I am sometimes flabbergasted by the nature of the arguments raised against belief in Christianity and the God of the Bible.
There are certainly good questions to be asked–don’t get me wrong! But one of the most attractive elements of Orthodox Christianity is the ability to remain coherent. That is, everything in life–including its four big issues (Origin, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny)–are able to be answered in a coherent, non-contradictory fashion.
It is my belief and experience that Christianity is the only such worldview.
Of course, I am not the only one to conclude this. The point is that any worldview which is incoherent will, at one point or another, be reduced to absurdity.
I am convinced that this is fundamentally true about atheism–the position that there is no God.
I am writing this blog post to address two kinds of people:
- If you’re an atheist, I beg you to thoughtfully consider the implications of your worldview. I love you–Jesus Christ loves you, and there is nothing heroic about holding to self-contradictory beliefs.
- If you’re a Christian, I want to get you thinking at a level past just responding to objections. I want you to confidently challenge the foundations of a person opposed to Christianity.
The challenge of Bible contradictions is an interesting one. Most, if not all, truly evangelical scholars hold to something called the Doctrines of Inspiration and Inerrancy. That is to say that the Bible is 100% God-breathed and is without error or fault in its inspiration and preservation.
There are many who are well-educated in the reading and understanding of the Scriptures. These individuals fall on both sides of the debate. But it is only the unbelieving parties who subscribe to the idea that the Bible is full of contradictions.
I am challenging that viewpoint. The reason is that a person who does not believe in the God of Bible has no preconditional foundation on which to base those claims. For an unbeliever to claim that anything is contradictory is absurd, as this blog post will attempt to demonstrate.
Here are four reasons I believe this is the case:
1. There is no Truth in Atheism
First, we’ll look at this from a logical perspective.
I find it intriguing that atheism is supposedly the “bastion” of reason and logic. Often, I hear those who oppose Christianity (and/or have left Christianity) say that reason and logic made them leave the faith.
To believe in “a book of fairy tales like the Bible” is illogical and irrational, therefore we must not place any stock in what it says.
Nevermind the fact that some of the greatest thinkers in the history of the universe have been Christians. We have become so technologically advanced that we have moved past the need for God, they say.
And, I can certainly agree with the idea that reason and logic are commendable. One should endeavor to be both intellectual and logical. But to live as an atheist and claim that there are contradictions in the Bible is to commit intellectual suicide.
Let me explain: In order for something–anything–to be contradictory, this implies a standard of truth. The laws of logic are BUILT on “The law of Non-Contradiction.” So, anything that is to be considered non-contradictory, must, by definition, be truthful.
The problem is that many (to be fair, not all) atheists have thrown the concept of truth out the window! We’ve all heard it–“There is no truth. Something might be true for you, but it is not true for me.”
This is called postmodernism, and it makes absolutely zero sense.
If this dogma were actually true, there would be no such thing as an argument. Everyone could have their way. The Bible could be both contradictory and non-contradictory depending on who you were speaking to, and it wouldn’t matter! No one would be right, and no one would be wrong!
Since, hopefully, you realize that this is ludicrous, there is only one logical answer: The Bible either is not contradictory, or it is contradictory. But an atheist will usually claim that there is no truth, which in itself, is a contradiction! Logically, there is no argument against the Bible.
What about the atheist who concedes that there is truth? This is a case of someone living in God’s world, breathing God’s air, but deliberately rejecting what they know to be true. Romans 1 deals with this issue. For there to be an objective standard of truth, there must be a transcendent something or someone responsible for it.
Evolution has provided no mechanism by which abstract ideas such as the laws of logic are formed. If there was not a single human in existence, 2+2 would still equal 4. Logic reflects the mind of God.
Therefore, the only logical way to conclude that anything is contradictory is to adhere to the only worldview that allows you to, in an intellectually honest way, use the laws of logic–Christianity. Since Christianity is the worldview its detractors are attempting to defeat, this becomes an impossibility.
As Dr. Bahnsen rightfully put it, “The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him, it is impossible to prove anything.”
2. There is no Morality in Atheism
Second, let’s look at this from a moral perspective.
The accusation of a “contradiction” presupposes that to make a contradictory statement would be morally wrong or offensive.
Essentially, the accuser is charging God, the Bible, and Christians with making up falsehoods about the way the world actually is, and spreading the message far and wide.
However, just as the atheist has no justification to logically claim that a contradiction exists, he also has no basis on which to make a moral judgment.
