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The Alex McFarland Show-12-Is Atheism Dead? with guest Eric Metaxas

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2022 3:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-12-Is Atheism Dead? with guest Eric Metaxas

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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July 7, 2022 3:00 pm

On today’s episode of the Alex McFarland show, Alex sits down with best-selling author and keynote speaker, Eric Metaxas. Eric talks about his journey back to believing in God after walking away from faith during his college years, and he shares how to engage in conversation with non-believers. Eric also tells listeners about his latest book, Is Atheism Dead?, which is a witty response to a 1966 cover of TIME Magazine titled “Is God Dead?” He gives listeners a sneak peak into the book, which aims to answer some of the toughest questions humans have asked about God and Christianity.

Fish Out of Water

Alex McFarland 

Unashamed Summer Camp

Eric Metaxas

Is Atheism Dead?

Amazing Grace

Truth & Liberty Coalition 

Family Research Council 

Family Policy Alliance 

Family Research Council 

My Faith Votes

Engage Magazine 

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show.

In the Word of God, Proverbs 14 34 says, Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any evil. Hi, Alex McFarland here. Welcome to this edition of the Alex McFarland Show. Very, very special show today because we have someone I've admired for so many years, not only a public figure and a great Christian leader in our world, but somebody I'm very honored to say is a personal friend.

His name is Eric Metaxas. He's a number one New York Times bestselling author. One of the greatest honors of my life, about a decade ago, he wrote the foreword to one of my books, Ten Answers for Atheists.

I had interviewed Christopher Hitchens and Michael Shermer and emailed with Richard Dawkins and a number of the well-known atheists. And my publisher said, we want you to get a foreword from a major Christian leader because this is a significant book. And Eric graciously agreed to write the foreword, but he's done so many things and I want to give him ample time. And I've got some theological and cultural questions I want to ask him, but just get caught up on his life because in addition to being one of God's premier communicators in our world today, he's just an all around great guy who knows a lot about everything.

And he's so accommodating with his time. Eric Metaxas, welcome to our program. You are way too kind, my friend. Honestly, thank you for the tremendously gracious introduction. That is really too kind. Thank you.

Well, thank you. And you are patching in, I'm guessing, from Manhattan? From New York City where I live as a missionary to the unchurched Manhattanites.

No, I do. We live here in New York City. I was actually born in New York City. I wrote the story of my life and coming to faith in my book, Fish Out of Water, where I talk about growing up here in New York and drifting away from faith and then the Lord really finding me very dramatically miraculously around my 25th birthday.

And my wife and I moved here about 23 years ago full time when our daughter was born. And here we are in New York City by God's grace. You know, Eric, I know you're a very, very logical person, critical thinker. Was there any one thing that clinched it for you, either for belief in God or specifically personal faith in Jesus Christ? What was the tipping point for you, Eric?

Well, that's easy. It was a miracle. It was a pure miracle. It was not a logical deduction. It was not a I mean, I think obviously faith and everything ultimately is such a mystery. You can talk about it, but you can never really, really nail it down, because even let's say you arrive at your faith through logic, even that as a gift, because why can some people do that and other people can't? And, you know, and so but in my case, in a way, I had been inoculated against faith. I went to Yale University, which is tremendously secular.

I have very little good to say about it. And it really I drifted away from faith and from the ideas of faith and love of God, love of country, all these good ideas that I'd grown up with basically. And I needed a miracle. And the Lord knew I needed a miracle. And he spoke to me in a dream. And it was as clear as anything you could ever imagine, because he knew exactly what I needed. And he completely blew my mind. It was one of those things where you just say, I have nothing to say.

That's it. God spoke. I know it was God because of the ways, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And now I know and I have no doubt. And it's true. And I believe.

And, you know, that's there's mystery there. But let me just tell you, the proof is in the pudding. I went from darkness to light. I went from doubt to faith. And by God's grace, I've not looked back. And of course, I filled in the blanks with logic and books and apologetics and to really understand more about what I believe. But I met the Lord in that way around my 25th birthday, which is the culmination of the story of Fish Out of Water.

