Have you ever had a pointless argument? You know the kind I mean. They happen when you clash with someone who passionately holds a viewpoint completely opposed to yours. You both trot out your best facts and logic that irrefutably prove your respective points, but the hard-headedness of the other person (so we say to ourselves) keeps them from seeing the “plain truth.”
I’ve had many of these intense discussions, especially on the internet, where the lack of face-to-face interaction tends to bring out the worst in people.
The subject of the existence of God has sparked heated debate for centuries, and it shows no sign of slowing. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins are ramping up this debate, and evangelical Christian apologists such as Lee Strobel and Hugh Ross are firing back just as intensely.
So am I saying that defending one’s faith is pointless? No. It’s important for people of faith to speak about what we believe, and that includes explaining the evidence and rationale for that belief.
Believing in the supernatural does not need to make us stubborn anti-intellectuals with our heads in the sand. Unfortunately, a few believers have a deep distrust of science, believing that recent developments are a threat to a theistic worldview.
That kind of attitude merely buys into the atheist mindset that the theory of evolution, the age of the earth, or some other scientific idea has somehow disproven the existence of God. Instead, those who believe in God can look at the world as it is and see evidence for a Creator.
The difference is in our overall worldview and basic assumptions. No one is going to prove to someone else that God does or does not exist any more than I can prove which side is right in the NHL labour dispute. This is why trying to argue someone into spiritual faith is usually a pointless exercise. Very few people become believers in God based on a debate or a “proof” alone. Personal experience speaks volumes; talk is cheap.
What if people of faith put as much effort into demonstrating the truth of their beliefs as many do into defending them? What if we showed love to our neighbours to demonstrate that “God is love?” Nobody is going to disagree that the world needs more love, even if they disagree with the faith system that motivated that love. I believe that our community is a better place because faith helps many of us to be better people — to our families, friends, and the world.
The spiritual views of the Arrow Lakes are quite diverse; we all coexist with a variety of faiths. But each of us has an opportunity to show that, whatever others may think of our beliefs, our faith works. And it works not only to enrich our personal lives, but to bring life to those we meet.