Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Skeptical of Thanks on the part of Atheists

    Today is Thanksgiving, a day set apart for giving thanks...that is: Thanks to God our creator, the one who is the ultimate source of every good and perfect gift, and the one from whom all blessings flow, the one apart from whom there is not life or purpose or hope or confidence or fellowship, but separation, wandering, lostness, destruction and death. Today is also a day for giving thanks to others, who according to the pleasure and wisdom of God have been created with a living soul and a personal will able under the sovereignty and providence of God to make choices and affect our lives and our welfare. Today is a day for reflecting upon the mercies and grace that have been shown to us as well as the good that we have received and enjoy. Today is a day of thanksgiving, a response and an act that has historically and continues to be recognized by humanity as not only a character trait, behavior and expression that is right and becoming but one that displays the best in a person and beauty when genuinely displayed from the heart.

    This being said, think now upon the atheist worldview whose fundamental beliefs are based upon the reasoning that everything including life itself is based upon chance, an accident or even a mistake, ... a worldview that denies any true or real personhood and suggests that man is simply a conglomeration of chemicals and components which acts simply and somewhat mechanically (or evolutionally) according to one's past and present environment and stimuli, etc. If this is the case, then what reason is there for thanksgiving? What reason for responding as if there were true mercy, grace, and goodness? What reason for communicating, displaying or expressing thanks (that most basic trait and/or behavior that's recognized as beautiful and essential for the best to be found concerning a man or recognized among men)?

    Here again, even concerning something as simple and basic as giving thanks, atheists must either borrow from another worldview, live inconsistently with their own, or admit there is no reason for expressing thanks. While most would suggest gratitude is natural to man and there's reason to give thanks to our parents for choosing to have us, etc., even this is inconsistent with a worldview that stands upon accident, chance, and the absense of true personhood.

    Thanks be to God, who not only formed us and has informed us, but who both forms the beauty that is found within us and that forms the object of our greatest thanks!

    May grace, truth and beauty be yours this thanksgiving day!

    1 comment:

    FiKaLo said...

    Hey, this is so interesting. I like the clear language and progression of thought that you've employed to argue your position. It's good food for thought. Me, I am thankful - for God, who showed me He was real, despite my desire (at the time) to believe otherwise!