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March 07, 2005

Decline of Atheism/Rise of Pantheism

In response to Jim's post earlier this morning, The Decline of Atheism, reader John of Locusts and Honey comments on the increase in pantheists that "reach the relativistic conclusion that everything is true and therefore nothing is true."

Assuming there truly is a decline in atheism as indicated by the UPI/Washington Times article, I think John identifies the most significant underlying point: former or would-be atheists are not rushing in droves to the feet of Christ.

Aaron of Two or Three posts on the subject and also notes the rise of pantheism (or paganism):

Christians need to be prepared for the type of discussion and debates that this type of belief system will provoke. I am afraid like in virtually every other previous debate, Christians will be out in the culture decrying the evils of atheism when there are only a handful of them left and we will be ill-prepared for the new culture.
Good points John and Aaron.

Posted by Rick at March 7, 2005 03:03 PM

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It may be a little off subject, but this poem looks at another debate.

The Balance Tilts Life

The argument lives, a life of its own
And while it lives, a high price is paid
Choice and control, center one side
While value and worth, the other proclaims.

Confusion is present, and perhaps not bad
To divert attention, from an emotional front
But the stakes are so high, that confusion is wrong
So for clarity sake, an answer is sought.

Just fundamentalists they are, argue one side
And they think strange things, that most would deny
Because of this, they cannot be right
For fundamentalists they are, and ears should shut tight.

The choice of a woman, a right of control
A freedom of sorts, to alter a path
That leads not to where, the path ought to lie
Misfortune and chance, can be changed just like that.

No, life takers they are, who choose to destroy
And pillage small life, without even a care
Or a thought of what's right, cause the devil is there
To lead them astray, and the small ones pay.

Misfortune and chance, it is but a choice
A choice one should know, not only is wrong
Which invites yes it does, the misfortune and chance
And the cost it is paid, by the ones with no choice.

The arguments rage, to extremes on both sides
An admission is there, and needs to be seen
Choice and control, is important no doubt
But so is the point of who pays, without doubt.

But when arguments fly, and one must choose
Between one or the other, how do you decide?
Weighing the interests, is what should be done
When the interests are valid, the arguments good

To balance them right, one must compare
The ultimate weight, between choice and life
Balance them right, and one must prevail
Which should it be, which one is right?

When one is a choice, new life the result
Helpless and clean, no choice did it make
We all have been there, its where we began
The right becomes clear, the balance tilts life.

Posted by: Carlos at March 7, 2005 04:28 PM

I've found that the fundamental reason for people to look elsewhere than Christ (especially those who have been raised in the church) have decided to do so because the relationship that we all need wasn't there for them in the church. That's why I never get into theological debates with my atheist / pagan friends. It's not a problem worldview that dictates their relationship to the church - it's the other way around.

Posted by: Ray Grieselhuber at March 7, 2005 07:43 PM

Nancy Pearcey has written a fantastic book called Total Truth; Liberating Christianity form Its Cultural Captivity. It chronicles how the American Evangelical movement actually sowed the seeds for the pantheistic worldview by confining the Christian worldview only to the spiritual realm--and not to the business, scientific and academic realm. This caused a vacumn into which pantheism, materialism and pragmatism rushed.

The book has a fantastic explanation of the scientific basis of Intelligent Design. I was totally ignorant of the subject (though I knew that evolution was on shaky scientific ground) until I read this book.

I can't recommend it enough--and I hope to write a review when I have finished it.

Posted by: Sue Bob at March 7, 2005 09:42 PM