What would the church look like if the devil were in charge? In his book Christless Christianity, Michael Horton answers this question by talking about how no one would cuss or smoke, everyone would be courteous and polite, but Christ would not appear. No sermon would talk about Christ, his work on the cross, and how full atonement has been made.
As if the supremacy of Christ were novel expression fashioned in the forges of the post-modern mind, Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola take up the same cadence in their book, Jesus Manifesto. In their book, the authors paint a beautiful picture of Christ as head of the church, the subject of all our conversations, and the mediator of all our thoughts. They challenge us to see that “Jesus is the gravitational pull that holds all things together,” while also existing as “the center and circumference of the Christian life.”
Put simply: “This book is a means to an end, and that end is Christ.”
It is often curious to people why I would wish to engage in dialogue with atheists, especially when I emphasize that my intention is in no way to convert or subject them to Christianity. It comes at even a greater curiosity on both sides of the table for me to suggest that these conversations help me to actually strengthen and enrich my own belief. In reading the book Christless Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton of the White Horse Inn radio/podcast, I ran across a few passages that may begin to help answer that question:
The search for the sacred has become a recurring cover story for national news magazines for some time now. Although this search is often identified as an encouraging sign of interest in God, it may be more dangerous than atheism. At least atheism makes arguments and shows an interest in a world external to the feelings of the inner self. Furthermore, after each round of this quest for the holy grail, evangelicalism itself looks more and more indistinguishable from the ooze of pop spirituality more generally (page 159-60).
A few months ago I wrote a post in response to the lecture that I witnessed at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. The talk was titled “The Ultimate Proof of Creation,” but was actually an attack on the moral character of atheists. Seated among a predominantly atheist audience, I was appalled and embarrassed at what was being said. In my post I made quite a feeble attempt at a response, but wrote out of anger and with a lack of substance.
In the lecture, Dr. Jason Lisle asserted that there is no morality outside of Christianity, and further that an atheist has absolutely no reason to be moral because he does not believe in God. As the king of logical fallacies, Dr. Lisle has been stewed in his own soup with this assertion. It is quite easy, in fact, to discount his claim and give full credence to the atheist on her ability to choose to do the right thing in every circumstance without God’s divine direction.