The Atheist God

“In that terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt. It is written, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”  No; but the Lord thy God may tempt Himself; and it seems as if this was what happened in Gethsemane. In a garden Satan tempted man: and in a garden God tempted God. He passed in some superhuman manner through our human horror of pessimism. When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt.  Nay, (the matter grows too difficult for human speech,) but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.”.’

– G.K. Chesterton


Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

43 thoughts on “The Atheist God”

  1. that is the ultimate, isn’t it? Jesus KNOWING that He would one day bear my sins in His own body, and that the holiness of God could not be in that presence of sin…anyone who truly thinks they have mastered this amazing thought is a liar…it still boggles my mind, honestly…that He should stoop so very low and lift me so very high at such a great price…and I don’t mean the “pain” of the crucifixion, but the horror of bearing such wickedness in His body…that is love

  2. “…but let the atheists themselves choose a god.”
    This is hilarious. Atheism does not acknowledge gods. When Christians rant about atheists denying God they are so self-centred; so egocentric, they immediately assume atheists deny their god, Yahweh. Well, hello! In case christians missed something along the way there are literally thousands of gods. And atheists deny them all.
    Of course, Jesus was also supposed to have said, forgive them Father for they know not what they do…etc etc.
    So at one point he is talking TO someone and a bit later he is talking to HIMSELF – about himself.
    There is always a sense of clutching at straws with every new theory/explanation when it comes to disseminating scripture for the benefit of Believers. Every generation has its own theories and there is always a eager, nay, hungry group of confused followers who will jump at the least morsel to shore up their flagging faith.
    When the truth ‘outs’, as it assuredly will, biblical compilors and the original church will have an awful lot to answer for.
    Then the Midden will hit the Windmill, make no mistake.

    1. ArK! I think Chesterton knows what an atheist is (he debated guys like Shaw way back in the day), he is merely pointing out the mystery and uniqueness of the Father forsaking His only begotten on the cross.

      Chesterton’s not proposing a “new theory” he is merely expounding on the age old doctrine of propitiation (1 John 4:10).

      Peace and grace!

      1. I beg to differ, sir. Christians have for ever and a day tried to hang the yolk of religion around atheism using twisted logic and semantics. It makes them feel better about themselves; they then have another religion to consider as heretical whose ‘followers’ (sic) are damned.
        “…the Father forsaking His only begotten on the cross.”
        An example of the semantics I refer to .
        If the Trinity was not written into Christian as well as Roman Law, it would probably have gone the same way as Mithraism and the other mythological cults.
        I hope you always remember to offer a nod of acknowledgement to Constantine everytime you take communion. You own him a debt of which you cannot possibly imagine the worth!

        1. I appreciate the thoughts. I’ve read into Mithraism a bit and it may be a forthcoming post. I’ve also read a bit into Constantine’s involvement in the Council of Nicea (that would be a separate one).

          I do want you to know I appreciate your input and the different perspective you offer. I take note of many of your points for future reference whether or not I reply directly. Peace and grace!

          1. This is something that always astounds me about Christians and reborn Christians especially: their apparent ignorance of the history of their own faith; yet they have no qualms proselytizing for all their worth. And in the USA they are worth quite a lot, if TV evangelism is anything to go by.
            “Send a dollar and we will offer a prayer to our Lord and let’s hope the Lord will see fit that your horse will win on Saturday. Hallelujah!”
            The average atheist has a far broader grounding in Christianity ( and most other religions, I shouldn’t wonder) because we do seek the truth. And this statement is something you really should believe.
            You may well have had an epiphany, but how you could accept this experience without a thorough -rounding in fact is beyond me. And to not know the ins-and-outs of your own faith would in any other arena might well be considered a dereliction of duty.
            Were you aware, for instance, that Eusebius was an Aryan?
            Sheesh, I shake my head in dismay at times at the audacity of Christianity.

            1. I hate the prosperity gospel that’s exported out of American “Christian” TV probably more than you do. Though many of these clowns still own the TV stations their influence is waning. Christ guaranteed one practically would lose everything for following him, not some blab it grab it garbage those preachers propagate now.

