Re: Why I am not an Atheist

Bill Dozier (
Mon, 8 Apr 1996 11:22:30 -0400

At 3:56 PM 4/7/96, Fred Phelps is rumored to have typed:

> If even one miracle (which I define for today, despite your objections
> to be "violations of the laws of nature or amazing answers to prayer")
> can
> be established to have happened, then athiesm,
> scientism crumbles. Thus, while God is the God of all processes, He is
> also God of the Gaps! And Gaps are a great testimony - they always
> have been.

Here we go again.

miracles != "gaps"

Yes, we perceive an event to be a miracle because we can not explain how or
why it happened. However, let me state again that in the Bible miracles
most often (but not always) were normal events that were miraculous in
their degree &/or timing.

Some examples:

Some friends of mine had a child recently that was born with significant
defects. Repeated ultrasound examinations showed him having no spleen. Our
church prayed. The next exam showed a spleen. The physicians have no
explanation for what happened and there is little chance that the earlier
exams were in error. So I believe a miracle occurred. If someone later
figures out how it happened, I'm still going to call it a miracle because
for one, I believe that God did it whether it violated "natural laws" or
not and secondly because of the timing and circumstances of the event.

My pastor's family needed a new car. Without going into detail, there was a
convergence of unusual circumstances that providentially allowed him to buy
a far newer and better vehicle than he expected to be able to afford. I
also believe that God was working in those circumstances to make it all
happen without any "natural laws" being violated.

This is the first winter in many that I did not get bronchitis. Shall I
give the credit to vitamin C, Providence or both? I say both.

To require that for God to act the He must act in a way that we perceive to
be miraculous is to ignore his sovreignty. This is the essence of a
"God-of-the-gaps." To disbelieve that He can or will act in miraculous ways
is to ignore his power. This is deism and at least halfway to atheism.

Fred also wrote:

> I love you in the Lord and sympathise with what you are saying. But
> you are hammering every other position but your own and not very many
> people yet believe your postion. Some lurkers may be feeling cornered
> and ready to give up in despair and slide into atheism. You yourself
> were not far from that recently. I have had my doubts too. For
> everyone's benefit, I am creating another post on why I did not give up
> in despair.

If I must choose between compartmentalized truth and atheism, then I choose
the latter. However, this is not the alternative that faces us. I think
that all of us (at least all that I have seen writing here) believe that
God, as the author of both books (nature and Bible), does not contradict
himself and that a true understanding of both revelations will be a
consistent and true one. Don't make the mistake of thinking that since two
people disagree one how that exactly works out that one or both of them
don't accept the premise.

Bill Dozier
Scatterer at Large