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There’s Probably No God

January 9, 2009

Perhaps you’ve heard of the atheist campaign? Perhaps there’s no God? Buses all over the UK are being plastered with atheistic proselytizing messages: “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life.” Richard Dawkins is backing the campaign.

How should theists respond? More advertising? Some argue this is unfair advertising. Others that it’s out of character for atheists. Still more say it’s actually good for Christianity, for God. What are your thoughts? Is this good or bad?

Consider the positive response here.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2009 12:27 pm

    I think it presents gospel-centered Christians an opportunity to demonstrate the difference between ‘religion’ and the gospel. It also opens up the conversation to discuss the underlying assumptions that drive atheism.

  2. January 9, 2009 1:23 pm

    How does it open up the religion vs. gospel distinction?

  3. Marc permalink
    January 9, 2009 2:32 pm

    “Probably”?? They are not very faithful atheists!

  4. Dave permalink
    January 9, 2009 2:38 pm

    Probably No God? So, what he’s saying is that there is a chance he could be wrong or leaving the door open to the possibility that there is God. All that money, time and effort for a “probably”…makes no sense to me. I’m glad I know that Jesus is real so I don’t have to worry about it.

  5. Steve permalink
    January 9, 2009 4:49 pm

    Saw this firsthand before I had heard anything about it. Honestly, my first thought was that a church in Oxford was paying for it. As the bus drove by, I looked for some small print. Something like, “but what if there is…”

  6. Sara permalink
    January 9, 2009 7:01 pm

    I just wrote a FB note on this (thx!) and I really took to the article that came out a few months ago, same subject. I CANNOT BELIEVE Dawkins would say such a thing, he almost seems a bit humble. This seems huge, I’d be so bummed as an agnostic/atheist. And btw, I still LOVE my VCR – using it tonight!

  7. Miranda permalink
    January 9, 2009 8:22 pm

    My reaction to this advert is that the folks getting behind these (Dawkins, Sherine) don’t understand that the Gospel is an enabler for true joy-filled life (probably no God…enjoy life) not hateful religion. Western Christian sub-culture has judged the world lets be honest…not in love and humility, but in large part by prideful self-righteousness. At times I regret that I am guilty of this too. Thus my reaction to this campaign as well as my own pride-filled sin is that it makes me want to build TRUE relationships with people who believe differently than I do and love the mess out of them, not simply to change their mind…but simply because I have been loved by a sinless savior. Christ is that Savior and I have full confidence that He will save.

  8. January 9, 2009 10:02 pm

    We tend to treat things as new sometimes. It is quite funny when we do this with ideas. The whole billboard on a bus thing is a new medium but the idea and the shock of presentation are not. I can’t help but to see this as a ploy from our enemy to offer those who will follow him, “everything they see.” I don’t think this is really a response to self righteous Christians as much as a middle finger to the “probable God.” However I am always caught up on where to start with atheist. I imagine the person of Jesus, but sometimes it is hard to get there through there convoluted, scientific and philosophical, hang ups. Specifically what do you do with an atheist who just focuses on tough OT passages. Should I just tell him to ask the Holy Spirit and He will help him understand those passages? Any suggestions?

    On another note.
    Jonathan I really enjoyed your two sessions during the bootcamp hosted at The Village. They were super-real-good.

  9. January 9, 2009 10:36 pm

    Indeed, Miranda. Let’s change public perception by being a joy filled community!

  10. January 10, 2009 7:57 am

    I think it opens up the religion v. gospel discussion because they are connecting the idea of God with a lack of enjoyment. This is based upon the assumption that God wants to burden people with rules to get to him (religion) and subsequently that the gospel really isn’t good news.

    We then get the chance to explain how religion is impotent and God has never expected people to work their way back to him and that when understood is the greatest joy.

  11. January 10, 2009 8:59 am

    Good point, Mike. Hitchens rails against religion and Xns that commit moral atrocities and concludes that submission to a “unchallengeable celestial dictator” is a repulsive idea. To answer Jake, I think it is important that we remove valid obstacles to the gospel for atheists and that we remember that they, too, are created in the image of God and are worthy of respect and, through Christ, love. Denis Haack points out that finding points of agreement with even the most implacable foes of the Xn faith is an act of love.

    However, that act of love does not require a tucking away of truth. We should also examine their claims carefully, refuting them where they do not hold up. I’ll be preaching on the new atheism this Sunday and hope to both respect atheists but also reveal gaps in logic and failures in a tenable life philosophy.

  12. January 11, 2009 8:33 pm

    Just a side note – this ad was actually in response to a steady stream of bus billboards various Christian groups have run for many years. So the question of how Christians should respond is a bit mute – this was a response to those initial ads. The response is sad mainly because rather than believers ministering to Londoners through their daily lives, the commuters felt like they were being told how to think and how to live – being told what and who to believe. Many actually feel like the atheist groups added some levity and humor to what the Christians were painting as a “repent or die” campaign.

    BBC ran an article on it back in October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm

  13. January 11, 2009 9:09 pm

    Thanks, MJ. That kind of Xn propaganda is unfortunate.

  14. Foxy permalink
    January 17, 2009 11:51 am

    It’s advertising. Let them Waste their Money. Christians should be ready to engage the Pagan on this issue. Look at all the press it’s gettin. you don’t think the people on the street aren’t talking about it?

  15. January 17, 2009 11:53 am

    I agree. We addressed it here

Trackbacks

  1. OD Today: 9 January 2009 (late edition) « Online Discernment Today

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