By David G. Myers
A pleasant Letter to Skeptics and Atheists is helping readers—both secular and religious—appreciate their universal flooring. For these whose considering has moved from the spiritual thesis to the skeptical antithesis (or vice versa), Myers bargains tips to a science-respecting Christian synthesis. He exhibits how skeptics and folks of religion can percentage a dedication to cause, proof, and significant pondering, whereas additionally embracing a religion that helps human flourishing—by making feel of the universe, giving desiring to existence, connecting us in supportive groups, mandating altruism, and supplying desire within the face of adversity and dying.
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Extra info for A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil
If that sounds heretical, it may reassure fellow faith-heads to remember that warnings about false prayer come from believers as well as skeptics. There was no stronger skeptic of false piety than Jesus: “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases . . ” If it is heretical to think too little of the power of our prayers, it is more heretical to think of God as a celestial Santa Claus. Well, then, say some researchers from both the skeptic and believer camps, why not settle the issue empirically?
Or do we err in searching for a “God effect” that is a slight subtraction to, for example, the number of stillbirths or coronary deaths? In the historical Christian understanding, God is not a distant genie whom we call forth with our prayers but rather the creator and sustainer of all that is. Thus when the Pharisees pressed Jesus for some criteria by which they could validate the kingdom of God, Jesus answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed. . indd 42 6/21/08 6:25:06 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t ic s an d at h e is t s withholds care unless cajoled.
Of creation. God —j. i. packer, EVANGELISM AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD (1961) is not some little spiritual factor that occasionally deflects nature’s course but is rather the ground of all being. God works not in the gaps of what we don’t yet understand but in and through nature, including the healing ministries that led people of faith to spread medicine and hospitals worldwide. Thus while our Lord’s model prayer encourages us to acknowledge our dependence on God for our basic necessities (“our daily bread”), it does not view God as a celestial vending machine whose levers we pull with our prayers.
A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil by David G. Myers