By Tom Campisi
Atheism is no longer an option for those who seek to be regarded as intellectually honest, according to Eric Metaxas. The cultural commentator and Yale alumnus shared that premise when he spoke at Christian Union New York’s salon on December 15.
Metaxas is the author of Is Atheism Dead? (Salem, 2021) and five New York Times’ best-sellers. He is the host of The Eric Metaxas Radio Show, a nationally syndicated program heard in more than 120 cities around the United States.
“Eric speaks with great courage and intellect, empowered by the Holy Spirit,” said Karen Hetzler, the assistant ministry director of Christian Union New York (CUNY). “Eric is emboldened to rock the cultural boat and speak his convictions, even if it brings him some pushback.”
With his latest book, Metaxas pushes back on a cultural and intellectual thesis that, he says, started in 1966 when a TIME Magazine cover story asked, “Is God Dead?”
“We got stuck on that secular narrative,” said Metaxas at the NYCU salon. “The reason they asked the question (“Is God Dead?”) was because, based on the science up to that point, you could see how people came to this conclusion—that if you wanted to be smart, if you wanted to be educated, it did seem like the God hypothesis was out…Even people of faith have internalized this secular narrative.”
However, “strangely, since around then, the evidence from science has been piling up” and “new evidence and arguments have emerged against the idea of a Creator-less universe.” In his book, Metaxas writes about five major discoveries and shifts in thinking that challenge or “overturn” the secular agnostic consensus.
The first is the discovery and proof of the Big Bang, “which settled the question once and for all whether the universe always existed or didn’t. In discovering Big Bang, we realized there was a point at which all the laws of physics—and all matter and energy—did not exist.”
The second convincing piece of evidence is the discovery, in the last decade, of overwhelming evidence of fine-tuning of the universe. “Now, we see more clearly than ever that things in our universe could not have emerged by chance, as we once so easily believed,” Metaxas said.
The third major shift in the last couple of decades has to do with our views on how life emerged from non-life on the early earth, often called Abiogenesis. “We once thought cells were very simple and imagined they could have randomly assembled in the primordial oceans, but thanks to nano-scientist James Tour of Rice University, we know how difficult it is to create molecules, even under the best-controlled conditions…The idea of life emerging from non-life…now seems far beyond the realm of possibility.”
The fourth key occurrence in the last decades, according to Metaxas, concerns archaeological discoveries in the Middle East, which have accelerated. Those discoveries include the Tel Dan stele, Biblical Sodom, and the discovery of Jesus’ childhood home in Nazareth.
“It is impossible for any serious person to regard the Bible as a collection of folktales,” he writes.
The fifth body of evidence is “our knowledge of what atheism is, both theoretically and practically,” Metaxas posits. In examining the lives of atheists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Anthony Flew, “we see if they lived out their lives in ways that were inspiring or even logical…and which of them honestly grappled with the eternal question of God’s existence and what they eventually came to believe.” Metaxas also points to atheistic states like the Soviet Union, China, Nazi Germany, and North Korea and “the inhuman horrors attending that worldview.”
At the salon, Metaxas noted how convincing evidence regarding science and faith is not reported in the media: “We have been living in this kind of secular world where we just assume that there can’t be that much evidence, otherwise we would hear about it. But the evidence has piled up to the point now where it is so open and shut that it’s almost unbelievable.”
Hetzler said that giving a platform to a “culturally-silenced” voice like Metaxas encouraged and emboldened attendees, who each received two signed copies of his book; one to keep for themselves and one to strategically gift to someone else.
“The thorough research and scientific evidence now supporting God as Creator require it to take much more faith to believe there is no God,” said Hetzler.
“After the salon, I received rave reviews on this event, more than most. Crowds lingered well past the departure time, important introductions and connections were made for Christian leaders, and Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani was in attendance and one of the last to leave. The genius argumentation from Eric Metaxas many times over, in his newest book, has reasonably put that question to rest.”
“Atheism, when you really look at it, is utterly preposterous,” Metaxas said. “It’s not that it’s just not true…The idea that the universe came into being by natural processes without any divine intervention is ridiculous.”
Editor’s note: This was reprinted with permission from Christian Union: The Magazine.For more information about Christian Union, visit www.christianunion.org.
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