Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Whatever are the new atheists thinking of?, a friend asks

I received this letter from Gil, a West Coast software engineer, who has been thinking, as Theodore Dalrymple has, about the spate of anti-God books recently put out by new atheists. He writes to say:

Dear Denyse,

Our church is getting involved in Angel Tree, a ministry reaching out to children whose mothers or fathers are in prison. This is being organized by Tristan Greth, our youth pastor, a former rock star who ended up in prison for drug use many years ago. Angel Tree volunteers give gifts, in
person at Christmas time, to the children of people in prison, with personal notes from the inmates to their children. Check it out:

Tristan is an amazing guy. He is an extraordinarily talented bass player who has gotten our praise band involved in Teen Challenge, a Christian drug rehab program with an 85% longterm success rate, unheard of in the secular world.

Here's the thing that mystifies me: What are the "new atheists" thinking when they talk about Christianity as the source of evil? What kind of alternate multiverse are they living in? Where are the atheist-inspired Angel Tree ministries? Where are the transformed lives, like that of
Tristan Greth (and mine, I might add)?

The most ironic thing of all is that the nihilism and despair of atheism is based upon a lie -- a materialistic world view that the science upon which it is supposedly based is progressively refuting with each new discovery.

You are free to share my comments in any way and with whomever you like.

As you wish, Gil!

If an atheist group did similar work, would it call itself NO Angels! Tree? Hmmmm. I dunno ... doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

As Mario and I discuss in The Spiritual Brain, a materialist worldview encourages ideas like "it's all in the criminal's genes"(and thus passed on to the children?) Or "there is no free will" (and therefore no hope?). Not a very good prospect for long term ministry.

Gil's own story is remarkable, and I hope to tell it in a suitable venue.

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