Atheism vs. Christianity

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Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity.

In the latter half of the 1600s, there was an increase in conflict between atheism and Christianity in the Western World. At first the conflict was of a secretive nature through the use of clandestine atheist tracts.[1][2]

Baron d'Holbach (1723–1789) in his 1770 work The System of Nature denied the existence of God. He was an early proponent of atheism in Europe.

Atheism gained further European prominence as a result of the revolutionary French government's anti-religion campaign in the 1790s.[3][4] See also: History of atheism.

Atheism vs. Christianity and the available evidence

The available evidence and sound reasoning point to Christianity being true and atheism being false (see: Evidence for Christianity and Rebuttals to atheist arguments).

In recent years, there have multiple cases of prominent atheists being reluctant to debate matters related to the atheism vs. Christianity topic (see: Atheism and debate).

Christianity vs. atheism debates

Atheism vs. Christianity statistics

See also: Christianity vs. atheism statistics

Atheism vs. religion and morality

Contents

Atheism vs. Christianity: Number of adherents

Global Christianity

See also: Global Christianity and Christianity statistics

First Things, a journal of religion and public life, reported in February 2015: "Christians were 34.5 percent of global population in 1900, 33.3 percent in 1970, 32.4 percent in 2000, and 33.4 percent today, with projections to 33.7 percent in 2025 and 36 percent in 2050.[5]

Pew Forum reports, "As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth."[6]

The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.[7]

Christianity, in terms of its geographic distribution, is the most globally diverse religion.[8] (see: Global Christianity). The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.[7] In addition, the Christian community is far more evangelistic than the atheist community and Christian missionaries are throughout the world.

Christianity has recently seen explosive growth outside the Western World.[9] In 2000, there were twice as many non-Western Christians as Western Christians.[10] In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western Christians as there were Western World Christians.[10] There are now more non-Western missionaries than Western missionaries.[10] See also: Global scope of indigenous evangelical Christianity evangelism

According to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for the Study of Global Christianity, which has made projections up until the year of 2050, the percentage of the global population that are evangelical Christians/pentecostals is expected to increase.[11]

Phillip Jenkins' estimate of the future growth of Christianity

Phillip Jenkins published the book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

Chuck Colson, citing the work of Jenkins, writes:

As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West.

For instance, in 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Those same estimates put the number of Christians in Latin America in 2025 at 640 million and in Asia at 460 million.

According to Jenkins, the percentage of the worlds population that is, at least by name, Christian will be roughly the same in 2050 as it was in 1900. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world -- one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.[12]

Growth of evangelical Christianity

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity

Evangelical Christians are often zealous when it comes to evangelism and evangelical Christianity has seen rapid growth in the world (see: Growth of evangelical Christianity).

Global atheism

See also: Global atheism and Atheism statistics

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020.[13]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[14] See: Western atheism and race

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported concerning global atheism:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[13]

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[15][16]

American atheism

See also: American atheism

David Silverman is the president of the American Atheists organization.

According to the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS), the number of atheists and agnostics in the United States has remained relatively stable in the past 23 years. In 1991, 2% of Americans identified as atheist, and 4% identified as agnostic. In 2014, 3% of Americans identified as atheists, and 5% identified as agnostics.[17]

As in many theistic societies, many Americans have a low opinion of atheism/atheists (see: Views on atheists and Atheism and social outcasts).

21st century and desecularization

See also: Desecularization and European desecularization in the 21st century and Decline of Asian atheism

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.[18]

The 21st century is expected to be a time of the decline of atheism in terms of its global market share and religious conservatism/fundamentalism is expected to grow in both the developing world and in the developed world. There are a number of causes of desecularization in the developed world (and the world at large), but two of the primary causes are the higher fertility rate of religious conservatives and immigration of the religious into developed countries.

Global resurgence of religion

See also: Desecularization and Atheism and marriage and Atheist marriages

Watoto Children's Choir, Uganda. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[10]

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [19]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[20] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[20] See also: Atheism and sexuality

In 2008, Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, in his monograph entitled Wars of Ideas and the War of Ideas, "offers a brief examination of four common types of wars of ideas..."[21] While he believes that a sound understanding the wars of ideas can inform strategy, Echevarria "concludes that physical events, whether designed or incidental, are in some respects more important to the course and outcome of a war of ideas than the ideas themselves."[21] [22] Kaufmann argues that fertility rate differences over time will have a stronger effect on the atheism/agnosticism vs. Christianity ideological struggle than evangelism will in West and that immigration of religious immigrants will also have a strong effect.[23]

Rapid growth of evangelical Christianity and pentecostalism

The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger: "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[24]

See also: Growth of global desecularization

The American Spectator, writing in 2011 about research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, declared:

The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."[25]

The World Christian Database estimates the number of Evangelicals at 300 million individuals, Pentecostals and Charismatics at 600 million individuals and "Great Commission" Christians at 700 million individuals. These Christian groups are not mutually exclusive. Operation World estimates the number of Evangelicals at 550 million individuals.

