Below is my closing statement after a lo-o-o-ong Facebook debate with a materialist friend of mine, with apologies for borrowing so many ideas from Chesterton and Lewis:
Bill has accused the Bible of being a fairy tale. I guess his accusation means he believes the Bible to be false. But for the charge to stick, he first would have to prove that the world is not a fairy world.
That’s a tough task for the materialist. According to his outlook, our lives may at times appear grand and wonderful, but it’s an illusion. The universe is only matter plus time and chance. That’s all there is, and you’re a chump — or worse, a fundamentalist — if you believe otherwise.
The universe is just a slow-motion fatal collision. Look at the colors! Hear the sounds! Feel all the feels! But in the end, the eyes close, the passengers are dead, and there’s no one left even to mourn.
But then, in the midst of this, the materialist has to contend with the blessings he finds piled upon him.
He is alive and self-aware. He feels love and gratitude. But what kind of materials are these things made of? Is “being alive” just an electrical charge, like static? If consciousness is the result of an accident, how can we trust anything it thinks? In a deterministic universe, how can a man explain the existence of the real love he has for his wife and kids?
But the worst is gratitude. Maybe the materialist can work really hard and be completely ungrateful, which would be consistent with his view of the world. But other living accidents of the same Big Bang create holidays to show thankfulness to a God that the materialist says doesn’t exist. Then the materialist, an accident himself, accuses the thankful ones of being deluded.
What kind of crazy chemicals act like this? How can one set of chemicals label another set “delusional” in the midst of a giant cosmic accident? Those people over there are just being themselves. Baby, they were born that way.
Then, this living, self-aware, loving bag of amino acids demands a sign.
“I will not believe Jesus unless He appears in front of me!” cries out the electrically charged chemicals, demonstrating that our world is rich in irony.
So, as a fitting end to this argument, my proof for the existence of the God of the Bible is the existence of Bill himself. Consistent materialism is impossible, which is exactly the result you’d expect in a world created by a personal, transcendent God. It’s not scientific proof, of course, it’s just evidence, because most scientific proofs can’t protest their use in an experiment. “Hey! Get me out of this beaker!”
But I am grateful that Bill has put up with this very long debate with friendship and charity and, thus, is evidently incapable of being a consistent materialist. A really consistent materialist would be insufferable.
May the God who is really there and is not silent bless every one of us.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS/SSI/University of Wisconsin