Honest Atheism

by Ted Wright

This is the first (real) post of my new personal blog, and it will be… to put it bluntly…disturbing and to some, depressing. This is intentional. My goal is simply to get people to really THINK about what it is that they believe, and to see the logical conclusions of what they believe about ultimate reality.

Just a few months ago, the Reformed theologian and writer R.C. Sproul passed away. Like so many others Dr. Sproul’s teachings and writings left an indelible mark on my thought life.

There are so many things he said and taught that affected me, it would be difficult to list them all here. One idea, however, has really stuck with me through the years. It has to do with being honest with one’s worldview (or one’s life philosophy); or to put it another way, following one’s worldview to it’s logical conclusion. This idea, of course, is not original to Sproul. Before him Francis Schaeffer also wrote and taught extensively on this.

Sproul taught that when all of the various worldviews are boiled down to their basic components, there are only two competing worldviews – two views of reality in which all people must put their ultimate hope and trust: full orbed Classical Christian Theism or Atheistic-Nihilism.  I fully agree with this assessment. Like Sproul, I am also fully aware how how this understanding appears to commit either/or fallacy in logic. I don’t think it does. Either there is a God and all that Christian Theism implies (including miracles, the afterlife, and the resurrection of Christ from the dead); or there is NO GOD, no afterlife, and life is completely and utterly absurd.

What I find quite interesting is that many atheists, as well as those who are a-religious, or hard agnostics, ACT as if life has meaning, significance & value (I think of Sam Harris, and others…). They conduct their affairs and live their lives as if there REALLY IS ultimate meaning and significance. And to many, their lives ARE full of meaning. I am certainly not saying here that atheists can’t have meaningful lives. The question, however, is honesty. Where does the meaning come from? What exactly gives it meaning? Are they brutally honest with the implications of their atheism – of there being no God? Do they look down the road to see where it leads – so to speak?

I remember one lecture from Dr. Sproul where he went into a rather lengthy analysis and recitation of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven (which I also love). Sproul, who was a master communicator, read the most poignant parts of Poe’s poem with bone chilling acumen…


Honest Atheism | Off the Map