I watched part of a debate this morning between a Christian apologist and a "former" Christian turned atheist
apologist. When it was over both sides, as is often the case, thought they had prevailed. Certainly neither of the two men debating had changed their stance at the conclusion of the verbal sparring. Not that I was surprised; that seems to be the case in most every debate I have ever seen or even heard of. It did get me thinking, however.
What would it take to change the mind of a professed atheist? What type of evidence would one have to produce to convince someone who has invested so much time and effort into disbelieving God that God, in fact, does exist? I couldn't think of any evidence or proof that I hadn't heard from people much smarter than myself that hadn't already been shot down or mocked in a debate somewhere.
As I thought about the seeming paradox of those asking for proof of God's existence refusing to believe every proof given, I couldn't help but also think of Paul's words in Romans chapter 1:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.The reason it is so hard to convince atheists, agnostics, and skeptics of the existence of God is because they are suppressing their knowledge of Him. They know He exists, but in their unrighteousness they suppress that knowledge. So the problem is not one of a lack of evidence. It is the lack of righteousness that is the problem. Scripture says they are "without excuse". God is not hiding from these people. He has revealed Himself sufficiently to be known.
This is why the Bible never commands the believer to prove God exists or to even give evidence supporting His existence. We are commanded to proclaim the Gospel to the unbeliever because it is only the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel that the true problem of the unbeliever can be solved. Only the power of the Gospel can produce righteousness.
So don't despair when the world mocks your faith or calls it unreasonable. Remember that no amount of logic or evidence will change their minds and it isn't their minds that need changed anyway.
It is their hearts.
So pray for them, share the gospel with them, and wait for the God they don't believe to change their hearts with the power of His grace.