I mean, I know you want to talk to me about my new book, but that really is my story. That's really wonderful. And let's talk about miracles for just a second, because, as you know, C.S. Lewis, he said, you know, if God exists, miracles are not only possible, but really to be expected. What do you say to the modernist who's just so rigidly naturalistic that the idea of God intervening is just, you know, mind boggling to them? There's no doubt in my mind, not only that they're wrong, but that they're deliberately stubborn because everyone in the world seems to know there's more than just the material universe. And the preposterous idea, the illogical idea that only our five senses would be able to apprehend all of reality, it's so dumb.

It's so ridiculous. And most people in the world since the beginning of time have known that that's not true. And so the idea that, you know, in the last couple of centuries, some people have figured out, ah, we figured it out, and this is it. Not only is it not true, but you can't even prove it scientifically. There's no scientific proof for the materialist worldview. So they are being unscientific when they insist that science is the only path to truth. It's so silly that part of me is inclined to dismiss it and to laugh at it.

I think some people are called, like you are to some extent, to debate people and to talk to people about this. But I find it so, it's like somebody says to me, Santa Claus is real. I'm not going to actually engage them on whether Santa Claus is real because I don't think it's worth my time or even their time. I think it's silly. I think we both know Santa Claus is not real. And I feel that way about the idea that there's nothing but the material universe.

There's nothing but nature. Not only is it preposterous, but we all sort of have to know it's preposterous. So it's this kind of incredibly willful decision on the part of some people that they're going to cling to this, which makes our faith in the God of the Bible and in the God of miracles, it makes that look ultra-scientific and logical, which in comparison it is. And again, that's the great irony of our epic.

Yeah. And I think about so many of the atheists that you have interacted with. I mean, it's not so much evidence against theism or Christianity, but it's that the atheists just simply don't want there to be a God because maybe for a myriad of reasons.

That's kind of the point. I think if somebody doesn't want to be God, that's fine. In other words, you cannot, that's the definition of who God is and freedom in him is that he will not, he created us in his image.

We are free. He will not force us to apprehend any reality, including his existence as the creator of reality. He will not insist. So if somebody insists on pushing God away, there's nothing I can do apart from pray for them, show them the love of God as I'm able to. But you can't argue someone into the kingdom. It's like shooting BBs at a tank.

It's useless. God has to intervene because these people have a rigid faith in this atheistic philosophy or doctrine. And if they're genuinely interested in the truth, they will come away from it.

But most of them are not. And until they are, there's really not much to say, at least as I see it. We've got to take a brief break. Stay tuned, folks. We're going to come back with more of our conversation with Eric Metaxas.

Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Teaching in more than 2,200 churches around the world, schools and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com.

He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here, and I want to remind you the newly updated site alexmcfarland.com.

We've got my schedule. Plus, even as you're listening to this, our summer worldview camp is going on for teens. The theme this year is unashamed building your biblical worldview. And we're starting clubs across the country, viral truth clubs. These are for middle schoolers and high schoolers.

We provide talking points for more than 40 key issues. And what we're doing in our viral truth campus clubs, kids charter these clubs. It's peer to peer ministry.

We equip middle schoolers and high schoolers to reach their friends. And so go to our website alexmcfarland.com or viraltruth.com and we would love to help the kids in your community know Christ and get engaged to make a difference for the biblical worldview. And folks, not only it's the gospel, of course, but it's really the future of our country, because if we lose morality, our future is going to look pretty bleak.

In fact, just chaotic. So thanks for your support. Thanks for your prayers.

And thanks for standing for truth in your community. Well, we're back with Eric Metaxas. And Eric, I want to give you an opportunity to share your website. And I also want to talk about your brand new book, Is Atheism Dead? But where may people find you on online, on social media and on television?

If you can spell my name or even if you can't spell my name, it'll come up. EricMetaxas.com. And obviously the book we're talking about is called Is Atheism Dead?