              I’ve looked into many different historical points of contention (though you assume I haven’t) the past ten years I’ve been a Christian, but I know I’m not a church historian. Some of those things I’ll share in future posts (though I know you probably won’t agree with my interpretation of events anymore than I agree with yours) I believe firmly my subjective “epiphany” experience is grounded in ultimate reality, the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

              You said the average atheist has a “far broader understanding of Christianity” and “most other religions” for that matter because “we do seek the truth.” Why do you believe that? Because you’re an atheist? Because you believe you “seek truth” (who doesn’t believe that)? Because you read a Wikipedia article? How can that even be proven? If I replaced “atheist” with “Christian” in that sentence I’m sure you would find some harsh words to say about us (or maybe just post a bird-flicking orangutan picture).You make many subjective statements like this that presuppose some kind of absolute truth that only those intellectually worthy atheists can ever come to find. That kind of secular gospel is more exclusive than anything the Bible teaches. It almost seems the only absolute truth you subscribe to is that your interpretation of the facts is infallible and every one else is a bit stupid for not recognizing it.

              You can reject the Christian form of conversion and I’d never berate you for it, but don’t get offended when Christians reject your form of conversion by smug condescension.

              Completely serious question: What makes you the final expert in all these diverse fields you claim to be an absolute authority in?

      2. You said the average atheist has a “far broader understanding of Christianity” and “most other religions” for that matter because “we do seek the truth.” Why do you believe that?
        Primarily, because atheists generally do not accept things on blind faith. And also, because any religion that covertly damns me for not believing in Jesus must have a damn good reason (pun intended) and in the final analysis, they don’t. It is all regurgitated, unsubstantiated rhetoric with no basis in historical fact. It is dogma based on fear – do like this or else…’ This is immoral. You don’t threaten your kids like this (or at least I sincerely hope you don’t) so why should expect the likes of me to accept it from your all loving omnipotent god. No. Sorry won’t wash.
        And if you really think all this came solely from a Wikipedia article then you are not the intellectual person I first thought. Please give me a little more credit.
        “You can reject the Christian form of conversion and I’d never berate you for it”
        Berate? Maybe not. But as with the first paragraph anyone not towing your spiritual line is damned. And let’s not forget there are 22,000 different Christian sects. You cannot agree amongst yourselves for goodness sake, yet you expect the likes of me to believe you. What makes you so darn sure your version is the right one? Or should I rather ask, what gives you the right to assume it is?
        If Christians did not proselytize, had not worked the ‘system’ over the centuries to ensure special dispensation from Royalty and governments then you might be viewed as merely oddball or slightly quirky. But you do beat your chest, albeit gently (unlike the fire and brimstone brigade) and for this you influence people, and in many cases pray on the weak- minded. Most reborns have experienced major emotional upheaval before their epiphany. In fact, I have yet to encounter one that has not been more or less an emotional wreck before “Coming to the Lord” (sic) Just like the cigarette manufacturers, you also go after children and inculcate them from an early age with all that tripe about being born into sin, are sinners, will burn in hell etc. etc. I can feel the bile rise as I type this. Targeting children, however subtly is insidious and despicable.
        “It almost seems the only absolute truth you subscribe to is that your interpretation of the facts is infallible and everyone else is a bit stupid for not recognizing it.”
        No. The only absolute truth I subscribe to is there are no gods and religious beliefs and literature based on this premise is fraudulent. If you are able to provide contemporary evidence…ANY contemporary evidence to the contrary then let’s see it. Specifically, Moses and Jesus.
        I believe people are misguided for not investigating and basing their decisions on at least a modicum of rationality. Sadly this is not the case with faith-based religion. Evidence is not a prerequisite. In fact, it is almost universally accepted that it is not even necessary.
        Completely serious question: What makes you the final expert in all these diverse fields you claim to be an absolute authority in?
        Not once have I claimed to be an expert let alone a “final expert”, nor claimed to be an “absolute authority”. If memory serves, this title you ascribe to your God.
        And thank you for popping over and saying ‘hello’ to Darwin the Oran-utan. We do appreciate the visit, even if it is merely ‘passing through’.