Explosive growth of pentecostalism

See also: Pentecostalism

The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999.[26][27] According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[24]

Pentecostalism has experienced explosive growth for the past half-century. The membership is young and fast-growing.

In 2011, a Pew Forum study of worldwide Christianity found that there were about 279 million classical Pentecostals, making 4 percent of the total world population and 12.8 percent of global Christendom Pentecostal.[28]

Growth of evangelicalism in the world and in the United States

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity and Baylor University researchers on American Christianity

A Pew Forum report showed that evangelical Protestant churches in America grew by 2 million from 2007 to 2014.[29]

Michael Brown wrote:

Several decades ago, church statistician and demographer David Barrett began to report the surprising news that around the world, the most rapidly growing faith was Spirit-empowered Christianity, marked by clear gospel preaching, belief in the literal truth of the Scriptures, and the reality of God’s presence. (The data were compiled in the prestigious “World Christian Encyclopedia,” published by Oxford University Press.)...

This is confirmed in the new Pew Forum report, which showed that evangelical Protestant churches in America grew by 2 million from 2007 to 2014 whereas the so-called mainline (liberal) Protestant churches declined by 5 million, meaning that evangelical Protestants now make up the largest religious group in the nation. (Although this is not part of the Pew Forum survey, my surmise is that the evangelical churches that are most Bible-based and make the most serious, grace-empowered demands on their congregants are, generally speaking, the ones that are growing rather than declining.)[29]

In their 2010 journal article entitled, Secularism, Fundamentalism or Catholicism? The Religious Composition of the United States to 2043 published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vegard Skirbekk and Anne Goujon wrote that the "prevailing view ...envisions the continued growth of “strong religion” (Stark and Iannaccone 1994a)."[30] See also: Baylor University researchers on American Christianity

Growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe

See: European desecularization in the 21st century

Decline of Asian atheism

Atheism vs. Christianity debates

See: Atheism and debate

Atheism vs. Christianity debate resources

The majority of philosophers of religion, or those who have extensively studied the issue of the existence of God, are theists (72 percent).[31]

In 1990, the atheist philosopher Michael Martin indicated there was a general absence of an atheistic response to contemporary work in the philosophy of religion and in jest he indicated that it was his "cross to bear" to respond to theistic arguments.[32] Yet, in 1994, Michael Martin was criticized for his eleventh hour cancellation of his debate with Greg Bahnsen (see: Greg Bahnsen and debate).[33][34]

Prominent atheists dodging debates

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University professor and atheist Daniel Came wrote Richard Dawkins:: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[35]

Prominent atheists, agnostics and evolutionists have established a reputation of dodging debates (see: Atheism and cowardice). For example, in 2012 both the New Atheist Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Society dodged debates with Dr. William Lane Craig. Richard Dawkins has established a reputation of avoiding his strongest debate opponents.

The cowardice associated with atheism has become so obvious that it is making newspaper headlines.[36] On May 14, 2011, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published a news story entitled Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God.[37]

In the Daily Telegraph article Dr. Daniel Came, a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University was quoted as writing to Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig, "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[35]

Morale of Christendom vs. the morale of the atheist movement

Successful groups with a long track record of high morale and determination generally do better over the long term than groups which are discouraged and have been unsuccessful for an extended period of time.

Below are articles which cite data and testimonial evidence concerning the morale of the atheist movement and the morale of Christendom:

Atheism and politics

See also: Atheism and politics

Edmund Burke was adamantly against atheism and pointed out its negative influence on the political realm.[38]

Atheist Dr. Gordon Stein wrote:

Atheism has long ceased to be a rare and oft-ignored philosophical outlook...It has transformed itself into an active political programme with clear objectives which, though they vary from state to state, unequivocally include the elimination of state religion, religious education, and the enshrinement of scientism."[39]

Atheists commonly use the political realm to advance their atheistic ideology (see: Political activities of atheists).