And all of that, all my books are available at ericmetaxas.com. Hey, I've got to ask you this. If you could give a speech to all of the American people, every American would listen in rapt attention, what would you say? Now, could there be a tougher question than that, Alex McFarland? I thought I thought you were my friend. I thought you were going to ask me easy questions.

No, I don't know. I think it's along the lines of what I say all the time, you know, that there is no escaping the reality of God. And by the way, if you love yourself, if you want to live a good life, don't be afraid of the God of the Bible.

The God of the Bible loves you on a level you cannot even imagine. He doesn't want to embarrass you. He doesn't want to humiliate you. He wants to bless you in a way that you can barely imagine. He created you to have a relationship with himself.

It's like being a car and saying, I'm not interested in gas. If you want to see who you really are, you have to open yourself up to the God of the universe. Why?

Because he's the source of all goodness, all truth, all beauty. That is a fact. And I would do my best in a sense to convince people that I was once very skeptical and really horrified by the idea of becoming one of those people who believes in Jesus. God forbid.

It's just no, no, no. And God in his way was able to reach me and which itself is a demonstration of his amazing love for me because it wasn't easy to reach me. And around my twenty-fifth birthday, which I was saying earlier in my book, Fish Out of Water, I tell the story of how I came finally to this moment where I was a little bit open and then God revealed himself to me. And you know, God is a bespoke God.

He's not a one-size-fits-all off the rack God. So he speaks to each of us individually. Sometimes it's through logic. Sometimes it's through logical arguments or books or this or that.

In my case, it was a combination of that. But then the ending of it was him speaking to me, which I know is possible. It's just that it doesn't happen as often as I would like. I wish he would speak to me constantly or maybe he's speaking to me and I'm not listening carefully. But I'll tell you, it's so beautiful and true that people are willing to die to communicate this to you if you don't believe this. Just as Jesus was willing to die to communicate this to all of us.

It's that beautiful. It's so, you know, so that's the nutshell version. But I just think, I mean, actually, I'll tell you the truth. The reason I wrote the book we're going to talk about is atheism. That is because I think the evidence for God has become so astonishing that I needed to get it out. I needed to tell people, listen, you probably haven't heard this. Even people in churches, even people in apologetics world haven't heard some of this stuff.

I need to put it together in a popular format because most people could understand this stuff and they need to know the winds have shifted. God has revealed himself through science, through archaeology in certain ways in the last decades. And most of us simply haven't gotten the memo.

And I said, I want this book to be the memo. I want people to realize you're living in a new day where the evidence for God is overwhelmingly more than the evidence against him. I mean, it's almost open and shut. So now the question is, what are you going to do with the evidence?

Do you dare look at it? Have you gotten any feedback from people that are kind of on the bubble or skeptic, but maybe a little bit open? Yeah. I mean, I've had a few people, you know, you know what I think, Alex, I think that in our mind, sometimes we put people in two camps. It's like this person believes this person doesn't believe. And I think the reality is there's a real spectrum. There are many people who they believe, but they don't believe that much, or they don't, they have questions they're afraid to ask, or they think maybe there's no answer. And so they're living in this limbo. And I think I've gotten emails from people who say that my book is Atheism Dead has dramatically bolstered their faith.

They were kind of almost drifting away, but this made it so clear to them because it's not my book that makes it clear. It's the evidence is just astonishing evidence that even I was unaware of. So when I became aware of some of this evidence, I said, I've got to get this out because I know there are a lot of believers that are struggling, that are wondering, maybe I'm getting something wrong or maybe, and we simply need to know what we can know. And when you see it, it really is almost hilarious. Like the level of evidence for God, when you put it out there, you think, wow, God has in these last days, just dumped the evidence.

It's like open and shut. What's there to discuss? Just the detail. It's like, how could you not believe in God, the Bible and Jesus? There is such a plethora of compelling lines of evidence.

