A Response to Top Ten Signs you’re a Fundamentalist Christian
By, Christopher Cunningham
If you’re familiar with common militant atheist rhetoric and have spoken with people of that persuasion you may be familiar with the Top Ten Signs you’re Fundamentalist Christian(1) which consists of numerous claims about Christianity – all of which are not factual. They are based on straw man arguments. In this article I will be addressing these claims and debunking them one by one. The author’s statements will appear in bold.
10. You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
Biblical Christians don’t feel outraged when other religions deny the existence of the God of Scripture. It is the essence of total depravity and it is thus understandable. Natural unregenerate man denies his creator and will naturally make gods in their own likeness:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:21-23
9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
Biblical Christians don’t feel insulted or dehumanized to know that they are created by God. They reject evolutionary naturalism on the basis of scientific evidence that goes against its premise. Further, a question that the naturalist must answer is: how can evolution account for morality? According to evolutionary theory man is just a breed of animal that evolves to further the human genome according to natural selection. But this is problematic. The animal kingdom engages in rape and eating of their young to benefit the propagation of its genes. Should humans therefore engage in similar behavior? If not, why not? Is there an objective and truly meaningful reason that the atheist world views can offer? Finally, nowhere does it say in Scripture we are created from dirt. Scripture teaches that the first man was created by God from the soil of the earth. Although the term “dirt” has adopted negative connotations throughout time there is nothing wrong with affirming that a Holy loving God used soil to fashion the first man. It is not nearly as bad as asserting that slime on a rock randomly evolved into ape like creatures over time and then into humans eventually. There is no comparison. Moreover, again, Scripture states that only Adam was created from dirt and through the propagation of his genes we became his descendants.
8. You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
This is an argument from the fallacy of equivocation. The author seems to have no understanding of the Triune nature of God, let alone polytheism. Polytheism is the belief there are multiple gods. Christianity believes there is one God that coexists in three persons but is unified in essence as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith:
“In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, not proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”(2).
Christians affirm that there is one God – one being, nature, or essence of God. Being is “what you are.” Christians also affirm that there are three persons. Person is “who you are.” The three persons are unified in their being - “what they are” but distinct in their personhood “who they are.” The three persons make up the one being of God, the one God. Therefore, the only way Christians could be accused of polytheism is if they asserted that there were three gods – three natures, essences or beings. This is not the case in Trinitarianism and therefore this atheist shows himself to be ignorant of Trinitarian theology in confusing “being” with “person.”
7. Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
This is a straw man as well. Christians do not believe that Allah, the god of Islam, exists. Rather, he is an imaginary person and/or a deceitful system perpetuated by demonic forces that is foisted on deceived people. Imaginary gods and deceitful systems do not have the moral authority to justifiably execute such actions as killing people. I am, however, unaware of the Quran ascribing any redemptive typology to such endeavors, especially since redemption is a specious idea within Islam. Finally the author argues from mere outrage at the site of Yahweh using Joshua to destroy the inhabitants in the land of Jericho in Joshua 6:21. The account reads as follows:
“So the people shouted when [the priests] blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that [was] in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.” Joshua 6:21
However the author fails to bring about the immediate context of what happened afterwards in verses 22-23 which speak of Rahab and her household being saved:
“But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.” Joshua 6:22-23
As we can see from the context not everyone in Jericho was destroyed by Joshua and his army. This demonstrates that the language of “utterly destroyed all that [was] in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword” is not literal. It can be further demonstrated that many of these cultures were engaging in child sacrifice to the false Canaanite gods of that region which Yahweh warned his people of Israel not to follow after. It can also be shown that God even gave such nations plenty of time to repent before he brought his wrath upon them:
“Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.” Deuteronomy 2:37
“And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through [the fire] to Molech , neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.” Leviticus 18:21
“And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.” Leviticus 20:3
“But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." (Genesis 15:14-16)
Moreover, in the Christian perspective, God, as the author and giver of life, has the authority to take it back to himself when He pleases. Plus, Christians aren’t objecting to “atrocities from Allah” as this atheist asserts. Christians are objecting to the fact that the false prophet Muhammad told his followers to kill Jews and Christians in the 7th century as a final marching order that is still valid today (S. 9:29) even though in the 1st century Jesus established universal peaceful teachings that Christians and people of God ought to be subject to for the betterment of humanity. Muhammad ignored these universal teachings of peace that new covenant people of God are to be under and instead commanded his followers to fight and kill unbelievers.
