Monday, August 15, 2005

God vs. Nothing, Part III

With conservative Christians calling the shots in Washington, creationism crawling back into the nation's schools and even normally decadent Hollywood hopping onto the spiritual bandwagon, it's a beleaguered time for atheists in America.

So begins Finding My Religion / Julia Sweeney talks about how she became an atheist.

The article/interview chronicles the fall from faith of Julia Sweeney, the one-time Saturday Night Live peformer (remember "It's Pat!"??) and now atheist author. It is always fascinating to me to get a true glimpse into the mind of an atheist. Sayeth Sweeney ...
Well, the most surprising thing overall is that anyone takes it seriously at all. Even if you were, say, Margaret Mead looking at Catholic Christian culture in America and you said all these people believe this thing -- every week they go and hear quotes from this book, and everything in this book is so sacred to these people -- I, as the Margaret Mead character looking at this, would be stupendously shocked that it was so contradictory and so obviously the result of a historic tribe trying to make sense of an unpredictable environment with limited scientific knowledge and a need for culture and cohesion.

She's absolutely right about this. It's utter foolishness and the Bible says so. Quote!

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.

But it is not "folly" because it is inherently ridiculous. It is folly because our sin stained minds can't and won't grasp it until quickened by the Holy Spirit. And, of course, God has the last laugh, as it were.
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

So, today, pray for your favorite neighborhood atheist.