        1. I appreciate you answering the questions and not taking offense to them.

          For the record, I was not an emotional wreck before “coming to the Lord.” I was quite satisfied in my life as a popular football player and partier. God Himself wrecked me with the gospel right before my senior year in high school and I wasn’t the same thereafter.

          The Wiki reference was not a personally sleight. In general, your response has been for me to start with Wiki when looking into things, even though I’m not convinced of its veracity as an academic source.

          You may have not used the wording “final expert” but your style in communication lends itself to this interpretation.

          You’ve claimed that Jesus never claimed deity and that the Bible never taught Hell. I believe those claims to be completely unsubstantiated and provably so. Yet you say them in passing as absolute statements. When you make such audacious claims about things I have spent the last ten years studying, it sheds a negative light on your other claims I may not be as familiar with.

          Thanks for your response and peace and grace.

          1. It’s unfortunate you have not responded to the whole comment, especially the point referring to the ‘historic fact’ of the resurrection. Or are you still looking for contemporary evidence?
            I’m flattered you believe I come across as an “expert”. But I strongly refute this once again. I will leave the “baffling with Bull****” to the theologists 
            I reiterate. Jesus did not say anywhere, in any gospel “I am God”. And the term I AM is not an interpretation that will wash, especially in light of Mark 10 vs 18
            Regarding Hell – Rather than offer a long-winded intellectual answer on etymology etc.
            Try this link.
            It isn’t where I first found out about this, but it’s as good a site as any.

      3. “the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

        Sorry, I reread and just had to repond.

        If you state that this is an “historical fact” then I would ask you to demonstrate the veracity of this statement.
        If you could provide any contemporary evidence to back it up I will give it seriously consideration.

        Otherwise, it must be considered erronous.

      4. @Chief of the Least
        “I am a disgusting worm myself.”
        Your response to Warrior.
        This type of self-depreciating comment is beneath anyone, especially one who claims to be reborn.
        Why should anyone trust a person who regards himself as a “disgusting worm”
        Your kids probably thing you are a champion! And your wife regards you in the same light.
        If you are created perfect in his image, as you lot claim, then the derogatory comment is casting aspersions on your maker as much as yuourself.
        Not good.

        1. Apart from Christ I am nothing (John 15:5). It is figurative language to describe how I really feel apart from his grace. I agree that there is common grace and Imago Dei in all humanity, yet Scripture says that is tainted by sin (Rom. 3:23). Now I am forgiven, set free and empowered to live apart from that former life (though I may fail). It uplifts my Maker that He takes me out of that miry clay in my opinion.

          Peace and grace brother, I do enjoy our dialogue (mostly ; ))

          1. The problem with figurative language is much like ‘playfully’ calling a child ‘dumb’.
            The subconcious cannot tell the difference.
            Words have power. Choose them carefully.

              1. There you go, then.
                Don’t sell yourself short…there are plenty of folk out there who do that for you…at no charge.

    2. Arkenaten 🙂 your not the employee the little chief was sharing about are you 😉

      You do know if you do not take everything that this man says as the gospel truth he will ban you from commenting!

      Im not atheist or would I lay a title of being a christian either! But because I witness this little chief, or is it chief of little, pull on so many others wth his twisted writings. I think he has wasted his talent. Rather then being a math teacher he really should have become a fictional writer!

      Dont get your feelings hurt, it is spoken that many will come and be decived, by those who claim to know anything about God. The Chief baned me and now put a special monitor on my comments, because I myself called him on his lack of knowledge. But dont pass him by, continue to read what he writes. After all how often is one given the opportunity to witnes just how opponionated a man of the world glorifies himself in his self proclamed TEN YEARS OF KNOWLEDGE. LOL.
      I am going to post this on your site. Because I want to be sure you get the chance to read it. I have a very personal relationship with God that differs from many christians. And in no breath would I disreguard your feelings. The Jesus I know wouldnt so in love and respect I say keep speaking out, In the end the truth will be known to every soul.
      It is the heart that matters in the end. And no human I know that exists has the power to judge anothers heart. But we as humans are smart enough to see and decide what we hear coming out of others hearts is somthing
      we find as such a measure of love for another Person that we would choose to attach the word wisdom to.
      May you be encoureaged to seek out truth! What ever that is for you.
      Mine is for always, looking into the hearts of others to see if Jesus really lives there, or if their full of self-righteousness!
      I wonder if God hands out awards for that? The self-righteous Award Pure Vanity! Love to you Ark!
      RJ Da Warrior

