend of sinners, but we won’t even so much as have a genuine conversation with them. So much for a good testimony.
If that’s news to Schumacher, he must be in the bubble, too.
There was a time when Christians could have remained sheltered their entire lives. That’s next to impossible now for a variety of reasons, including the Internet. They will now inevitably be exposed to people whose ideas are different from their own and whose very existence challenges some of the beliefs they were taught in the church (i.e. atheists are immoral, women who have abortions almost always regret them, etc).
I said in my article that atheists quoting Christians like Mark Driscoll (anti-woman), Rick Warren (anti-gay), and Rob Bell (anti-Hell-but-pro-Heaven) helps our side and hurts theirs, but here’s how Schumacher twisted that:
… it should be acknowledged that when the media continually parades the handful of individuals comprising the Westboro Baptist church as something representing Christ vs. the many Christians who truly mirror Jesus, it is no wonder that millennials can sometimes be sour on Christianity. Here I would simply repeat the words of Augustine: do not judge a philosophy by its abuse.
Atheists can quote Fred Phelps‘ clan all we want but I think we all agree they don’t really represent anyone but themselves, even if they do quote the Bible. In my article, I mentioned very-popular, well-respected, best-selling Christians… and Schumacher acted like I was referring to Westboro. Lame…
Finally, Schumacher summarizes his argument:
If millennials truly aren’t coming to Christ, it has nothing to do with Mr. Mehta’s arguments, which are mostly anemic and contain nothing original. Whether they are millennials, boomers, busters, or carry some other label given to them by the secular culture, people become Christians only through the grace of the sovereign God who awakens their hearts (Acts 16:14) to accept His loving offer of salvation (John 3:16) and actually see the truth before them.
This fact of God’s sovereignty should provide peace to all Christians and cause all of us to continue to work hard at making disciples of Christ through our message and our deeds, “in no way [be] alarmed by our opponents” (Phil. 1:28), and know that people such as Mehta have no bearing whatsoever on whether the atheist ranks swell or shrink.
… says another blogger.
Anyway, Schumacher can live in denial and pretend that atheists are having “no bearing” on the rise of the Nones and the decline of organized religion, but those trends are happening and we’re not going to stop proclaiming the problems with faith anytime soon.
I actually prefer that Schumacher and his ilk ignore us. It makes our job a lot easier when Christians who have megaphones choose to hide in their bubbles and act like we’re not there.
They’ve been doing it for this long and the demographic shift is going in our direction. Atheists aren’t the only reason for the change, but we’re definitely helping.