Right. And then the question is, are people aware of it? In other words, because when I discover all this evidence, I thought to myself, okay, it's fine that there's this evidence, but most people I know, including most Christians, don't know this evidence. So I literally wrote the book, Is Atheism Dead for those people to say, hey, you need to know that your faith is not on thin ice.

It is as solid as anything you could imagine. But here's some information to bolster you. And I mean, the reason I tell the book Is Atheism Dead is because in 1966 Time Magazine asked the question, is God dead? And you could see how science and other things at that time were pointing people away from the idea of God. And what I find dramatically ironic is that since 1966, the evidence has shifted and shifted and shifted until now. The evidence for God is so strong, but we have been stuck in the secular narrative so that so many people still think, well, that's just the way it is.

Most smart people don't believe in God. Complete nonsense. We've got to take a brief break. Stay tuned, folks. We've got another segment with Eric Metaxas, author of the brand new book, Is Atheism Dead? I highly recommend it. Stay tuned. We're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

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Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website, truthandliberty.net. Picture a stormy sea. The waves are rolling viciously and the sky is darker than night. The crack of thunder can be heard over the roaring wind.

A tiny ship is thrown wildly up and down as it rides the waves. The crew is just about to lose hope when someone spots a sudden flash in the distance. A lighthouse.

Lighthouse for the Lost, an article by Parker May. To read this article, visit engagemagazine.net. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here, so honored that you're listening. By the way, please like us on social media.

We're on all the platforms, and plus we have a show on the NRB television network. Any way you can stay tuned and spread the word, we appreciate that. We also appreciate our guest today, my friend and someone that God has raised up for such a time as this.

No doubt, it's Eric Metaxas. Eric, again, thanks for being with us. I want to say this before time fleets away. I think about you a lot. I pray for you. You've spoken in our conferences.

You're going a lot of directions. So are we. But I just want to say thank you. The sacrifices you've made, you and your family. Like myself, you're always on media.

You're always on the road. You're out there doing the work of the gospel. Just on behalf of millions of people, brother, for all the commitment and the sacrifice, may I say thank you? That means a lot to me coming from you, Alex.

So let me say back to you, first of all, you're welcome and thank you to you because, listen, let's be honest. Once you know the truth, you know the God who is truth, you'd be a fool not to sacrifice everything. I don't want to be a fool. I want to sacrifice because I know it's no sacrifice. It's a joy. It's why we exist. And so for me, it is a joy. And that's why, you know, in writing these books and things, I think I want other people to taste this joy.

Amen. You know, when I'm hearing you talk about just the tsunami of evidence, really. And folks, I'm not going to take up our time to name all the names, but Eric and I both, we could mention friends and colleagues earned PhDs in every academic discipline, history, science, all of the sciences, philosophy, logic, mathematics. Eric, one of the ways that I've just been so blown away by the compelling evidence for theism, God exists and even specifically Christian theism are mathematicians, because mathematicians will quickly tell you we would not have math in a non-theistic universe.

It's absolute, it's objective, and it's non-physical. It's almost funny. And some of this stuff gets pretty cerebral. In the book, we're talking about his atheism dead.

I don't get into the math stuff, but I do quote John Lennox a lot, who is, of course, an Oxford mathematician. But yeah, it becomes funny to me in a way. And so the thing is, like some of the smartest people in the world know this stuff. So then the question is, how do we translate that for the common man, for the regular person who reads books, who's thinking about the world, but they don't have time to get into the stuff. I don't have time to get into that either.

But I can read just enough, like you, that I can maybe make it palatable, which is what I tried to do in the book. I mean, there's a lot of science in the beginning. Then I talk about archaeology.

And then I talk about just atheism itself. And so and I think, this is just fun, amazing stuff. And I know that people will be blessed because, you know, we always want to know what's true. And even though we think we know, we want evidence, we want the stories, we want whatever. So that, I mean, that's what I hope to do in the book.

Sure. What does this Bible verse mean to you? Second Peter 1 16 says, we have not followed cleverly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you hear that verse, we have not followed cleverly devised fables. What does that verse say, Eric?