At the same time, atheists do not have a completely unified political standing, but embrace a diverse range of political opinions. However, historically and in recent times the majority of atheist have leaned towards the left/liberal side of the political spectrum in both their economic and social views (see: Secular left).[40][41][42][43][44] For example, a Harris interactive poll found that most American atheists are liberal.[40] Atheists hold all major political positions, including the secular left and the secular right.

Russian revolution caused the most notable spread of atheism

see also: Atheism and communism and Militant atheism and Atheism and economics and Atheism and mass murder and Atheism and Karl Marx

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[45]

Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg, a Soviet physicist, wrote that the "Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists."[46] However, prior to this, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established an atheist state, with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[47]

Oppression in atheistic communist regimes

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Atheism and communism

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.[48]

It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[49] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[50]

French Revolution and atheism

See also: History of atheism

On July 14, 1789, the Bastille was stormed by a mob and its prisoners freed, which is regarded as the start of the French Revolution.

The University of Cambridge reports the following historical relationship between atheism and the French Revolution:

Between 1700 and 1750 thousands of atheistic clandestine manuscripts circulated across Europe (although still only read by a very small minority)...

The French Revolution (1789-94) would dramatically transform the power relationship between belief and unbelief in Europe: whereas before atheism had been 'high brow', discussed in the cafes and salons of Paris, henceforth it would set itself down among the people. A strident unbelief became a real political factor in public life, as the anticlerical 'dechristianisation' period following the revolution would demonstrate. The impact of the French Revolution in inspiring people to put the irreligious ideas of the Enlightenment into practice would extend beyond France to other European countries, and to the American colonies (although in the latter it would take a deistic rather than atheistic form).[51]

The Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established established a state which was anti-Roman Catholicism/Christian in nature[52] (anti-clerical deism and anti-religious atheism and played a significant role in the French Revolution),[53][54] with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[55]

Atheism vs. Christianity in the 21st century

See also: Global Christianity and Global atheism

Globalization, religious immigration and its effect on the Western World

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[56][57][58][59]

Eric Kaufmann, told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[60]

Kaufmann using a wealth of demographic studies argues the decline of atheism in terms of its percentage of global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate.[61]

In addition, Kaufmann argues that religious conservatism has a long term trend of rising and that their influence in the world will significantly increase.[56] Kaufmann is author of the book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?.[62][63] In the Western World due to immigration and the higher birth rates of religious people, Kaufman writes: "Committed religious populations are growing in the West, and will reverse the march of secularism before 2050."[63]

Christianity is the world's largest religion and it has seen tremendous growth over its 2000-year history.[64] Christianity has recently seen explosive growth outside the Western World.[9] In 2000, there were twice as many non-Western Christians as Western Christians.[10] In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western Christians as there were Western World Christians.[10] There are now more non-Western missionaries than Western missionaries.[10]

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[15][16]

Atheists as a percentage of the world's population have declined since 1970 and global atheism is expected to face long term decline.[65]

For more information, please see: Global atheism and Secular Europe

Biblical creationism vs. atheism

See also: Global creationism

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists.[66] See also: Atheism and evolution and Problems with the evolutionary position

Johns Hopkins University Press reported in 2014: "Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames."[67]

Global creationism is expected to grow in the 21st century (see: Global Christianity).

History of the growth of creationism and its effect on the atheism vs. Christianity issue

Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian wrote in their work Introduction To Integrated Christian Apologetics:

American evangelical Christians have began to notice in the fifties that compromise is a slow poison that ultimately destroys respect for truth. Some of them came together and started writing aggressively on themes defending the historical and scientific reliability of the Bible. This gave birth to the modern interest in Apologetics and Creationism. At the dawn of the twenty-first century the influence of this revival has spread all over the world, and today more than one hundred and fifty organizations function around the world, devoted solely to apologetics. Their influence has be so strong that a large number of Seminaries all around the world have begun assert the historical and scientific reliability of the Bible...

...with the birth of the modern creationism and apologetics, a revival set in motion among the evangelical Christians. This group became quite vocal and aggressive in the sixties, and by seventies they started exerting significant influence among theologians, thinkers, and the Bible teachers all over the world.

Thousands of apologetic books, hundreds of magazines, and tens of thousands of articles have been produced defending the Bible since. In turn, this has started to diminish the influence of rationalists and radicals on Christians.

From the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century the rationalists had their heyday, snatching away millions of young people from their Christian faith and commitment. The wounds of this loss can been seen in Christendom even today, but at the same time this loss has been greatly minimized now because of the work of Christian apologists.

