Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sign Checklist #2: Lee Strobel, Anne Graham Lotz and The Efficacy of Prayer

The next website on my list is Lee Strobel is a popular apollogist that claims to be an ex-atheist.* His website offers YouTube-like videos on a variety of subjects. However, the most obvious goal of his website is to sell books and cds. His free videos are just snippets. The longest I've seen are about 10 minutes long. In many cases you have to buy the CD to see the entire movie.

I rather like Lee Strobel. No where have I heard him openly ridicule the atheist position. (Other apollogists often do.) Maybe, being an ex-atheist, he realizes that you can't reach people by telling them that they're stupid. However, his arguments are still the same ol', same ol' thats been refuted millions of times.

In the following clip At the following URL, Strobel interviews Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Grahams daughter). They tackle the question of why God seems to not answer every prayer.
(You can embed the videos, but they start when my blog loads, so I posted the url instead.)

Seems that Strobel and Lotz have never heard of Occam's Razor. They say that God doesn't always answer prayer and that there are bad things happening in the world, so that means that God must have a higher plan and understanding than us. It's a non-answer. It just a way for them to justify confirmation bias. That's the real reason people supposedly have a prayer answered. The simplest explaination, in my opinion, is that God has no power to stop evil or to answer prayer and when we hear about a prayer being answered it was us counting the hits and not the misses.

Many people have a superstitious attitude toward prayer. They often think that you have to have some magical quality called "enough faith", or that you must word the prayer in a certain flattering way so that it grabs Jesus' attention. When such prayers go "unanswered" the person who prayed often blames himself/herself.

* I have no reason to doubt that Lee Strobel was once an atheist. I have meantioned many times that people change as they go through life. I myself have jumped the fence a couple times. I've gone from believer to agnostic, back to believer, and finally back to the atheist I am today. Who knows? Maybe, Strobel will be an atheist again in ten years. Probably not, because he makes too much money on the claim of being an ex-atheist. Compare this to the reaction I get when I tell fundies that I'm an ex-christian. I'm either called a liar or I'm accused of not being a "real christian" in the first place, or that I'm too stupid to know what being a christian is all about.

To my christian readers: What if Strobel is still an atheist? The bible says that atheists are evil and wicked and they can not do anything that is good (Psalms 53:1). What if Lee is pretending to be a christian so that he can make a bunch of money off of book and CD sales? According to the bible, isn't that kind of dishonesty something you should expect from an atheist? How can you trust someone who was corrupt and has done abominable iniquity? How can you trust him to be honest with you now?

1 comment:

GCT said...

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