I listened to another atheist podcast on the train this morning. I probably shouldn't do this as it just frustrates me. The 'Infidel Radio' podcast featured an interview with Nicholas Everitt, author of the book 'The Non-Existence of God'. Nicholas Everitt seems like a nice person and made a number of well reasoned arguments in defense of the atheist position. Fair enough.
What annoys me, though, is the unstated assumption that runs through all of the arguments for and against the existence of a deity - that the battleground between theism and non-theism is entirely in the realm of creation or the origins of the universe. Its all 'then', its never 'now'.
The greatest claim, not merely of Christianity but of all theistic positions is that God is. Not that 'God is [something]' (like, perhaps 'God is omniscient') but that God is a reality in the present.
Debates about what happened six thousand years ago or billions of years ago at the time of creation / origin are fine, but they only deal with then, not now. If there is no god now, then what's the point of arguing about then.
So many of the theistic arguements that Nick Everitt knocked down relied on 'God is [something]' reasoning. Thus, if it can be shown to be reasonable that a god cannot be [whatever] then it logically follows that (the specified) god cannot exist. QED.
But none of the arguments even attempted to address the 'God is' issue.
I truly believe that God is. Not because I was raised this way, not because I reasoned my way towards it, but because I have experienced God and cannot find any other reasonable explanation for all the experiences I have had. Sure, some may have been emotional response, some may have been psycological and triggered by the power of suggestion by clever motivational speakers, but not all. Some were due to the real God.
God is - of this I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt.
Of course I still have loads of doubts:
God is omnipotent? Not sure...
God is omnipresent? Could be...
God is the creator? Room for doubt there too...
and so on.
But God is.