Many thanks to Deacon Duncan for beautifully expressing the simple and basic flaw that Christians have been attempting to avoid or rationalize away for centuries.
I can already hear the fum-fuhs and harrumphs as untold millions begin their practiced refutations and contradictions!
I’m going to set aside the overwhelming evidence of a world shaped by explainable causes and forces. I’m going to set aside the arguments against God’s existence on the basis of the existence of evil. I’m going to set aside the observance that there are multiple revealed religions in the world and in history, and since they all contradict each other, they can’t all be correct and therefore are probably all incorrect. Set aside all that and consider only two things: the world as described by the books of the Bible, and the world you see when you look out your window.
And then, answer me this: why doesn’t the world around us look like the world described in the Bible? Old Testament, New Testament, you name it. Compare the miracles, the plagues, the resurrections and prophecies in the Good Book with the weak, metaphorical, have-to-look-at-them-in-just-the-right-way-to-see-it “miracles” we have today? Why do prophets and fortune tellers today have such a poor record compared to the nearly-infallible ones in the Old Testament?
Sure, science can move enough water to enable people to cross what’s normally an impassable sea – with pumps, and electricity.
Why would a God that supposedly loves us, only reveal himself to a handful of Middle Eastern men (and maybe a few women), two thousand years ago?
If He was all-powerful and all-knowing, as the Bible itself claims, then why would He forsake the millions of human souls that existed prior to His series of revelations in Israel and surrounding regions? Why would He, by His own actions, doom countless people to His creation, Satan’s, clutches? Parents, let me ask you this: would you kill or torture one child to save another? No? Then why would you worship a being who has apparently done that very thing?
If God was infinite in power, He could very well appear to each of his followers, just as Saul of Tarsus said Jesus appeared to him.
If we could look at the world and see the concrete, not metaphorical, actions of God, intervening in world events… there would be no atheists.
But Jesus (or his biographers) taught a metaphorical way of looking at the world. He taught in parables, which are just fictional stories with a moral conclusion. He spoke in metaphors – Was Peter actually made of stone when Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build my church”? Um, no. No, he wasn’t. Sorry, even the Bible shows that Peter was just flesh and blood.
But modern fundagelical Christianity mistakes metaphors for reality. And in doing so, they miss the most obvious evidence for the non-existence of their God: the God described in their own holy books simply does not appear in the world in which they live.