Today anyone desiring to know about the Bible, and its connection with science, evolution, history, archaeology, has read any number of books on this topic. Literally thousands of titles are available, and he can choose anywhere from the most simple books to the most technically advanced ones. Thus the modern apologetics movement has been able to arrest the way in which rationalists have been bleeding the Christian church.[68]

Atheism and the United States

Demographic trends in the United States point to atheism plateauing sometime in the 21st century in terms of its growth.

Growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe

French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about Europe’s most secular nation.[69]

Global Christianity is growing rapidly in adherents and evangelical Christianity is seeing significant growth in secular Europe (see: Growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe).

For example, on July 12, 2012, the Christian Science Monitor reported:

French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about Europe’s most secular nation...

Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the French National Evangelical Council, found that since 1970, a new evangelical church has opened in France every 10 days. The number of churches increased from 769 to 2,068 last year.[69]

In April 2010, Kauffmann declared that "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[70]

21st century Europe: Atheism vs. Christianity

In 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050.[71]

Concerning the future of religion/secularism in Europe, Eric Kaufmann wrote:

We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).

This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[72]

In 2011, the Oxford University journal Sociology of Religion published an article by Eric Kaufmann, Anne Goujon and Vegard Skirbekk entitled The End of Secularization in Europe?: A Socio-Demographic Perspective which declared:

"Silent” demographic effects can be profound in the long term. For example, Rodney Stark shows how early Christians’ favorable fertility and mortality rates when compared with Hellenistic pagans may have helped fuel a 40 percent growth rate in the Christian population of the Roman Empire over several centuries. This helped give rise to a population increase from 40 converts in 30 AD to 6 million by the year 300 leading to a “tipping point” which helped Christianity become institutionalized within the Empire (Stark 1996).[73]

For more information, please see: Desecularization of secular Europe in the 21st century

Sociologist Peter Berger on Pentecostalism and Europe

The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999.[26][27] In contrast to many other forms of Christianity, charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity is very evangelical. According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[74]

Berger recently said that he previously thought that pentecostalism did not have a significant future in Europe, but he recently saw signs that it could see significant growth in Europe.[75] In addition, pentecostalism often grows fast in areas undergoing economic distress.[76][77] Post 2007 there are concerns that Western economies which have high sovereign debt loads could see some significant economic turmoil in coming years - especially the European countries with aging populations that have been struggling in terms of economic growth.

Growth of Christianity in atheistic China

See also: Growth of Christianity in China and Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union and Decline of the secular left

In front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:

Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...

Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.[78]

New Atheism: Militant atheist backlash to the resurgence of religion in the world

See also: New Atheism

The term New Atheism which first appeared in the November 2006 edition of Wired magazine, is frequently applied to a series of six best-selling books by five authors that appeared in the period between 2004–2008. These authors include Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor J. Stenger and Christopher Hitchens.[79] The four most prominent writers of the New Atheist movement are Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett.

An irony of the New Atheist movement is that New Atheism is a militant form of atheism and Richard Dawkins has flip-flopped concerning whether he is an atheist or an agnostic (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism).

Decline of New Atheism

See also: Decline of New Atheism and Decline of militant atheism in the West

New Atheism was a fad and is now is a small fraction of its former self. It imploded in July 2011, when the abrasive Richard Dawkins divided Western atheism due to Dawkins offending atheist women (particularly feminist atheist women) and liberal atheists as a whole in his Elevatorgate scandal. See also: Atheist movement and Atheist factions

An unintended effect of the New Atheism

An April 17, 2011 atheist essay entitled Are atheists strengthening religion? declared:

The Christian backlash and response to new atheism is/was considerable, and neither can the consequences, changes, and foci which marked their response be ignored.

In the end, have we simply made the aforementioned goal more difficult to accomplish?[80]

The New Atheism caused a number of Christian apologists to focus their apologetic efforts on atheism and it also spawned a resurgence of interest in Christian apologetics. For example, the Christian apologetics organization Ratio Christi was formed in the wake of the New Atheism.

Atheism vs. Christian revival

See also: Atheism vs. Christian revival and Christian apologetics and Atheism and apathy

Reverend Dwight Longenecker wrote: "In the late eighteenth century atheism, rationalism and Freemasonry seemed to have taken over Europe. By the mid to late nineteenth century religious revival had swept through Europe and Christianity was surging forward."[81]

In the United States, there were a series of Christian revivals/awakenings between 1730 and the 1970s (see: First Great Awakening and Second Great Awakening and Third Great Awakening and Fourth Great Awakening and Jesus Movement).

