In 2005, Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg told United Press International, “Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide.” His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agreed. “Atheism’s future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat,” he wrote in Christianity Today.
Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings. More and more scientific developments point to the fact that there was some intelligent design in the origins of the universe. The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground. With the likes of Stalin and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, atheism has adherents just as radical as other movements.
Acts 14:17 says, “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Our natural world forms such a strong witness for the existence of God that the Gentiles actually stood condemned when they rejected God (Romans 1:19-20). Our universe did not occur by blind chance. Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Psalm 14:1 furthermore says, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” Let us not be foolish and reject the Almighty God. If atheism is in decline I can only pray that the ultimate reason is that people are turning back to God.