I’ve been spending some time milling about the blog Debunking Christianity, the spot in the great www from the writer and debater John Loftus, a former Christian turned atheist.
I haven’t really engaged Loftus directly in any way, as I’m probably fairly unskilled at the kind of apologetics he is probably used to engaging. However, I spend a lot of time reading up and mixing myself in these kinds of debates on the Internet and with those I know, and the relentless arguing can get quite irritating eventually.
I have rejected atheism for a number of reasons, one of which include its tendency to be very one dimensional and quite sure of itself to have all the answers. I could go into detail, but that would be beyond the scope of this post.
What I really wanted to say is that I’m becoming increasingly aware that the arguments really don’t go far very quickly. I know that the debating between Christian apologists and Atheist apologists is mostly for the sake of those listening, not for the debaters themselves, who never really seem to change their viewpoints but just get more clever. But some of the arguments ARE indeed clever, and for most normal people perhaps overwhelming (so they easily lose faith) or irrelevant, depending on where they are at.
There’s a song we sing quite often at Church on the Square, called “Famous One” by Chris Tomlin. In the second verse, there is a line that says this about God:
“Revealed by nature, and miracles…”
I believe God is revealed through his creation (nature), and the Bible affirms this in Romans 1. But it does seem that this revealing can often be misunderstood, which is perhaps why God has also provided us with the Bible and other ways of revealing himself.
But one of his other ways of revealing himself is surely the use of miracles, which we see Jesus use extensively.
The fact of the matter is that I feel that most of the time miracles will probably cease all the arguing. Sure, a true sceptic will ALWAYS find a reason to disbelieve and that is one of scepticism’s principle weaknesses, but most normal people cannot dispute miracles, which perhaps includes the prophetic in some way.
Miracles and healing in the church has probably been ‘ruined’ in some way through some faulty theology surrounding it, and I think it should be the job of many Christians to try and break through and find the right theology surrounding it. In fact, we should probably spend more time doing that than getting involved in all these relentless arguments which, although helpful, are not the principal way we can actually DO apologetics. Jesus’ apologetics appears to not just be about arguing, but a lot of DOING as well.