After briefly toying with self-messianic impulses, Chris, the young atheist whose testimonial videos I’m discussing, almost immediately stepped into the world of pantheism. Pantheism is the belief that God is everything that exists, or put another way, it is the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the universe is a manifestation. It seems that Chris simply couldn’t believe that there were absolutely no gods, but rather settled into the idea that since there couldn’t be a personal God (theism), God must be everything that can be proved to exist, which is the subject of his first video (HERE) in the third part of his series: Why I Am No Longer a Christian.
From my point of view after he was forced against the wall of unbelief by the professor, Chris descended into a conflicting and broken perception of God. While he never really separated God from Truth in his original understanding of God, he had to separate the two now that he could no longer believe in the personal God of the Bible. If that God didn’t exist, truth must exist apart from him. Therefore, truth is more powerful than the god who is left and is his judge. Therefore, seeking to know the truth about this leftover god, Chris began to judge him. After all, if truth had this right, surely the seeker of truth was compelled to repeat truth’s judgment.
If God is truth (John 14:6), then to push God out of one’s knowledge (Romans 1:28) fractures our understanding of reality. Reality becomes random, and our understanding of it has no focus or real foundation. If the personal God of the Bible has been relegated to a false idea, like false gods and false ideas or like a flat earth, ghosts and vampires, then how could truth be found out at all? Truth would become random, like a bang without a cause and the emergence of life out of random chemicals. Scientific proof would become what is popular and when popularity ceased, so would the once popular truth. Truth is no longer what God says it is. Truth is what man says it is! What a random thought, but it is true! …or is it?
Theism is defined as “the belief in God as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.” Most importantly it defines God as a person separate from his created works. For the first time Chris permitted himself to ask: “Do I really believe this? Does it even make sense, given what I know about the universe?” His answer: “NO!” If God created all the natural laws, why did he break those laws? What purpose do they serve? One could ask, why does the pilot of an airplane break the law of gravity? The answer is, he doesn’t; he simply uses a different law (of aerodynamics) to overcome the law of gravity. Assuming to be wise when we are not, we have become fools—similar to Chris’ fellow students who, before they knew the facts, laughed at their college professor’s bringing up Stella Liebeck who sued McDonalds over spilled hot coffee.
Chris felt that in order to connect with the personal God of the Bible, he had to actively disconnect with the world around him, something he was not willing to do. This prospect, however, is not as true as it sounds at first. It is true that we must come out of the world, and not be of the world. Yet, this doesn’t mean we should not connect with the people of the world when possible. Their ideas about truth are false, but they are still God’s children by creation, and he loves them. We are not to be of their rebellion against God; we are not to be of their random ideas about reality, pushing God out of our knowledge. Nevertheless, we are still able to embrace the people of this world without disconnecting from the God of Truth. We do this through preaching the truth—the Gospel. We do this by living the truth—treating others as we would like to be treated. We do this by going the extra mile when that isn’t expected and helping others out. Faithfulness to the personal God of the Bible and faithfulness to the people around us are not two mutually exclusive prospects. Faithfulness is an expression of love, the fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22), and is expressed where we are to whomsoever, no matter that person’s worldview.