On Monday there was a wonderful Zoom webinar co-sponsored by Peaceful Science about Christian scientists’ engagement with the Resurrection. Our own @AndyWalsh and @dga471 were panelists along with Erica Carlson (Physics, Purdue) and Katie Galloway (MIT, Chem. Eng.) and of course @swamidass was there.
Anyway, yesterday morning I got a C.S. Lewis “quote of the day” from Miracles that seemed to tie in somewhat into the conversation thinking about what approaches to explaining Christianity were effective in communicating with atheists (especially scientists):
It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. “Look out!” we cry, “it’s alive.” And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An “impersonal God”—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life- force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God”!) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us!
I wonder if this would resonate at all with folks who became Christians after being atheists growing up? I’ve been a Christian all my life and so I often wonder how someone moves from unbelief to belief and if there are these encounters where, as Lewis puts it here, we “meet life where we thought we were alone”.
I’m also a little curious what my atheist friends would think of the C.S. Lewis quote generally. Do you ever find yourself drawn to feelings of “something out there”? Does it ever seem personal in some way – “somebody is out there”?