Atheists are a sad lot. People who have no hope for all things concerning the afterlife. They are fond of quoting cute little sayings from other atheists like Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary for man to invent him." That statement is partially true, and so it appeals to the "progressive" athiest who likes smart little nuggets of philosophy to chew on. Of course Voltaire's statement is only partially true- the latter part which says, "... it would be necessary for man to invent a god..." (if he didn't exist). Historical study of primitive cultures has proven this fact. We have all heard illustrations about "man's need to find explanations for things he can't understand." That is quickly seen in the study of the American Indian's culture, with their Thunder God's and the Rain God's, etc.
Of course not even Voltaire was so cocksure of himself- notice he did not say "SINCE God does not exist..." He said "IF." ("IF" leaves open the door of possibility.... how handy!)
Well, God does exist, so the quote is missleading and the bottomline is this: I don't care what Voltaire said or what he believed, nor am I going to take the time to go research as much. It doesn't matter to me now- but ONLY because Voltaire is dead, and a Higher Power will be de-briefing him at the appropriate time as regarding his philosophies. What does matter is what YOU think, because there is time to change your heart.
The irony of the Atheist problem is that in a general sense, Atheists tend to be both well educated and very intelligent (or they think they are anyway), yet when the issue is examined logically and intellectually, one can see a flaw in their ADVANCED line of thinking.
The flaw is that their belief doesn't contain a contingency plan! And a TRULY intelligent person devises a plan with a backup plan- just in case the main plan fails. Consider this: If heaven is like a casino (atheists ought to love this analogy), then the Believer walks into the casino with at least a 50/50 chance. However, the Atheist walks in with ZERO chance- destined to failure. We can see this clearly if we set some parameters for my illustration. Let's assume now that in this illustration, WINNING means gaining eternal life (in heaven); LOSING means to NOT gain eternal life (in heaven)- these are akin to the "House Rules" of the casino.
Now, if I the Believer am wrong- then I lose my shirt. No eternal life. And that is a logical possibility- afterall this is an intelligent study in logic. BUT! If I am right- and there is a heaven and a God who sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, and I believe in that: then KA-CHINNG!!!!!!! FLASHING LIGHTS GO OFF!!! I am a winner!!!! Workers come and gather me up, and take me back into the backroom; where I get to meet "Da Man!"
However, the poor Atheist has no chance with his belief system- according to the parameters we have laid out- which would be the "House Rules." (Remember the House gets to make the rules, and not believing in the House is just like not being the House). So, if the Atheist is right and there is no God, and all this God and Jesus stuff is just a fairy tale.... well, he loses. Remember the House Rules stated before. Winning means going to heaven, so since there isn't any heaven- the Atheist loses along with all us believers. BUT! If the Atheist is wrong, and there IS a heaven and a GOD... Well, guess what? He still loses, and that is truly a sad thing. All the chips placed on red; and nothing comes up but black.
If he had been a true intellect, he would have "hedged" his bet so-to-speak, (just in case he wasn't quite as smart as he figured he was). That is the irony of the Athiest mindset.
Bottomline: being a Christian is based on faith. I can not prove the existance of God- not at least to an atheist. They will always counter with "science says this and science says that, etc." and talk of the lack of proof; question the source of the accounts; and even question "WHY?" does there have to be a God period. I don't really know quite what to say to them, other than to give them the above illustration.
I know this though: If they do not believe in the Word, then they do not have a dog in this hunt so-to-speak, so they don't get to question what the Word says (since they don't believe it.) I the Believer know what it says in Matthew 10:32-33:
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
I do not want to trade places with the atheist at all. I do know that they are going to miss out on a lot of glory during the second half of their life- which they say doesn't exist. But their second life isn't life at all- it is called Death. For the Christian, there is not "Life after Death." It is literally "Life after Life." The Word says it is going to be a very very bad time for the atheist. Of course, the problem with that is: the atheist doesn't see himself spending eternity in the Lake of Fire. He doesn't believe in that either. This allows himself to sail blissfully through life, thinking: "Oh at least the pain of old age will be gone..." EEENNNKKK!!! Wrong answer! Pain just beginning.
I like your article. As you say atheists are usually intelligent, well-educated people(or think they are). Fortunately, we do have intelligent, well-educated people who are believers, some of whom were previously atheists and came to believe in God and who have written books that are left as legacies to their belief. I can think of C.S. Lewis who falls in this latter category.
Nice job! I think one of the saddest Bible verses regarding those who adopt worldly philosphies or generate their own religion is Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone CHEAT you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." What a shame to be cheated, not just from the promise of eternal life, but from a daily walk with the Creator God.