Daniel Dennett is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University and an atheist. His great life project has been to prove that evolution alone explains human consciousness. According to Al Mohler, “Dennett suggests that the persistence of belief in God is not all it is often thought to be, because if you scratch just beneath the surface, you find that fewer people believe in God than may first appear. Instead of believing in God, he says, they believe in belief,” (Mohler, Atheism Remix, 47).
How are we to respond to such a charge? Do we believe in God or simply in religious forms and tradition? Do we believe in belief? Some have sought to accommodate modern atheists by conceding that the Bible is merely a collection of myths with some moral truths. Others have sought to accommodate evolutionary theory by accepting much of the materialistic worldview while maintaining a concept of “god” that no longer resembles the biblical God.
Can we accommodate modern atheists by conceding God as He is revealed and Scripture as the true revelation of God Himself? No. In fact, even modern atheists realize that such tepid, liberal Christianity isn’t worth fighting. Mohler is on point: “even the New Atheists recognize that the only God that matters is a supernatural God – a personal God – who will judge,” (Ibid., 107). Rather than accommodating, we must stand boldly and intellectually against those who cry out, “there is no God,” (Psalm 14:1). We must meet such folly with the wisdom of God and the grace of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Jesus? If so, ask that God would help you to grow in your ability to fervently and faithfully articulate the faith that you believe. It is a loving thing to stand up to a world denying God’s existence and claim, “God’s Not Dead. He’s surely alive,” (Newsboys, “God’s Not Dead”). The living God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this – while we were still sinners Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8). Church, let’s love Jesus, our family and neighbors enough to learn what we believe and how to talk about our faith with gracious boldness.