Christian websites with a large focus on the topic of atheism

See also: Internet atheism

Four of the more notable Christian apologetics which have a large focus on the topic of atheism are: Shadow To Light blog and True Free Thinker, the Creation Ministries International resources on atheism, and the Fixed Point Foundation website.

Online videos concerning atheism and related topics

Hate crimes in the United States against atheists/agnostics are very low in number

See also: Persecution of atheists

According to a 2007 Pew Forum survey, about 4% of Americans are atheists/agnostics.[82] A 2008 Gallup poll showed that 6% of the U.S. population believed that no god or universal spirit exists.[83]

According to 2013 FBI statistics, 6/10 of a percent of hate crimes were against atheists/agnostics.[84][85]

See also: Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists

Atheism vs. Christianity: Art, music and poetry

See also: Atheism and inspiration

Relative to Christianity which has a large collection of art, music and poetry associated it, atheism has a very small collection of art, music and poetry associated with it (see: Atheist art and Atheist music and Atheist poetry).

Atheism, biblical Christianity and liberal Christianity

See also: Atheism and liberal Christianity alliances

As far as Atheism vs. Christianity conflict, there is a far greater degree of ideological conflict between proponents of biblical/conservative Christianity and atheists - especially secular leftists.

Although liberal Christianity adherents disagree with atheists on various matters, they do work together on points of agreement (see: Atheism and liberal Christianity alliances). In terms of atheists and politics, most atheists are secular leftist.

God and the church triumphs over atheism

Stain glass depiction of the Apostle John

Ultimately, God and church triumphs over atheism.

The Apostle John wrote in the Book of Revelation:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. - Revelation 22: 11-17 (King James Bible)[86]

Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

See also

External links

Notes and references

  1. Jonathan Israel on The Enlightenment
  2. The material was formerly at the University of Cambridge's Investigation Atheism website. A website which closed down. The material has been transferred to 18th Century History, Investigating Atheism
  3. The French Revolution and the Catholic Church, History Today website
  4. 18th Century History, Investigating Atheism
  5. World Christianity by the Numbers by George Weigel, February 25, 2015
  6. The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Pew Forum, April 2, 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bible translations
  8. 9.0 9.1 *The global rise of Christianity - Pew Forum
  9. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Is Christianity taking over the planet?
  10. Global adherents of the major religions/worldviews, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for the Study of Global Christianity
  11. How Christianity is Growing Around the World by Chuck Colson
  12. 13.0 13.1 Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  13. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  14. 15.0 15.1 Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  15. 16.0 16.1 Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  16. Hout, Michael; Smith, Tom (March 2015). "Fewer Americans Affiliate with Organized Religions, Belief and Practice Unchanged: Key Findings from the 2014 General Social Survey" (PDF). General Social Survey. NORC
  17. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival and Revival by Christopher Marsh, 2011, page 11 (Christopher Marsh cites the definitions of desecularization given by Peter L. Berger and Vyacheslav Karpov)
  18. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  19. 20.0 20.1 Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  20. 21.0 21.1 Abstract of Wars of Ideas and the War of Ideas. International Relations and Security Network.
  21. Antulio Joseph Echevarria. "Wars of Ideas and the War of Ideas" (PDF), Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College (SSI), June 2008, pp. 63. 
  22. 24.0 24.1 Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010
  23. Thriving Christianity
  24. 26.0 26.1 Journal of Church and State, Desecularization: A Conceptual Framework by Vyacheslav Karpov, 2010
  25. 27.0 27.1 Peter L. Berger, “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview,” in The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999)
  26. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (December 19, 2011,), Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, p. 67.
  27. 29.0 29.1 Why conservative churches are still growing
  28. Secularism, Fundamentalism or Catholicism? The Religious Composition of the United States to 2043, Journal for the Sientific Study of Religion, vol. 49, no. 2 (June) 2010, Vegard Skirbekk and Anne Goujon,
  29. Does it matter that many scientists are atheists?
  30. Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith by Luís F. Rodrigues, page 201
  31. The Great Debate: Greg Bahnsen vs Gordon Stein
  32. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  33. 35.0 35.1 Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  34. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8511931/Richard-Dawkins-accused-of-cowardice-for-refusing-to-debate-existence-of-God.html
  35. Edmund Burke on atheism
  36. Gordon Stein, Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, 74.
  37. 40.0 40.1 Atheists & Agnostics in America Tend to be Politically Liberal
  38. Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  39. James Adair (2007). Christianity. JBE Online Books. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes toAlthough the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a ist of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rosseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Teror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.” 
  40. William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the reign of George III. to the session of parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Reign of this portentous period, it has been eloquently tenor, and energetically observed, " that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:-in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex ,indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations." It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while "the death dance of democratic revolution" was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, "the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace."” 
  41. William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring-National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions. It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man." Actually this transition happened no "ultimately" but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract "reason" and "liberty" degenearated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. "Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name", said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of "liberty", "equality", and "reason". As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.” 
  42. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  43. Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg (2009). On Superconductivity and Superfluidity: A Scientific Autobiography. Springer Science+Business Media, 161. Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists.” 
  44. Multiple references:
    James Adair (2007). Christianity: The eBook. JBE Online Books, 461. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a list of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Terror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.” 
    William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the Reign of George III. to the Session of Parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson, 105–6. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “In allusion to the monstrous transactions of this portentous period, it has been eloquently and energetically observed, 'that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:—in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex, indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations.'
    "It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while 'the death dance of democratic revolution' was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, 'the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace.'”
     
