Who said they would? The power of God is not in arguments, is in the gospel.
You're talking to a five-point calvinist. Atheism is simply another form of idolotry.
> > > May it be that some things can be learned about God simply by observation
> > > of the world? If I may make use of the Watchmaker analogy, once I
> > > aknowledge that a maker exists I may infer simply by looking at the watch
> > > that the maker has a certain knowledge of mechanics, an interest in
> > > time-keeping, etc.. But there would be many other things which could not
> > > be inferred. To know them I would have to meet the Watchmaker and he would
> > > have to reveal them to me.
> This is a traditional & popular approach - we can know some
> things about God from nature but can only know about Trinity,
> Incarnation, atonement &c from revelation. History has shown that it is
> all too easy for what we think we can learn from reason to take
> precedence over revelation. Since we can supposedly infer the _unity_
> of God from reason but not the Trinity, the Trinity then becomes a
> theological problem or is relegated to the status of a pious formula.
> Since we can conclude philosophically that God can't suffer & die, the
> cross becomes a problem which we try to talk our way around rather than
> the fundamental revelation of who God is.
> > > What is debated is whether the existence of the Watchmaker can properly be
> > > inferred from simple observation of the watch.
> > > But on what basis can they be held accountable for their rejection of one
> > > who had not been revealed to them? Despite that they have not been the
> > > recipients of that revelation which came through the Jewish people, they
> > > are held accountable in view of what has been plainly visible to all people
> > > in all places.
> But of course for Paul & 1st century Judaism God's
> self-revelation does not begin with Abraham. It goes back through the
> covenant with Noah to the beginnings of the human race.
> > > Whilst the text does not starkly insist that God's existence is properly
> > > inferrable from the world around, it does say that certain qualities are
> > > discernible. And it would need explaining how qualities could be inferred
> > > to a being whose existence cannot be.
> Again, it does not say that people's sin consisted in denying
> the existence of any deity, but in misrepresenting the deity &
> worshipping the creature instead of the creator. & if sinners attempt
> to deduce something about a deity without beginning from revelation,
> they are simply replaying Paul's scenario.
> > > This is not independent natural theology because it asserts that a
> > > sufficient knowledge of God can only come through special revelation, but
> > > it accords some true and decisive content to general revelation
> > > nonetheless.
> It is independent natural theology in the sense in which I (&
> Torrance e.g.) use the term - a theology (albeit incomplete) which is
> independent of historical revelation. With Aquinas, Lutheran Orthodoxy
> &c the _incompleteness_ of any such natural theology was recognized. It
> was the Enlightenment which moved to the idea that an independent
> natural theology was complete & sufficient - e.g., Lessing. & that is a
> danger which always lurks in the natural theology program.
> George Murphy