"I wish there was a God. I wish there was. It would be great. From what I've heard, he's brilliant. But, you can't believe in something you don't. Also, if there is a God, why did he make me an atheist?"These are the words of the atheistic comedian Ricky Gervais coming from this video interview. I've been thinking about these words for the last several days since I saw the video, particularly about Gervais' explanation of not being able to believe in something you don't. I saw this on Abraham Piper's blog and he had some thoughts on this that got me thinking even more:
Here’s a thought experiment:I agree with AP's final thoughts. Over the last several weeks some experiences have humbled me and created in me some sense of understanding why some people don't have my worldview.
How’d that go for you?
- Pick something you believe (anything, no matter how insignificant…)
- Now believe something different.
We’re all myopic, in that we can only see what we see, believe what we believe. Sometimes what we see changes, and with it our beliefs, but what if what we see doesn’t change?
The more I keep this in mind, the harder it is to find fault with people who disagree with me…
For instance, I talked with a good friend of mine Sunday night who considers himself a non-Christian. However, he used to consider himself a Christian and was a dear brother who was mightily encouraging in my walk with Christ in college. After having a discussion about what he believes to be true in life, I hung up the phone in sadness and frustration. I asked God, "Why do I believe and why doesn't he?"
It's not a matter of winsomely explaining the gospel or the apologetic arguments for belief. At the end of the day, the God who spoke light into darkness has to shine in a person's heart to give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 4:6). This truth is humbling, because I didn't do anything to deserve it. But it's also a hard truth to me right now, because I know people that don't believe and I know God is in control of that.
Another good friend reminded me last night the helpful truth that we're not going to fully grasp these realities. And when in heaven, we will see nothing of God's sovereign decree as being unfair or wrong. Instead, we will worship the God who graciously spared a few sinners undeserving of His love.