The Wall Street Journal posted a two-part counterpoint series this week – first “An (Atheist) Easter Message from Ricky Gervais“, and then “How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism” by Lee Strobel. Mr. Gervais is well-known in film and comedy. Mr. Strobel is a former newspaper editor (and former atheist) who became a widely published Christian author.
In brief, Mr. Gervais argues that many people who call themselves Christians are disagreeable, hypocritical, un-Christlike people (no contest there), and also that he follows the ten commandments better than most Christians. Strobel (author of The Case for Christ, an examination of data and historical records about Christ’s death and resurrection), writes about attempting to disprove Christianity as an adamant atheist, and unwillingly convincing himself of its truth along the way. His investigation centered around Christ’s death and resurrection as the key because “Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.”
Both are interesting articles, though somewhat handicapped by their brevity. I’m not going to start writing about the arguments themselves because I wouldn’t be able to stop myself once started. What did crack me up was the angle each came from. Atheists, especially in academia, often accuse Christians of sacrificing science and logic to faith and feelings. Ironically, Strobel converted to Christianity because of scientific and historical data (regardless of its moral or spiritual effects), and Gervais negates the faith because he’s already nicer than many who call themselves Christians. Not the point of the articles, but the reverse-stereotypical platforms made me laugh.
On a completely unrelated note, Hot Cross Buns were never a Holy Week staple in our home, but with a recipe like this they might become a tradition.
And, just for fun, read this sweet story with a moral, and then follow up on the theme by reading one of my favorite dramatic poems The Hound of Heaven. Did I really just encourage people to read a “sweet” story? Shoot me, there goes my ego…