Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
An atheist is one who believes (note the essence of faith) there is no God. An agnostic doesn’t know whether something is true or not, whether you are speaking of God or whatever.
In order to be an atheist, you must be extremely smart. The story goes that Einstein believed he possessed 3% of the knowledge of the universe. When teaching a class of some of his most intelligent students who claimed to be atheists, he asked them what percentage of knowledge of the universe they possessed. In comparison to Einstein, they all agreed that they each possessed 1% of the knowledge of the universe. Then he asked them, “So what is the probability that God might exist in the 99%?”
When I meet an atheist, my goal is to turn him into an agnostic within 30 seconds to a minute. I point out to him that he would have to be so smart, so as to possess most of the knowledge of the universe, in order to conclude there is no God. Then I say, “It seems to me that it would be more credible and intellectually honest to call yourself an agnostic.” I have only had one atheist remain in his position of atheism. Most immediately admit that they are, indeed, agnostics.
Even the popularized author/atheists, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, in their writings, make it clear what their problem with God is. As I have read much of theirs and other authors on the subject, I have come to understand that if you substitute either “religion” or “Christianity” for when they use the term “God”, you can understand their point. In fact, I can agree with much of what Dawkins and Hitchens have written. They are arguing against religiosity and Christianity. Years ago, we used to say, “Most people have not rejected Jesus, but a poor caricature of him.” He is caricatured by the religiosity that turns most people off. What these men and others like them need is to know Jesus of Nazareth, not to be debated into accepting Christianity or some form of religiosity!
Do you know what turns people toward atheism and agnosticism? It’s triggered by the dogmatism of well-intended believers who believe they have it all figured out. Hey, I just had a thought. Maybe the atheist who believes he knows it all is no worse than the religious, super-spiritual man who believes he knows it all. Just as the atheist know it all is more intellectually honest, when he stands as an agnostic (one who doesn’t know it all), so is the religious, super-spiritual know it all better off standing as an agnostic. Maybe it’s more intellectually and spiritually honest to be an agnostic follower of Jesus. An agnostic follower of Jesus is one who doesn’t know it all, but knows Jesus as his friend and is convinced that Jesus is enough!