On March 24, 2012 a “Reason Rally” will be held in Washington D.C. drawing “non-theists”/atheists from around the country to (according to the “about” page of their website) “unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society…”
In an article describing this rally, event organizer David Silverman, president of American Atheists, further clarifies the purpose of this rally: “…the main point of the rally, Silverman says, is not to tweak the faithful. It’s to encourage closeted atheists to take heart. ’The message is that if you can come out, you can out come out,’ he says. ‘And if you can’t come out, at least you’ll know you’re not alone, and maybe sometime soon you’ll be able to come out of the closet to your family.’”
The sense I get from these sorts of purpose statements is that ”coming out of the closet” and identifying oneself as an atheist will be liberating for the individual. Maybe it will be. Maybe it will liberate this “closet atheist” to finally start living a certain way, unriddled by the guilt they feel has been imposed on them by whatever beliefs about God/believers/religion they’re rejecting (or never believed in in the first place). Maybe it will be liberating to finally answer the questions they’ve been asking with responses they (for whatever reason) are more satisfied with.
Recently Al Mohler (president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky) posted an entry on his blog that addressed both (1) his hope for the church because of the young ministers entering and preparing for ministry, and (2) challenges/issues that are on the (near) horizon that demand careful response and attention by the church.
This article was one of those pieces of writing that kept me thinking for a while even after I read it, so I figured it was worth referring along. Here are some (brief) excerpts from Mohler’s post that will give you a sense of what he’s covering (and hopefully whet your appetite to reading his whole article – we’ve provided a link to it at the end):
Anyone who’s been part of church culture for any length of time knows that the relationship between science and the Bible is often a delicate one. Are they competitors or complementary (or, at times, both)? What do we do when the claims of one seem to conflict with the claims of the other?
These questions have been central in the ongoing “creation versus evolution” debate, and are popping up in fresh ways as a recent burst of information is bringing the existence of a historical Adam into fresh consideration. This is likely something you’ll hear about on the History or Discovery Channels, or get into conversation about over some Thanksgiving meal with extended family or friends.
Knowing this, here are a few articles (and one book), written by evangelical Christians, that can introduce you to this topic. Keep this in mind, though: these articles present a variety of evangelical approaches to this topic and may at times even conflict with each other. As always, read with your thinking caps on and with a commitment to the authority of God’s Word.
Here are some articles that will introduce you to things:
As part of the fresh facelift on our blog, be sure and notice that we’ve added a “Recommend” tab along the top bar of the page – this will direct you to a page where you can access dozens and dozens (and dozens) of books we recommend, organized topically. Because we’ve chosen to include a large number of books categorized under certain headings, we’re using this post to serve as a sort of orientation to this “Recommend” page and its categorization; our hope is that once you’ve read through the material included here you’ll be set up to navigate our “recommend” tab comfortably.