How shall we wrap this up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In these last two chapters, we find Humphrys being rather charitable. For instance, the main point he wants to get across is how the new atheists want to say we would be better off without religion. John Lennon’s Imagine would have us all think the world would be a better place if we got rid of religion.
Not so fast. Humphrys rightly points out that when you look at the mass killings of people in the 20th century, it wasn’t religion that was largely responsible. It was Communism. When you look at the major wars that happened, religion could be a factor, but it was way down the list if it was.
How about those Muslim suicide bombers? They weren’t the first. It was the Tamil Tigers that came up with the suicide bomber strategy. That was a Marxist-Leninist group in Sri Lanka. He does say that Muslim bombers today are not reflecting mainstream Islam to which I want to say “How are they not?” After all, the first Muslim groups were hardly peaceful.
He also points out that some might say extreme religion is a danger, but materialism and consumerism is also a threat. What about all these kids who are wanting to go on apps like TikTok and become celebrities? What about a culture that wants more and more and more and yet is never happy?
This isn’t to say Humphrys is entirely positive about religion. He says that it’s not that religious people don’t have time to reason out their beliefs. They don’t want to. They don’t want to think about things that have been done in the name of God. His example of this is an alleged Roman Catholic who doesn’t even believe in the deity of Christ, but finds theism comforting.
It is true that God can be a great comfort, but I do not believe in God for comfort. I believe in Him because of the evidence. I am also not bothered by the “Christians have done evil in history.” Yeah. All of us have. That’s because we’re all fallen creatures. I don’t think we should ignore the question, but it’s not a defeater.
In the end, what do I think keeps Humphrys from believing? It’s not reason. He doesn’t really deal with any arguments for the existing of God in this book. If anything, his argument seems to be more emotional. He has a hard time with evil, but if he does, that should make it all the more reason for him to be a theist.
I think about a meme I saw an atheist share yesterday with a woman, presumably in Africa, holding a dead child and crying and for us to think about how easy it is to worship God when we’re not that woman. No doubt, that woman is suffering, but as I have argued before, take away God. What do you have? This is definitely a hypothetical as I think if you take away God, nothing can exist, but you still have the crying woman and the dead child.
The problem is still the same. What you have removed is hope. On Christian theism, there is a God who will deal justly in this situation. There is a God who can bring good out of evil. There is a God who can raise the dead. Atheism takes away the possibility of hope and still leaves the problem. How is that reasonable?
Keep in mind, I am not saying that that makes Christianity true, but it sure gives you reason to consider it seriously and to at least want it to be true on some level, especially if you say you care about the woman involved. If there is no greater source of justice and hope in the universe, well some people just get dealt a very bad hand of cards and it sucks to be you if you get that bad hand. Christianity has someone overseeing the game who will make sure justice will come out right in the end.
That should give us hope and also give us a degree of fear. Justice will come for us as well. We better make sure we are ready.
We can pray that Humphrys reconsiders his opinion. Perhaps those arguments really are better than what an inquisitive child can see through. Perhaps there really is a God who loves Him out there and can give hope and justice.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)