Posts Tagged ‘Atheists’

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General Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

The story of General Lew Wallace is an interesting one. Wallace, a retired Civil War General, was riding on a train with Republican Party candidate Robert Ingersoll. Both were heavy opponents to Christianity, Ingersoll was even nick-named the “the Great Agnostic,” authoring many books that were anti-Biblical in topic. While on this train ride Wallace and Ingersoll were discussing their hostility to Christianity and the Bible. The conversation motivated Wallace to author a book that would expose the flaws in the Bible rendering Christianity false. However, while studying the history of Jesus and the Bible, Wallace discovered that he was mistaken. He became a Christian and ended up writing the pro-Christian novel Ben-Hur. Which was subsequently made into a major “epic” motion picture of the same name. Ingersoll unintentionally brought about Wallace’s salvation.

Sir William Ramsay (1852-1939)

Si r William Ramsay was an archaeologist and skeptic of the Bible’s accuracy. Throughout his career he studied countless artifacts from the New Testament period which ultimately convinced him of the New Testament’s accuracy. Ramsay especially credits the Gospel of Luke, considering Luke a true historian. Ramsay also authored the famous book, St. Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen.

Quote:  “Christianity did not originate in a lie; and we can and ought to demonstrate this as well as believe it.”

Peter Stoner- (1888-1980)

Stoner was a famous mathematician and astronomer that served as chairman of the Mathematics and Astronomy Division for Pasadena City College as well as the Science Division for Westmont College. Stoner turned to Christ after calculating the odds of Jesus fulfilling just 48 the prophecies spoken about Him in the Old Testament. His conclusion was that the odds of one man fulfilling just 48 of the prophecies in one lifetime was 1 in 1x 10157 (or 1 with 157 zeros after it). Then take into consideration Christ fulfilled more than 48 prophecies and it became obvious to Stoner of Christ’s divinity. His work was published in his book, Science Speaks.

CS Lewis- (1898- 1963)

C.S. Lewis, a leading figure and English professor at Oxford University and author of many acclaimed books was baptized catholic as a child but fell away from the faith as a teenager. Later in his late twenties Lewis began to study and investigate the word of the bible with the intention of discovering its flaws and exposing them in his writings. In his studies he became so overwhelmed and moved by what he was learning, that at one point he wrote, that he dropped to his knees and began to pray to God. At age 30, he was baptized Christian. He became known as the “Apostle to Intellectuals,” writing many intellectuals books such as The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, Mere Chstianity, etc. The book he is most famous for however is The Chronicles of Narnia.

Quote; “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

Solzhenitsyn was a Russian Soviet novelist and historian. Though his writings were often suppressed by government, they  exposed much of the atrocities happening in Soviet Russia. His writing eventually landed him in prison where he was subject to brutal punishment. But it was in prison he was introduced to Christianity and gave his life to Christ. When he was released years later he would escape to America and was eventually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Quote;  “The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul.”

George R. Price (1922-1975)

Price was a man heavily involved in science being a geneticist, physical chemist and science journalist.  For a time he even worked at the famed Galton Lab as a theoretical biologist. In 1970 Price admitted that he had experienced many “coincidences” in his life that drove him to investigate religion. He looked into the New Testament eventually becoming a very passionate scholar on it. Convinced of its authenticity he became a Christian.

Anthony Flew- (1923-2010)

Flew, a famous British Philosopher, was world famous for his outspoken atheism. He always claimed to follow the argument where ever it led, and boasted that until evidence of God is discovered there is no logical reason to believe in God. Flew even debated CS Lewis on one occasion and is famed for defeating Lewis. However, keeping true to following the argument where ever it lead, Flew began to realize at a very old age that scientific findings in both biology and cosmology left no reasonable alternative but to accept that there is an Intelligent Designer behind our existence. Though whether he accepted Christ before his death is unverifiable, he did admit that Christianity was the most logical religion on God. I’ve personally read his book, There is a God, and highly recommend it.

Quote; “”It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

Dr. Rick Oliver

Dr. Oliver has a MS in life science and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of California Santa Cruz (where he also minored in geology). He is also the founder and CEO of Confound the Wise Ministries and founder of the Mount Hermon Outdoor Science School. Originally an atheist, Dr. Oliver admits that in studying the anatomy of specimens it became very apparent that life was “designed.” He became a Christian in 1987.

Quote; “I remember how frustrated I became when, as a young atheist, I examined specimens under the microscope. I would often walk away and try to convince myself that I was not seeing examples of extraordinary design, but merely the product of some random, unexplained mutations.”

Francis Collins (1950-_)

Collins is a world renowned physician and geneticist that was the head of the Human Genome Project. We was described by the Endocrine Society as “one of the most accomplished scientists of our time.”  During college however, Collins was a self-described atheist. It wasn’t until the death of his parents that he began to investigate religion and God. He credits C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity as one of the books that aided him in re-examining his beliefs, which lead to his conversion to an evangelical Christian one day while hiking in the Pacific Cascades. He is also known for his book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief and he currently serves as the Director of the National Institute of Health.

Quote; “”Science is the only reliable way to understand the natural world [but] is powerless to answer questions such as ‘what is the meaning of human existence… We need to bring all the power of both scientific and spiritual perspectives to bear on understanding what is both seen and unseen.”