6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
What problem does the author have that God’s Holy Spirit entered into Mary? There is no parallel between Greek gods having physical sex with humans and the Holy Spirit of God miraculously forming the nature of Christ in Mary’s womb. As the noted Hebrew and Greek scholar John Gill in his commentary on Luke 1:34-25 states:
“The words, "upon thee", are left out in the Syriac and Persic versions; but are retained in others, and in all copies: the formation of Christ's human nature, though common to all the three persons, yet is particularly, and most properly ascribed to the Spirit; not to the first person, the Father, lest it should be thought that he is only the Father of him, as man; nor to the second person, the Son, since it is to him that the human nature is personally united; but to the third person, the Spirit, who is the sanctifier; and who separated, and sanctified it, the first moment of its conception, and preserved it from the taint of original sin. His coming upon the virgin must be understood in consistence with his omnipresence, and immensity; and cannot design any local motion, but an effectual operation in forming the human nature of her flesh and substance; and not in the ordinary manner in which he is concerned in the formation of all men, Job 33:4 but in an extraordinary way, not to be conceived of, and explained. The phrase most plainly answers to le ab, in frequent use with the Jews.”(3)
The author insinuates that the widely rejected pre-Christian dying and rising God theory is true. However this is historically inaccurate. The earliest evidence of an explicit dying and rising God is Adonis which appeared around A.D. 150 in response to Christianity.(4) Therefore, who is copying who?
5. You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
This argument begs the question. The age of the Earth is debatable. The author relies on the laws of science as if they are free from error and the ultimate source of truth. The other problem with this assertion is the author never mentions that there are Christians who hold to an old earth view of creation and still believe in the existence of Adam and Eve. I personally hold to a young earth view of creation but that can be debated. The author also asserts the Bible is written by Bronze Age tribesmen. However, only part of the Bible was written in the Bronze Age. Moreover, the atheist is presupposing the erroneous naturalistic world view again and will not even accurately represent the Christian view. If one allows the Christian to have the couresy of explaining his own beliefs, one would realize that it is irrelevant if part of the Bible was written by people in the Bronze Age period. Christians affirm that the creator of the universe spoke through prophets and apostles with regard to these issues and has provided many proofs affirming His word and existence. Therefore, the only way that it would be meaningful to point out that some of the Biblical authors wrote in the Bronze Age period is if the critic presupposes naturalism to begin with. However that is an untenable position. Christians affirm that the creation itself gives evidence of God’s existence upon the conscience of all people.
“… The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (Colossians 1:18)
As to the claim that the Bible was written by Bronze Age tribesmen – this is absurd. The Apostle Paul for example was a highly educated scholar who studied under Gamaliel. This is post-Bronze Age. We read about this in Acts 22:3:
“I am verily a man [which am] a Jew, born in Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.” Acts 22:3
Moreover, Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts was an excellent and qualified historian. So, for this atheist to assert that the Bible was written by uneducated Bronze Age tribal men is without basis in reality. Sir William Mitchell Ramsay was an atheist archeologist and scholar who set out to prove that the Bible was wrong but he ended up converting to Christianity after seeing the Bible’s accuracy as well as how great of a historian Luke was. Of Luke the historian he came to believe the following:
“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy...this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”(5)
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
Does the author have any evidence against this? It would seem the author is making a moral absolute judgment against God but according to Atheism morality is subjective and so why does the author seem so outraged at the thought of eternal punishment? What is the author’s definition of tolerance and love? He gives no objective basis or measure by which to judge good and evil. In fact, he refutes himself by making a statement about tolerance when he is expressing intolerance towards those he wishes to be tolerant. Secondly, God is sovereign and can do with his creation as he wishes:
“The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:4
“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he harden.” Romans 9:18
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?” Romans 9:20
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” Romans 9:21
I would also argue based upon Romans 9:22-23 that punishing sinners in hell is a loving act as well because in doing so God is giving the Christians a gift in showing them all of his attributes when he doesn’t have to do so – attributes such as wrath, justice, power. I would also challenge the atheist about how his objection presupposes that there is a moral standard of what is loving and not loving when the atheist world view doesn’t allow for a real standard of right and wrong. Christians have never said God tolerates other beliefs, but, since he is God, he alone has the authority and right to destroy and punish those who rebel against him.
3. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
This is a mere assertion without evidence and assumes Christianity does not study these fields which is a straw man. Christian Theologians have studied these areas for years within the field of Apologetics. Archeology has confirmed many accounts in the Scriptures. Biology and Physics help us to study Cosmology. Has this atheist heard of the Kalam argument or Anthropological argument for God’s existence? Further, many influential scientists of the past have believed in God from Nicholas Copernicus to William Kelvin.(7) The author also attempts an appeal to ridicule by equivocating Christianity with the fringes of the Charismatic Movement as if that is Christianity in a nutshell. That is a new minority movement, not historic Christianity.
2. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
According to Christianity’s source of authority, the Holy Scripture, God’s answer to prayers is not always in our timing and sometimes God’s simple answer is no. And sometimes He refuses to hear the prayers of the wicked. It should also be established that proper prayer is not about fulfilling the will of man, rather for the will of God to be fulfilled. Jesus confirms this in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 26:39 and 42.
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O , my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but your will.” Matthew 26:39
“He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O , my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, your will be done.” Matthew 26:42
The Bible is also very clear that God will not hear or grant the prayer’s of the wicked because they refuse to repent and turn from their wickedness:
“And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” Isaiah 1:15
“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Jeremiah 7:16
“I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; [but] thou saidst, I will not hear. This [hath been] thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyed not my voice.” Jeremiah 22:21
Moreover, not everybody who claims to be Christian is a Christian accord to Scripture. Therefore, this explains why prayer is not always answered:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Therefore this objection presupposes that Christianity teaches that God is bound to answer or grant all prayers.
1. You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
I assume the author thinks he knows more about the Bible and church history than Christians do but that of course is an illogical assertion that cannot be proven. He would have to personally know everyone who read his piece to be able to logically assert that atheists know more about the Bible than they do. Moreover, there are millions of atheists who know nothing about theology. This is by far the most illogical of the 10 points.
Has the author asked every Christian about their knowledge on the topic? I can say I know much about Christian history as it is been my field of study for many years. Another point must also be made. While these things academic theological issues are useful to study, where does it state in Scripture that studying or knowing these issues saves us? The answer is nowhere. Should Christians have a basic knowledge of Apologetics and study up on the topic? Of course. But the thing that makes someone a Christian is their understanding of the Gospel – that is what benefits people salvifically. Who brings salvation? What is the state of man and what is his relation to God? These are fundamental questions every Christian should know and understand. Therefore, it is fine for people to call themselves Christians and not have a detailed knowledge of history or non-essential theological points. The atheist demonstrates that he doesn’t understand what qualification one needs in order to justly call themselves a Christian according to Christianity.
In conclusion I have demonstrated that these questions and statements addressed in this list show that this particular Atheist lacks a basic understanding of Christian principles. This atheist cannot accurately represent Christian views or theology. I have shown how this atheist’s own presuppositions refute his statements and show how inconsistent he is. This Atheist, in his rebellion against his creator, will go to great lengths to deny God’s existence. However, his attempts fail horribly and make him look foolish.
Jesus is Lord Amen!
1. http://www.evilbible.com/Top_Ten_List.htm Evil Bible’s Top Ten Signs you’re a Fundamentalist Christian.
2. Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 2 of God and the Holy Trinity:
3. John Gill’s commentary on the Gospel of Luke 1:34-35 http://www.freegrace.net/gill/
4. James Patrick Holding, "Shattering the Christ Myth" p.231
5. Ramsay, William M. "The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament" (1915)