Each year at Christmas and Easter, the world atheists live in and try and make sense of is threatened more than it normally is with the in-your-face external reminder that Jesus Christ actually lived and that His body is still missing. And because the insecurity they have about their position is so strong and the faith in their negative existential stance so weak, they put up billboards and signs to try and make each other feel better. They say they do it to encourage in-the-closet atheists to 'out' themselves, but in reality, it's pretty apparent that the real motivation is to help those in such groups stave off thoughts like: "I'm not along am I? It sure feels like it."
Their latest billboard says "You KNOW it's a myth. This season celebrate REASON". One spokesman for the group says,"Much of the campaign is positive; we're not defining ourselves by negativity". No, it's not disrespectful at all and quite positive to essentially say to people "Hey, you don't believe in fairy tales like all these other buffoons right? Then, please, for the sake of reason, separate yourself in a clear and unmistakable way from these mindless and ignorant people."
For the atheist on your Christmas list, I have a couple of suggestions. First, is Stephen Meyer's relatively new book The Signature in the Cell. Richard Dawkins, the hero to many atheists, says this about the specific complexity of life: “What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, warn breath, nor a ‘spark of life’. It is information, words, instructions. . . . Think of a billion discrete digital characters. . . . If you want to understand life think about digital technology.” Stephen Meyer agrees. In fact, his book has been getting praise from Christians and non-Christians alike who all agree. Meyer's basic question in the book is this: where does the information that Dawkins references in the previous statement come from? In one interview, Meyer describes it like this:
“If you’re trying to explain an event in the remote past you should rely on our knowledge of the cause/effect structure of the world and you should be looking for a cause that has the capability or power to produce the known effect in question. It is the principle of sufficient or adequate reason [atheists - take note!]. Darwin’s mentor Charles Lyell gave this to him. Lyell put it this way: ‘In investigating the past we should be looking for causes now in operation’. Now as to information and intelligence: What is the cause now in operation of digital information? That is intelligence. By using Darwin’s own principle of reasoning, we can use an inference to the best explanation: intelligence produces information.”
But what answer do the atheists who produce the "choose reason" billboards have to Meyer's challenge? Is it the answer their hero Dawkins gave in the movie Expelled where aliens came here and planted DNA? That's not a very 'reasonable' answer.
The second book worth giving to an atheist friend is Mike Licona's new book on the resurrection of Jesus entitled: "The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach". The book is basically Licona's doctoral dissertation and is centered on a philosophical 'appeal to the best explanation' approach to why Jesus' tomb is empty. Using only the principles employed by historians to validate other events in the past, Licona investigates other explanations for why Jesus' body is still missing besides a resurrection. Although some atheists ignore all the evidence for the actual existence of the Nazarene carpenter and try and say He was all made up (see billboard above), they check their brains at the door because every reputable scholar in the world - both believing and unbelieving - admits that Jesus lived and was murdered under the reign of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. And as for the resurrection, even the atheist Gerd Ludemann says: “It is historically certain that Peter and the other disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.” Given such statements, it would seem that anyone trying to call Jesus a myth wouldn't be taking a 'reasonable' position.
So this year, my recommendation is to get each one of the books above and fill your 'friendly' atheist's stocking with true reason rather than the material they've taking in thus far.
Two last notes to these atheist associations: (1) Why not do real good this year and instead of trying to comfort yourselves by mocking Christianity, how about spending that billboard money on helping the Haitian relief organizations that still need so much assistance? (2) I'm still waiting for your billboards that mock Islam in the same way you do Christianity. And don't forget to include your address and phone number at the bottom so any Muslim extremists know just where to find you.