Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 18, 2009

Probably No God

   An atheist campaign claiming “there’s probably no God” is in full swing in England, Scotland, and Wales. The brainchild of comedy writer Ariane Sherine, the campaign has received the endorsement of scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association. Posters with the slogan — “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” — appear on 800 buses as well as on the London Underground. Talk about great circulation! And, back in December, The American Humanist Association sponsored a similar campaign on buses in our nation’s capital. Their slogan read, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

   Here are a few thoughts on these clever advertising campaigns.

   Provocative | These advertising campaigns are provocative — and that’s not a bad thing. Although I disagree with these messages, I am hopeful that they will cause people who seldom consider spiritual and eternal matters to stop and think. We need to ask and consider hard questions. Whether we are theists or atheists, we should take the time to investigate what we believe and why.

   Perspective | Although I do not agree with the atheist campaigners, they have the right to voice their views. So, we should not be surprised by messages like theirs. After all, atheism has its own evangelists. Take Bertrand Russell, for example. He sounds like an old-fashioned revival preacher in his essay, “Why I am Not a Christian.” Richard Dawkins has his own pulpit and is just as interested in making disciples as any evangelical preacher. And apparently, Ariane Sherine is interested in winning converts. These atheists are passionate purveyors of their brand of truth.

   Probably | The word “probably” is the most important word in the British ad campaign. It’s not a difficult word, but one that carries lots of weight. One thing is certain, we will not know the answer to “probably” until we take our last breath. However, as a Christ-follower, I believe that there is a God. And, I am not willing to gamble with my eternity by playing dice with the word “probably.” If I am wrong and there is no God, then I will have lost nothing at all. My life or happiness is not diminished because I believe in God.

   Peace | Stop worrying? I wish it were that easy. Everybody worries about something. Even atheists worry. However, as a Christ-follower I can say that I tend to worry less when I trust God more. Hope and faith are great antidotes to worry. As I travel to many of the world’s most difficult places, I find that Christ-followers exhibit a joy and a peace that is hard to explain. Atheist Matthew Parris affirmed as much in his article entitled “As an Atheist, I truly believe Africa Needs God” (TimesOnline, December 27, 2008). Reflecting on his impressions while traveling across the continent with friends, Parris wrote: “Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away.”

   Purpose | The British ad campaign suggests that believing in God keeps us from enjoying life. My enjoyment of life has not been curtailed because I believe in God. I love life and try to enjoy every minute of every day. My worst days are better than most people’s best days. My choices are guided by a biblical worldview. Therefore, I try to make choices that will not result in harm to myself or to others, that affirm the worth and value of others (even those with whom I disagree), and lead me to care for those in need. I enjoy looking for ways to be kind to others and to care for the least of these.

   Proactive | These atheist ad campaigns should prompt Christ-followers to be more proactive about how we live our lives, how we relate to others, and how we think. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). We know how to love God with our hearts but must not neglect loving Him with our minds. As J.P. Moreland said, “We need to admit the mind into Christian fellowship again. We need the mind disciplined in Christ, enlightened by faith, passionate for God and His creation, to be let loose in the world.” (“Love Your God with All Your Mind,” p. 16).

   Puzzled | I recently spent a week serving at Mother Teresa’s homes for the destitute and dying in Kolkata. I had the privilege of meeting and working with volunteers from all over the world. Perhaps most puzzling were the number of atheists and agnostics I met who had traveled to Kolkata to serve the poorest of the poor, something that is at the core of a biblical worldview. The people I met were compelled to spend their personal money to serve in the homes founded by a little Catholic nun who lived like Jesus. Mother Teresa was more than good for goodness’ sake. She was good for heaven’s sake.

   So, perhaps the atheist advertising campaign is not such a bad thing after all. Perhaps it will motivate Christ-followers to live more like Jesus and to talk more about Jesus. Perhaps it will prompt people who are dazed and out of breath because of incessant hustling to stop long enough to think about the existence of God. And, perhaps it will encourage Christ-followers to love God with their minds and to “be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15). Our best response to the atheist ad campaign is not to counter with competing ads on buses, but to live and love as Jesus did.

• • • • •

Note | Please take a moment to read The Nations Need God. And, my dear friend Jerry Perril has posted a good word entitled Probably God on his blog. It’s worth taking a moment to read Jerry’s post.


Responses

  1. Beautifully put.

    Also, thought you might enjoy my Alternative Bus Slogan contest.

    Grace and Peace,
    Raffi

  2. Omar,

    I’m reading your post ‘Probably No God’

    In these Cass I remembered 1 Corinthians 1:18-19. Paul said that, God will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

    So that, those who said that, there is no God!!! They are in very dangerous!!! Yes, when people lives without God, which is very dangerous. Unfortunately they do not know these!!!

    My exceptions, every nation, every people groups, every treble group, every single person man or women will hear wonderful love of Jesus!!!

    I had found few groups as I went to share Jesus at those villages, when I shared Jesus there were those trebles groups. When talked to the people I guess all of those are Muslims. You know that, I appreciate that, talk to Muslims.

    Later on, I have found that, there were groups of treble too! One those are in Mymensing, & another one in Khulna Division.

    Name of those groups are called ‘Dalu’ these people lives in Mymensing area, & another group called ‘Munda’ those are able to speck bangla language.

    These people are untouchable people without gospels; I’ll still give water for who ever are thirsty for Jesus.

    Mortuza
    Bangladesh

  3. Who wants to gamble with their eternal destination with a slogan found on a bus in the UK? I would rather place my trust in Jesus because I know He is our Creator/Savior rather than take the chance of spending eternity eternally separated from Him! My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

  4. I have been read blog pages that posted by Raffi Shahinian, & I’ve tried to leave a comment but I unable to do it!!!

    Mortuza Biswas
    mor2za@juno.com
    Bangladesh


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