    William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press, 57. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring—National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions.
    "It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, 'The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man.' Actually this transition happened not 'ultimately' but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract 'reason' and 'liberty' degenerated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. 'Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name', said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of 'liberty', 'equality', and 'reason'.
    "As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
     
  45. Multiple references:
  46. Rummel, R. J. (November 1993). "How many did communist regimes murder?" University of Hawaii website; Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War.
  47. http://www.investigatingatheism.info/historyeighteenth.html
  48. War, Terror and Resistence
  49. Forging Freedom: The Life of Cerf Berr of M Delsheim by Margaret R. O'Leary, iUniverse (June 1, 2012), pages 1-2
  50. Multiple references:
    James Adair (2007). Christianity: The eBook. JBE Online Books, 461. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a list of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Terror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.” 
    William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the Reign of George III. to the Session of Parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson, 105–6. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “In allusion to the monstrous transactions of this portentous period, it has been eloquently and energetically observed, 'that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:—in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex, indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations.'
    "It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while 'the death dance of democratic revolution' was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, 'the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace.'”
     
    William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press, 57. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring—National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions.
    "It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, 'The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man.' Actually this transition happened not 'ultimately' but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract 'reason' and 'liberty' degenerated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. 'Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name', said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of 'liberty', 'equality', and 'reason'.
    "As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
     
  51. 56.0 56.1 Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  52. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  53. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  54. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  55. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  56. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  57. Shall the religious inherit the earth by David Kaufmann
  58. 63.0 63.1 Early paper - Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  59. 2000 YEARS OF CHRISTIAN INCREASE
  60. Multiple references:
  61. Creationism in Europe
  62. Introduction To Integrated Christian Apologetics, Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian
  63. 69.0 69.1 In a France suspicious of religion, evangelicalism's message strikes a chord
  64. Shall the religious inherit the earth? Quite likely, on current demographic trends, argues a British political scientist in a book just published in Britain. by Eric P Kaufmann | Apr 6 2010
  65. 10 projections for the global population in 2050 By Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research Forum, February 3, 2014
  66. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  67. The End of Secularization in Europe?: A Socio-Demographic Perspective by Eric Kaufmann, Anne Goujon and Vegard Skirbekk
  68. Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010
  69. Pentecostalism Invades Lambeth Palace by Peter Berger, December 18, 2013
  70. The rise of biblical creationism in Mexico and its effect on American creationism
  71. Economics and Darwinism/atheism
  72. [Cracks in the atheist edifice], The Economist, November 1, 2014
  73. http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/battle.html
  74. Atheist frets about wave of Christian attacks on atheism. 3 more waves approaching the unseaworthy S.S. Atheism. Wait until the public hears about the Christian Nicholai Khamara whose tongue was cut out by militant atheists
  75. The Facts: Atheism is Dying Out, by Rev. Dwight Longenecker, April 8, 2015
  76. Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey - Key findings
  77. Belief in God Far Lower in Western U.S. Gallup.com. Retrieved on 2012-02-05.
  78. 2013 FBI hate crime statistics
  79. Atheism: The Next Civil Rights movement, Vlad Chituc, The Daily Beast, 4-6-2015
  80. Revelation 22: 11-17 (King James Bible)