THE INTELLECTUAL ATHEISTS
Who are the intellectual atheists? These are ones who want to reason. If you can give them proper reasons, they will accept your word. There is some justification and value in debating with this kind of atheist. But how many atheists in this world are like this? I am afraid there are very few. I am not saying that there are none altogether. I am saying that there are very few; the number is not great. Today I will not debate with these ones or give many reasons to prove that there is a God in the universe. The Bible has not addressed the question of the existence of God; it only mentions Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, etc. This means that the question of the existence of God is not essential, because everyone already knows the answer. The existence of God is an unshakable fact; therefore, it is implicitly assumed.
HOW DARE ONE SAY THAT THERE IS NO GOD?
If an atheistic friend (whom we encounter often in our preaching of the gospel) comes today and talks about the existence of God, he will surely say that there is no God. You can ask him why he thinks that there is no God, and he may give you one or two reasons. Every time I encounter such people, I will not give them the opportunity to finish their words. Instead I say, "How dare a person like you say that there is no God?" They may have more reasons, but I interrupt again, saying, "How dare a person like you say that there is no God?" He may have one or two more reasons, but I will say the same thing to him: "How dare a person like you say that there is no God?" He may wonder why I do this again and again. Then I tell him that we must first settle the issue of his qualification before we can discuss what he is saying. "How dare a person like you say that there is no God?" Some may think that it is presumptuous to answer this way. Truly, such a word may offend people. But the matter of importance is what kind of a person you are. You are not qualified to discuss the existence of God. Putting it more bluntly, what do you know that gives you the boldness to say that there is no God? There are 1,900,000,000 creatures like you on this earth. Who are you? You cannot even know your body or the things that are happening around you every day. How can you say that there is no God? Do you know how your nails grow and how your heart beats? You do not know if it will rain tomorrow or if you will still be eating tomorrow. You cannot know even such a small thing. How dare you say that there is no God? I have only studied chemistry for two years. This is why I dare not say too much about chemistry; otherwise, those who know more about the subject will laugh at me. You are but one of 1,900,000,000 people in this world, yet you dare to say that there is no God! This is why I say that a person or creature, as little as you, is not qualified to say that there is no God. Do you know how small you are? There are now 1,900,000,000 "things" like you on this earth today. Do you know how large the earth is? You may be smart and say that the earth is not that large. Then how large is the solar system? You still may think that it is not very big. Can you bring the sun and measure how big it is? If it were possible for you to empty the interior of the sun, how many earths could you put inside it? One earth would not fill it. Two would not fill it. You could keep on putting more earths into it, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, even a million, and the sun would still be quite empty. How many earths can the sun hold? At least one and a half million! There are countless numbers of solar systems in the heavens that are as big as our solar system. One astronomer said that in the universe there were five hundred million stars as large as our sun. How big are you? How can you say that there is no God?
Let me tell you a story. I have a younger brother. When he graduated from kindergarten at the age of six, he brought back a certificate. He was very proud of himself and thought that he had accomplished a supreme achievement. He came to me proudly and said, "I graduated today!" I asked where he had graduated from. He answered, "From the kindergarten university." There are too many people who have graduated from kindergarten universities today! There are too many kindergarten doctorates!
Let us come back to astronomy. Astronomers tell us that the speed of light is one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second. One mile is about three Chinese miles. In one second, light travels one hundred eighty-six thousand miles. How many miles does it travel in one minute? In one day? In one month? In one year? It is not easy for us to imagine this speed. Although light travels at such tremendous speed, astronomers tell us that light from some stars has traveled over two thousand years, yet their light still has not yet reached the earth. How vast is the universe! A man is only six feet tall, and he occupies only a square foot of ground. Yet he dares to say that there is no God! This must be the most presumptuous and comical thing one could ever say. Is it proper for such a tiny man to stand up and proudly announce, solemnly and assertively, that there is no God? I do not have to say anything; all of you know the answer.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 17, by Watchman Nee)