Atheism 2.0 08 Oct

(Message 1): In this message, Andy Stanley defines the “new Atheism” made popular by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others. If you choose Atheism you need to understand what you are choosing and 6 important implications of Atheism. Join us as we begin the conversation.

 

Video: Pastor Troy’s Introduction to “Who Needs God”

 

“Nones”

  • Not hostile toward
  • Not affiliated with

 

People who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus.

You can’t move away from something without moving toward something else.

 

Atheism 2.0:

A complex belief system that logically leads to some unsettling conclusions.

 

6 Tenants Atheism Embraces:

1.  The illusion of mind

  • “I don’t have a body, I am a body” – Christopher Hitchens

2.  The illusion of free will (determinism)

3.  The illusion of value

  • Just (justice) is just what we want it to be.

4.  Some thing came from no thing.

  • “Cosmology is waiting on its Darwin.” Richard Dawkins

5.  First life emerged from no life with no help.

6.  Natural selection is responsible for all life after first life.

 

If you lost or are losing your faith in God, maybe you have the wrong god.

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  1. If you remember where you were on 9/11/2001 when Terrorists attacked our country, share it with your group.  
  2. Andy shared a new term called “The Nones” and defined them as people who have disconnected from all religion.  Andy stated that the Nones are “not hostile toward, but they are not affiliated with” religion.  Had you ever heard that term before?  Now that you know the definition, do you know someone that you would consider to be a “None”?  Share why you think they have disconnected from religion.
  3. Read Proverbs 17:24 and 1 Peter 3:15. Andy Stanley shared ways he equips himself to minister to all people, including those who have become disillusioned with/by religion. One way he does that is to read books like The God Delusion, God Is Not Great, and The End of Faith.
    • Knowing that these books were written by Atheists would you read them?  Why or why not?
    • What would be the value in reading these or similar books or articles?
    • Do you think that it is easier to live in today’s world and not believe in God?  Share your thoughts.
  4. The terms “religion” and “faith” are often used interchangeably. What is the danger in that? Take time to come up with a definition for each. Do they have any characteristics in common?
  5. Read these definitions of Christianity and Atheism found Webster Dictionary.
    • Christianity – the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.
    • Atheism – a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods.
  6. Proverbs 19:2-3 (NASB) says, “Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs. The foolishness of man ruins his way and his heart rages against the Lord.” During the message, Andy said, “Atheism and Christianity have this in common: people embrace both before they know what they’re getting into.” Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? 
  7. During the message, Andy said, “People who were nothing like Jesus, liked Jesus. If Christianity isn’t compelling, it’s because we have the wrong version.”
    • Have you ever heard someone’s “de-conversion” story or do you have your own “de-conversion” story?
    • Think of and discuss what some possible elements of a person’s “wrong version” of Christianity might be. 
    • Does it break your heart, like it breaks Andy’s heart, when you hear someone’s de-conversion story?  Why or why not?
    • Consider your personal “version” of Christianity.  Is there anything “wrong” in it? 
    • In what ways do you think Jesus would treat atheists differently than the way today’s Christians treat atheists?
    • In what ways might you alter your attitudes and behaviors toward the disillusioned to better demonstrate the love and acceptance of Christ?
  8. If you or someone you know doesn’t believe in God or is on the verge of giving up on God, it’s probably not because of a thoroughly researched rational conclusion. It’s probably more personal than that. 
    • Do you know someone who is moving away and disconnecting from their “church” life, who has lost or is losing their faith in God?
    • What are their reasons?
    • What can we/Generations Church do to make God appealing or real to the NONES, Atheists–those that hope there’s something more?  Those that need to hear that God wants a personal relationship with them. That their only hope is God.

Extra Discussion:  Take time to review and discuss the six tenets of Atheism.

Daily Scripture Reading:

Day 1  Romans 3:1-8

Day 2  Matthew 23:13; Ephesians 2:8-9

Day 3   Isaiah 29:13; 2 Peter 3:18

Day 4  Galatians 2:20; Romans 1:20-21

Day 5  Galatians 5:1-12

Day 6  Galatians 5:13-26

Day 7 Jeremiah 51:15-18

Other messages in this series: