So Michael Dingwall, an atheist, confidently declares on page 21 of The Star of the 16 May, 2015 ‘God Must Be An Atheist’. The pith of the argument is, “assuming that God exists, he is himself an atheist” since, like our God, “a true atheist” believes “in the capacity of his own abilities” and “in no power greater than himself”.
You are just the man I have been looking for, Mr. Dingwall, to enlighten my understanding of the notion of atheism which is the same as godlessness. Lest you think that I am bent on deriding you, I wish to assure you that I have never had the least contempt for those of you who hold beliefs disparaging of God, and speak of him dismissively. In fact, I think atheists are to be admired, if only for the amount of oil burnt at night in gathering knowledge to confound deists like me. They are certainly an example to us for had we but half their zeal for our great Christian faith, the knowledge of God acquired would have frightened them away, as the spider that so terrified Little Ms. Muffet. I bring her to your recall to remind you of your childhood, a time when we all lack “confidence in the capacity of our capabilities”. Never at any time did our God lack such confidence.
Having regard to my own inadequacies, I know that I am biting off more than I can chew. That risk of belittling myself publicly I am prepared to take, however, lest the silence of Christians be read as an admission of an inherent weakness in their faith. Wake up, Christians! We are tired of your indifference in standing “for God and for his glory”, when rattlers are at our gate.
I seek guidance from you on three important questions, “assuming the bible is completely true”, to use your own words, words of course, that deny its authenticity and give me the same “belly laughs” that you speak of “when people make fun” of your own atheism. These are the questions:
1. Is there anything manifest in nature that mystifies atheists?
2. Since man came into being, has any atheist “who believes in no power greater than himself” made any prophecy that has been fulfilled?
3. Since the advent of Christ or Christianity, has any atheist performed even one miracle? Just one, Mr. Dingwall.
In your answers, do not forget to turn your mind to our claims regarding the forty-five Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, along with the thirty-seven miracles performed by him. These amazing things form the sub-structure of our belief in an “omnipotent, omniscient originator of the universe”. Shake that foundation, Mr. Dingwall, and I shall immediately enroll in your school of atheism and sit humbly at your feet, with the respect Aristotle had for Plato, and Confucius’s students for him.
I am sure that all atheists like you who believe in your own capabilities, had chewed all the eighty-two biblical texts referred to. But in case you had not been able to digest all of them, let me agitate your educated and sensitive atheistic palate by referring to two significant events. Firstly: in addressing “the serpent” in the garden, God prophesied: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall crush your head and you shall lie in wait for His heel” Genesis 3:15. That was fulfilled in Galatians 4:4, which reads, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law”. For amplification, you may refer to Isiah 7:14, Luke 1:26, 27, 31. These things lead me to think that the poet, Blake, was biblically inspired in his “Auguries of Innocence” when he composed the following lines that so fall in line with the period under consideration:
“ To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour “
Perhaps I should now ask you whether the fulfillment of a prophecy (particularly after the effluxion of thousands of years from Adam to Christ), does not magnify the prophesier, God, to a degree that should stupefy all generations, especially those like you, who believe in no power greater than yourselves. Being sure that you are trained to see things at a glance, I shall not apologize for the long question.
Secondly: the thirty-seven miracles of Jesus are of equal importance. Since you and your friends hold yourselves out to be like Him, it should be easy for you to compare your capabilities with, at least, the feeding of five thousand out of “five loaves and two fish”: Matthew 14:21; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10 and John 6:1. With such an amazing credential you and your friends would have been sought after by every country to preside over its destiny. So what are you waiting for Mr. Dingwall? Even our great illustrious and beloved Pope Francis himself would carry you on his shoulder in the Vatican, without once putting you down. In addition Mr. Dingwall, were you able also to turn water into wine and raise a Lazarus, we would all be dancing merrily to our immortality, and praising you all the way to eternity.
One of the things atheists use against Christians is “What God did to the Egyptians when they tried to stop the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea”. According to you, rather than having “the entire army wiped out” he should have levitated “them to somewhere else”. You would have preferred to see men, horses and chariots floating in the air. Our God, Mr. Dingwall, is not a comedian. Through His prophets He forewarns us, and with signs and mild chastisement we are given a glimpse into His awesomeness. Though His love endures forever there is a limit to his patience and long suffering. He hates wickedness and ingratitude. And when he “just can’t take it no more”, He wipes out armies, hoping that lessons would be learnt. You will recall how Jesus himself overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple and cast them out in what could be considered as “righteous indignation”. As in the case of the Egyptians, that punishment suited the crime of desecration.
Given your apparent high sense of justice, you would be a marvelous candidate for any bench but having hidden your identity under a pseudonym you have made yourself unreachable. Something tells me therefore, that your belief in your own abilities is weak, for which true atheist would have suffered the ridicule attendant in the name of an archangel! That’s why I’m so anxious to make your acquaintance and to see the curiousity that you, Michael Dingwall, are. Please do not disappoint me.