      1. Dear Warrior, I flagged ONE comment of yours because it was a completely unwarranted response to another commenter (not me). When you reposted the same one as a general comment I let it stand.

        I’ll let this comment stand also with no qualms. Any opinion of me no matter how unfavorable can be openly aired.

        I have always let you speak your mind whether I agree with it or not. I really want to know how I have been ungracious to you and deserved your hatred?
        My righteousness comes from Christ alone, I am a disgusting worm myself. Peace and grace to you.

      2. Knowledge is a very tenuous thing indeed.
        I have no more issues with Chief of the Least than I do with other Christians/reborns, in that so often they are not totally forthcoming when posed a question that requires a direct answer.
        I was surprised that , for once, I received a straight and honest response regarding “Going to Hell”. No other christian has ever been so honest and direct with me on this issue.
        Whatever issues you have with the Chief is your concern, not mine, and I’ll not make it my business.
        You believe in Jesus and if you acknowledge Him as the Christ then ergo you are a Christian.
        Then perhaps you merely disagree with the likes of the Chief over doctrine – as do the more than 20,000 other christian sects.
        Maybe you could provide me with one tiny shred of contemporary evidence to verify an historical Jesus? I wait with baited breath.
        Thanks for taking the time to comment. Appreciate it.

      3. Chief i have no hatred for you! I call black black and white white.

        I dont believe the word and athority of God deserves arguing over! He is much more then the people of this world give heed to.

        For Ark:… I lived the majority of my life defying the existent of a historical Christ. In fact i went as far as selling my soul to the Devil. And for years did horrific things to belivers and non belivers. It made no differance to me if you had a heart for God, belived he existed, or what ever’! But my rewards from lucifer, were in great power and a hatred for any human who breathed air!
        The answers you seek will come only when you are ready for them. I have no fear of death never have. But I garentee if I was my past I would not have given you an oportunity to hang on an up rooted bush hanging over the edge of a cliff. I would have killed you and any one you loved and left you to rot and be worm bait.
        So the only historical proof I can offer you is the change that came over my life through many encounters with both demons, and angels. But the real changeing factor for me was being in the presence of Christ himself. Forgivien for all my past, and given a purpose to seek him daily! This I know will not satisfy the flavor you are looking for. But it is called a personal relationship, not a group effort! There was no professing christian, church goer that would have given me the time of day, before then. Now I have many friends, that belong to all the differant churches and many who are true atheist, and those like you who just claim to be, for the sake of argument. Something in your life happened to make you have the opinion you have. But if you were a true atheist, you wouldnt seek so hard for answers. For how can you fight over something or someone you dont believe ever existed? Thats like looking at a dollar bill, and arguing with another that it was penny 🙂
        I pray diligently that you never loose the drive to question christians, and church goers, and looking for the reality you desperatly are lacking.
        The answers never came to me through humans, but through my own personal hell and forgiveness.

        Blessings to you Chief, you are a senitive man, i know this or you would not feel such a strong feeling of being hated. And God Bless you Ark writher you sneeze or not…. PUN INTENDED!

