Bertrand Russell, one of the most famous of atheists, once wrote that the foundation of atheism is “unyielding despair.” Another atheist, Richard Dawkins is reported to have said, the “universe is bleak, cold and empty; but so what?”
It is hard for me to imagine a belief system with hopelessness at its core. There is no God from whom we originate, there is no God to comfort us when we suffer, there is no God to whom we are accountable, there is no God to greet us when we die.
Any semblance of morality would be dependent upon an “assumed goodness in mankind.” But history suggests the opposite.
Christian faith offers a much different picture than any other world view. There is a God who created everything. Man chose sin and death. God set in motion a plan of redemption that ultimately involved God invading history as a man named Jesus. He was born, He lived without sin, He died in place of all sinners, He rose from the dead to be Savior, He is coming again to establish His kingdom in a new earth at the end of the ages. Believe it or not, that is the story of the Bible.
That is why the story of Christmas brings great hope into a dark and bleak world. The angel announced, “Behold I bring you Good News of a Great Joy which is for all people. Unto you is born a Savior.”
The other day I wrote a blog about atheism. Someone responded that like any other religious faith, it is a belief system. I am grateful that my belief system has hope, not hopelessness at its foundation. But for me, my faith is built upon more than simply belief.