Last week I told of how Jake, an atheist I met in Texas, emailed me a nice summary of his position, and how I questioned the credibility of his sources.
One of his objections to Christianity is that history is littered with so many prophets and deities — including many accounts of virgin births, miracles and resurrections — that in humility we ought to suspect that when Jesus comes along, “we might, once again, be going through the same old drill . . . Another day, another deity.”
Essentially, Jake is saying that the presence of many false deities should cause us to question the existence of the real thing.
There are several ways I could have responded to this objection.
I could have said that in Christianity it’s not so much that we discovered God but that God revealed himself to us. I like this argument but this early in the game it’s too ambitious.
Rather, I said to Jake that if we find it challenging to discern the real god among all the false gods, it says more about human limitations than about God. It’s our issue, not God’s.
In fact, when you stop and think about it, the presence of pretenders or lack thereof has zero causal power over the real thing.
* * *
OK, what I’m trying to do here with Jake is slow . . . down . . . the . . . dialogue.
Jake has made a major assertion. I could have countered it with one of my own (There’s no evidence that all these deities ever existed! But there’s tons of evidence that Jesus was real . . . ).
Instead, I chose a smaller project. I questioned his method. He seems to have jumped hastily to a conclusion — that pretenders negate the real thing — and I’m merely pointing that out.
Later, I can make my own case for Christ. That will come in time.