Lee Stroble (1952-_)

Investigative journalist Lee Stroble is well known in the Christian community for his many books and articles on Christian apologetics. But before he became a Christian he was a strong atheist and looked at Christianity as an old fable or even cult-like. The fact that his wife became Christian upset him so much, that he began to research the true story of Jesus Christ and read the bible in an attempt to point out to her how false and inaccurate Christianity is. But day by day he began to realize that just the opposite was true. He was so shocked to find the teachings and happenings of the bible were more than just accurate, but that they were indeed divine. His attempt to disprove Christianity led him to becoming a Christian. He has since authored famous books such as The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator.

Quotes: “It was the evidence from science and history that prompted me to abandon my atheism and become a Christian.”

Alister McGrath (1953-_)

McGrath is a theologian, apologist and scientist, holding a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Doctor of Divinity from Oxford. A former atheist, he has now become an outspoken Christian writing the anti-atheism book The Twilight of Atheism, but is most notably known for his book The Dawkins Delusion? A formal response to famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s book The God Delusion. On an interesting side note, Dawkin’s himself personally interviewed McGrath for the television documentary The Root of All Evil?, but McGrath’s entire interview was not included in the final cut.

Quote: “Atheism, I began to realize, rested on a less-than-satisfactory evidential basis. The arguments that had once seemed bold, decisive, and conclusive increasingly turned out to be circular, tentative, and uncertain.”

I came across an old Christmas post by atheists.org  that had the attached banner up.

Along with this banner was the following post:

Christianity stole Christmas.

“Christians don’t own this holiday, and never did.  Christianity is neither the first, nor the 5th, nor the 10th mythology to adopt the Winter Solstice as their major day.  Mythra, Bel, Krishna, Horus, and even the Mayan Qetzalcoatl were all born on the Winter Solstice.   Jesus, if you believe the Bible, was actually born in the Spring, but early Christians changed it to mesh with other mythos (look it up).  Learn more

Indeed, none of the trappings of Christmas are Christian.  All of it predates Christianity.  Yuletide, and Yule logs come from the Pagan holiday of Yule (the pagans also took the Solstice for their own).  Santa Claus is Nordic, Germanic, or Celtic, depending on who you ask, and there were no tinsel-covered evergreens in Bethlehem — that’s Pagan too.

Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer.  We all own a piece of the Solstice (whatever you call it). ”  

So if this is the “season of reason,” then let us take a look at history and draw some reasonable conclusions. Yes December 25th has long been recognized as Winter Solstice, but the fact that Christians mark that day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, does not in any way discount the authenticity of the story of Christ. Jesus’ birth was established as December 25th by Hippolytus (165 to 235 A.D.). Although today this is not regarded as the exact day of Jesus’ birth by scholars and Christians, it remains the holiday of Christmas in which we celebrate Christ’s birth.

In 274 A.D. Emperor Aurelian declared December 25th a celebration of the “Unconquerable Sun” being that the 25th was the first day in winter of which the sun showed an increase in light. It was also designated the birthday of Sol Invictus, the sun God. Then when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity he then replaced this holiday with the Nativity of Christ. The conspiracy theory is that Constantine chose the date out of his respect for Sol Invictus and latched the Nativity date to the pre-established pagan holiday. This facilitates a claim that the story of Jesus was conjured up and derived from the holiday of Sol Invictus. In other words, December 25th was stolen from Sol Invictus to be used Christ’s birthday.

The first problem with this theory is that the story of Jesus and Sol Invictus have nothing in common, other than sharing the same holiday calendar date in which they were celebrated. There is no way the story of Christ was derived from the birthday of Sol Invictus. Second, December 25th was prescribed to Christ’s birth by Hippolytus well before Emperor Aurelian declared it to be the birthday of Sol Invictus. Third, it only makes sense that Constantine, now a Christian, would replace the pagan holiday, with the birthday of his new found Savior. Fourth, there is no way anyone in Rome would confuse the birthday of the sun God with the birthday of Jesus Christ. Let us not forget how persecuted the Christians were in the years up to Emperor Constantine’s rule. Clearly the birthday of Christ was established before Sol Invitus, and then later made official over Sol Invictus, but not stolen or copied from Sol Invictus.

We should also consider that in 2 B.C. there is astrological evidence that Jupiter (the brightest star in the sky at that particular time and place) stopped and paused over the town of Bethlehem on December 25th, coinciding with the biblical story of when the wise men (magi) visited Christ and worshipped him, which is where the name Christmas is derived from, “Christ-mass.” Though the bible does not give an exact date, it is something to consider. To read more about the astrological story to the Nativity story, see my earlier post in December called “Nativity Scenes.”

Lastly, the atheist posting above somehow tries to tie in other Christmas related traditions like Santa Clause, to try and prove that there is some sort of theft involved, as Christians stole all these traditions to incorporate them into their beliefs. They even state that Christians have “monopolized” holiday cheer. Clearly the agenda is to make Christians appear to be thieves that steal the traditions of others religions and claim them as their own. But let us be reasonable, the association or adoption of secular traditions with Christmas does not in any way invalidate the story of Jesus. Regardless of what we as Christians do today, or how we celebrate the birth of Christ today, none of it in any way takes validates an atheist’s belief that the nativity story is a myth. Because let’s be reasonable, since this is the season of reason, even if Christmas was instead celebrated on December 20th, or June 15th… would that make the story of Christ’s birth any more or less authentic?

 Think of it this way, if Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated in September, and advocates of MLK Jr. adopted traditions from other reformists such as Malcom X  or Frederick Douglas, would these things in any way prove MLK jr. was a myth, and that everything he did in this world was made up? Any reasonable person would have to say no.