A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine got baptized. Our minister asked him “What do you think is the best thing about being Christian?”. He replied “The fact that it’s the truth”. My friend was onto something. At the end of the day the issue is whether Christianity is true or not. Jesus is either risen king of the world, or he is not. He either took the punishment for my sins that day he died or he didn’t. Even if being a Christian makes me feel warm and fuzzy every day until I die, if it’s not true, I’m not interested (I think this is what Paul’s getting at in 1 Corinthians 15:19).
Ayers shows in chapters 1-4 that atheism (or as he describes it, naturalism) leads to some unattractive implications (e.g. free will is an illusion, objective right and wrong do not exist, life has no true meaning etc). But what if it is unattractive but true?
At this point, I really appreciated his comments at the end of chapter 4. He points out that one of the criteria for determining if a belief system is right is: does it make good sense of the world and how we experience it? When it comes to naturalism, the shoe doesn’t fit. Naturalism doesn’t make sense of my experience of the world. For example, it doesn’t explain the anger I feel when I see injustice on the news, in my life or the lives of my friends because naturalism says there is no objective right or wrong. Nor does it explain love or purpose. Naturalism “simply fails at a profound level to explain the world as we experience it… The best solution is to look for the truth somewhere else” (p39). Mr Ayers, I’m looking forward to following the search!