      4. Lol…oh dear. My suggestion is don’t call us…we’ll call you.
        I don’lt really seek prooff of the existence on Jesus/god as I know there is none. And the reason I refute blogs of this nature has been stated many times before.
        My ‘journey’ if you like, began after some innocent research into Moses for an article I was writng. At that time I did acknowledge the existance of the biblical characters even if I didn’t cow-tow the religious line.
        Now I know different and the overwhelming evidence, or lack of if you like is clear enough for even a dotard to understand.
        This will never be enough for believers – so be it. This is their truth. This is not THE truth.
        And anyone who considers themself a satan worshipper, past or present, needs medical help…urgently,

        1. Awe Ark did I hit a bone 🙂 you telling me you belive in satan but not God? Your going to have to have to do better then that. I was healed bu the greatest of all healers! Say what ever pleases you, about me, it has no effect on my love for you!
          I am no hipocrite, i stand by what God has done for me, the proof in in the love and forginess, i pray you will have the opportunity to know what that is from a higher dieity. For now my human forgiveness and love is all I have to offer you.
          Praying for safety and protection over you.

          1. You must have missunderstood my comment as I dot not believe in Satan, any more than I believe in God. I am an atheist and this would rather defeat the object of the exercise, wouldn’t you think so?
            Such beliefs are little more than psychotic delusions of varying severity depending on the individual’s circumstances.
            I can sympathise with your situation – truly, but don’t think for an instant I am in any way anything more than an atheist. You have my word on this.

      5. I read your ‘About’ page after I posted the previous response. I wouldn’t change a word of what I wrote, but at least I now understand where you are coming from. And this also adds a lot of credence to my belief on why almost all reborns turn to JC. (Chief appears to be an exception according to him) Perhaps he just had a really crappy day on the sports field?
        You pray for me as much as you like. But I strongly suggest you care for yourself first. And may I also recommend you read author Louise Hay. You will definitely be able to relate to her.
        And as It’s Friday, go and listen to some Bon Jovi: It’s my life and Oh God.
        Now there’s a message for you….
        Be well. Be safe.

      6. I read your ‘About’ page after I posted the previous response. I wouldn’t change a word of what I wrote, but at least I now understand where you are coming from. And this also adds a lot of credence to my belief on why almost all reborns turn to JC. (Chief appears to be an exception according to him) Perhaps he just had a really crappy day on the sports field?
        You pray for me as much as you like. But I strongly suggest you care for yourself first. And may I also recommend you read author Louise Hay. You will definitely be able to relate to her.
        And as It’s Friday, go and listen to some Bon Jovi: It’s my life and Oh God.
        Now there’s a message for you….
        Be well. Be safe.

      7. Oh I seem to have added the phsycotic to the end of one comment. It was meant for the following one. Apologies

  3. I, like, NanaDoll find such depth in the love of the Father and Jesus Christ at that point where the Father turned from the Son… it is excruiating beyond words.
    Oh how He loves us!!! The measure of which we will never completely know. May ALL praise and glory and honor be given to the One who gave it ALL for sinners like you and me.
    This piece by Chesterson I’ve never read and I thnk you for sharing it!

  4. I’m just a tad confused by the “went through doubt” and “been in revolt”. What was Jesus doubting? And how was He ‘revolting’? Forsaken I get (my Dad is fond of pointing this out to show how great Jesus’ sacrifice was), but I’d like to understand these other points too!!

  5. Dear Chief, and all of you that follow his blog, including arkenaten. This post is regarding, any and all comments, I have put on this bloggers page. I must ask for all of you to forgive me for not, writing words from God’s heart but rather my own imperfect selfish emotions. I have read and re read all my comments and all the responses to them. I have not acted like I have been taught by Christ, and any and all my words that were unloving, crewel, lacking compassion, and judgmental, was extremely wrong on my part. So please forgive me for falling short of what I know better of. As I spent some time meditating on all of this, I believe for the best entrust of all who read here, but mainly what the Father sees in me. I am going to say my goodbyes, May God’s, Peace, Love, Grace, and Mercy, be overflowing in all of you and your loved ones.

    Life is far to short for me to fall prey to the evil I am capable of. So I Humbly lay myself down. An honest Love to all RJ Da Warrior

    1. God’s peace and grace be with you sister! I appreciate your humility and there are no hard feelings at all from this end. I hope and pray God continues to give you supernatural strength and grace to endure the hard physical (and emotional) situation you find yourself in. I have no idea how I’d handle such a trial so my heart goes out to you. God bless you!

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