Well, I mean, think about it. Here you have one of the smartest people who ever lived a living and making it clear that, ladies and gentlemen, either this is true or we're all idiots. And I know it's true. And I want you to know that I know that it's true. And I want you to know that I know that cleverly devised fables are a joke.

We're not interested in selling you some story. Either this is true or we're all idiots. And he understands. I mean, we forget how modern Paul was. We think like this happened in Neolithic times.

No, this is relatively recently that these gospel events unfolded. And he's communicating with brilliant people, with normal people. He's just simply saying this is true on every level. This is not some weird myth about Zeus or Kronos or some bizarre.

This is reality. And I really think, I actually think that God has allowed us to discover some of this overwhelming evidence, obviously, that I put in the book in these last days, because things are so dark that we need the extra evidence. And I've always kind of known that, that the more time passes, the more amazing the evidence for God is. So it's almost like it's harder to avoid God.

It becomes harder and harder to avoid God. Your heart has to be really, really hard to turn away from this kind of evidence. We've only got a couple of minutes left, but I've got to ask you this.

And certainly this could be another show here. I don't want to open a Pandora's box, but give me your reaction, because as we record this, you know, just days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade. By the way, it was my privilege earlier this year to speak in the Roe versus Wade courtroom.

I was asked to give a lecture on what does it mean to be a human being? And we had a prayer vigil in the Roe courtroom. And here you and I have witnessed the answer to a forty nine year old prayer request.

What was your initial reaction and what do you hope for our country moving forward now that Roe is overturned? You know, Shakespeare said the truth will out. There is no question that God has rigged the system. He created reality. And there is no escaping the reality that God created.

So you can kick against the goads. You can say, you know, you can refuse to look in the telescope. You know, Galileo said, you want to see reality? You want to say, look, just don't take my word for it.

Look through the telescope. Many, many people said, and I write about this in the book, we don't want to look through the telescope. We just know we refuse. I think when it comes to reality, the reality of the human person, the reality of God, the reality, all of these things ultimately are inescapable.

They're inescapable. And we're living at a time when we are simply, by God's grace, getting some of this good news delivered to us on a silver platter. I mean, we now know that the Constitution does not have a right in there someplace that the founders put in there, you know, to have an abortion. Ultimately, that's just a tiny, it's a little step, but it's, in some ways, it's a big step in the right direction because it's getting people to talk about what is abortion?

What is a life? All of that is good because the more you talk about it, it's like the slavery issue when I wrote about William Wilberforce and Amazing Grace, and the more light you can shine on what's going on on the truth, the more people wake up, they go, I didn't know that. Really?

They do that? So I have to say to me, you know, the overturning of Roe v. Wade is an epical moment like the fall of the Berlin Wall, like the Soviet Union. It's one of those moments in history, a prophetic time clock moment. And I praise the Lord.

I know the Lord is the Lord of history. And I just, I'm excited about what happens next, honestly. Yeah, myself as well. You know, we're out of time.

We got to visit again. But brother, I appreciate you. One, the book is Atheism Dead. People can find it everywhere, I'm sure, online. Where would you like people to buy the book? Well, I always tell people, just please go to my website, ericmataxas.com, because it'll give you all the options there and all kinds of other stuff that we don't have time for here.

So if people just go to ericmataxas.com, they'll find whatever they're looking for. How may we pray for you? Well, in the standard way, my brother, protection from the enemy, because when you're doing the Lord's work, which I want to be doing, you know, you bump up against all kinds of things. So we've got all kinds of challenges, serious challenges in some cases, but I just know that there's no other way but then to walk with the Lord in joy and faith and peace. And just any prayers that the Lord would help me to do that, I covet profoundly. Thank you for asking. You've been listening to Eric Metaxas, our guest here on the Alex McFarland show. Folks, whoever you are, wherever you are, remember 1 Corinthians 15, 58, that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

So stay strong, stand strong, and we'll see you next time. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD and the number 1. That's 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-11 07:19:04 / 2022-11-11 07:31:46 / 13

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