March 6, 2005
Atheism in declineBy Joesph Grant Swank, Jr.
Atheism, that mammoth godlessness that overarched the scientific age, is declining, that is, according to UPI's Uwe Siemon—Netto.
Atheism just doesn't hack it any more. It's got as many charlatans as the fallen TV evangelists. It's got as many stupidities as some of so—called scientific hypotheses.
'...godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars.
"'Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide,' Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said in an interview. His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees.'
Take Anthony Flew, British philosopher, for example. He was once of the first—in—line atheists. Now he has publicly denounced atheism He reports that evolution, for instance, cannot 'account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.'
So there you have it. That's what Christians have been reporting all along. Now we have Flew flying into the fray. Good.
As for science, the prop for atheism major, it used to be that persons who believed that prayer influenced anything were ready for nuthouse entrance. But now research concludes that there is definitely a 'correlation between faith, prayer and recovery from illness.'
So there you have it. That's what Christians have been testifying to all along. Now we are having the lab fellows echoing our witness.
"'With time, [atheism] turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths and careerists as religion does. ... With Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the vices of the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, respectively,'' Mr. McGrath states.
However, the decline of atheism does not mean a surging forth of Christian faith. It means instead a 're—paganization.' That is, today witches, wizards, pagans of all sorts, New Agers and other non—Christians consider themselves 'spiritual.' That term is bantered about freely on talk shows, interviews, and so forth.
To be 'spiritual' today is to be posh. Therefore Scientologists such as John Travolta are 'spiritual.' Oprah is 'spiritual.' Ellen is 'spiritual.'
Again, another legitimate term has slid from its historic definition into another slot. 'Spiritual' used to be synonymous with God—believing and Bible—adhering. But now it stands for spooks and hocus pocus of many varieties.
On the one hand then it's exciting to realize that atheism per se is going by the board, but it is not all that Christian—exciting to realize that paganism is becoming prominent and acceptable.
So goes the preparation for the worldwide rule of the Man of Peace — 'Mr. Spiritual' — rider on a white horse with bow in hand but absent an arrow? Could be.
Joseph Grant Swank, Jr. is Pastor of the New Hope Church in Windham, Maine