How Richard Dawkins and the Battle for the Mind Will Lead to the Next "Great Awakening"
Ideas do have consequences. In fact, ideas can change an entire culture. Isn’t that what happened when the disciples started to spread Christianity? But how can Christianity change the morally decadent culture of today’s world?
According to an article in Science Daily,
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. . . . When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. "Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.
God is using an unusual source to drive the number of fully committed Christian opinion makers above this 10 percent figure. Believe it or not, God is using people like Richard Dawkins and the neo-atheists to create a greater interest in “spiritual” matters. Their stated intention is to destroy Christianity, but they will, in fact, help to create the next Great Awakening. Please keep reading even if you think I’m crazy.
Interest in the existence (or non-existence) of God, and the desire to explain the creation of the universe and the origin of life are the most debated topics on universities around the world. Since the philosophical ideas being promoted by the neo-atheists are based on propositions that cannot stand up to logic and intellectual scrutiny, this has, I believe, created the biggest opportunity for the spread of Christianity since the first century. And since even the scientific theories that are the basis of the neo-atheists arguments are based on incredible random change or luck (see blog by Clay Jones), the demolition of these arguments will create a crisis of faith in their religion of scientific naturalism.
The university is the main target of the neo-atheists, and that is why Ratio Christi is setting up apologetics clubs at the university to engage in the battle of the mind of Christians and skeptics alike. We are bringing together faith and reason in order to establish the intellectual voice of Christ at the university. We unashamedly defend the veracity of God, the Bible, and Christ’s resurrection with scientific, historical, and philosophical arguments. By demolishing the “high sounding arguments” of the neo-atheists, we are creating the opportunity to convince more than 10 percent of the committed opinion holders that the truth they are looking for is found in Christianity.
If Ratio Christi is successful in demolishing the worldview of the skeptics at the university, this will have a major influence on our entire culture. As noted in the Science Daily article, “the percentage of committed opinion holders required to influence a society remains at approximately 10 percent, regardless of how or where that opinion starts and spreads in the society.” Since what happens at the university is a preview of what will happen to a society at-large, this means we should see an explosive growth in the number of people, young and old, putting their trust in Jesus Christ. The impact to our degenerate culture will be phenomenal.
I believe that God has raised Ratio Christi up to be a catalyst for this opportunity. But God has been laying the groundwork to build a foundation for this movement for years. The intellectual groundwork was put in place over the last 60 years. After Christians abandoned the intellectual realm after the Scopes Monkey Trail, a small group of Christians engaged in the study and discussions of defending the faith. In the last 30 years, many apologetics ministries have popularized the study of apologetics to a new generation of Christian thinkers. During the last decade a few seminaries started awarding degrees in apologetics. Then at just the right time, when the neo-atheists began to aggressively evangelize our children, God established Ratio Christi to charge into the strategic battleground of the university like the Marines charged into Iwo Jima.
Ratio Christi is not just another organization; it is a movement dedicated to creating a paradigm shift in the entire culture including the university and the church. The scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have given us the evidence that it can be done. God has supplied an aggressive adversary to create interest in “spiritual” matters. He has given us the intellectual weapons to destroy the philosophical foundations of non-Christian worldviews. He has created an army of talented young apologists prepared for the battle. And now He has given Ratio Christi the charge in His strategic plan to place one of these apologists at every university. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get it done!
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