Why is this the case, you might ask?
Remember, most atheists subscribe to the notion that we are nothing more than molecules and matter. “bags of cosmic stardust,” as one atheist has commonly put it.
But, bags of cosmic stardust do not have moral intuition at all. While we often attach words which properly convey our feelings to animals, for instance, they act purely upon instinct. What they do is done out of duty–not love or hate.
In this instance, I politely invite the atheist to provide me with a naturalistic mechanism that will make matter begin to behave morally.
At what point in the evolutionary process do we suddenly start to care for one another? At what point does “the golden rule” (a Christian idea that many atheists subscribe to, though they don’t realize it is Christian) trump natural selection?
Are you telling me that “survival of the fittest” works, but not insofar as it overcomes a standard of moral living? This makes absolutely no sense!
Unless, of course, we are made in the image of God, and the breath of life has been given unto us, and we became a living soul. And, we were directed to love our neighbor as ourselves. Now that makes sense of what we actually observe happening in the world.
But, where does one get such an idea? Genesis 2:7 — “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;and man became a living soul.”
You cannot use morality without good reason and justification to do so. This is found exclusively in the Christian worldview.
3. There are no Rights in Atheism
While this reasoning is similar to what we just discussed, this speaks more directly to the current cultural dogma surrounding the idea of “human rights.”
What right does anyone have to be told the truth?
Let this sink in for a moment.
Remember–we are talking about the implications of Bible contradictions.
So what if the Bible has contradictions? Why should an atheist care? If the truth doesn’t matter anyway, and there is no such thing as objective morality, wouldn’t it be our prerogative–our right–to say whatever we want about the Bible?
Now, of course, no Christian actually acknowledges this. As I mentioned earlier, most believe the doctrine of inerrancy (myself included). But how can a consistent atheist make an ethical challenge to the Christian worldview? I don’t believe he can.
Sure–atheists are generally ethical individuals–but on what basis?
If Bible contradictions pose an ethical issue for atheists, they will have to justify that using Christian presuppositions, since “rights” are not available in the atheistic worldview.
On the contrary, it seems unintellectual and dishonest for the atheist to claim that the Bible has contradictions. The reason is that many books have written by thoughtful Christians about this very issue.
Most “contradictions” can be easily cleared up by simply examining the context and applying proper hermeneutics to the text.
Of course–this process doesn’t excite most atheists, and most don’t endeavor to take it any further. Therein lies the problem.
There are exceptions to this rule. Men such as Bart Ehrman have come along and have done much more than your average amount of research, but as this article indicates, Bart has some contradictions of his own to address before critiquing the Bible.
What most informed Bible “critics” won’t tell you is that these “contradictions” they find are mere differences in the different accounts given by the writers.
It’s easy to cast doubt on the uneducated concerning a matter. But faithful Bible scholars will be much harder to fool.
4. There is no Hope in Atheism
Finally, we need to look at this from a very personal and practical perspective.
In the ultimate sense, atheists have nothing on which to lean on for hope. In fact, pond scum and stardust are unable to even feel hope. It simply doesn’t exist within a naturalistic framework.
What if the Bible were found to be contradictory? What problem would this solve for the atheist? They must still deal with the broken world we live in. They must still deal with the evil that runs rampant. They must still deal with living a life of contradiction themselves.
See—there is no solution at all for the atheist. There is no meaning or ultimate purpose to life. There is no reason to strive for a greater tomorrow. There is no purpose behind “passing on our genes” as Bill Nye is fond of claiming.
Simply put—the life that is lived without God is the ultimate contradiction. There is none greater.
In this light, alleged Bible contradictions suddenly fade into the distance. If one Bible writer just so happened to see things a bit differently than another, is that a “contradiction” in the same sense that it is a contradiction to live in God’s world and breathe God’s air yet deny his existence?
I don’t think so.
I don’t believe the Bible has contradictions. Most Christians don’t believe the Bible has contradictions. For the most part, the only people who even believe it does are atheists—and, as I’ve attempted to demonstrate, they are the one group of people who shouldn’t even care.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Keeping Faith in an Age of Reason: Refuting Alleged Bible Contradictions by Dr. Jason Lisle (coming soon)
- Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions by Ken Ham
- The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe
Questions? Feel free to comment below and start the discussion, or click the blue button on the right (desktop only) to ask a question with a voicemail. We will do our best to answer in an upcoming post. Thanks!