Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

1 Corinthians 15:34

“…some of you don’t know God at all.” (1 Corinthians 15:34)

Sam Harris is a prominent leader in the New Atheism movement which has strongly attacked religion and faith, and is the author of the bestseller, The End of Faith. He does not necessarily use the word “atheist” to describe himself, but he speaks as one, arguing that a scientific person cannot accept anything as true without clear evidence.

Interestingly, he does not reject the idea of spirituality, which he defines as “compassion, awe, devotion and a feeling of oneness”, regarding them as extremely valuable experiences. He has written:

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”

Paul would disagree.

He has been arguing that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we may as well live as we please – follow our own desires or follow the crowd – because with no hope of life beyond the grave, there is no point in living as if there is.

This is why he says, “some of you don’t know God at all.” The word for “know” here is agnosia, meaning “ignorance” or “no knowledge”, giving us our English word, agnostic.

“When you deny the resurrection of the dead,” says Paul, “and when some of you demonstrate this by the selfish way in which you live your lives, what you are really showing is that you are living like an agnostic, one who has no knowledge of God at all!”

It is a damning statement on the beliefs and lifestyles of some of the Corinthians! For Paul, what you believe deeply affects the way you live.

You can hear Paul saying loudly, “So then, live like resurrection people!”

Where does this leave Sam Harris and others, who want to live lives of “compassion, awe and devotion” without God?

I think Paul would commend their lifestyle but challenge their beliefs. He would ask them where their ideas of compassion and awe come from, because they do not arise from a scientific worldview that believes in the survival of the fittest!

They must come from somewhere else, which is really a Someone – God. Instead of trying to force God out of the picture, why not consider the possibility He exists and offers us the best life possible?

And for those of us who do know God – he would encourage us to live like resurrection people and not as agnostics!

Q. Am I living consistently with what I believe?

Sam Harris is a prominent leader in the New Atheism movement which has strongly attacked religion and faith, and is the author of the bestseller, The End of Faith. He does not necessarily use the word “atheist” to describe himself, but he speaks as one, arguing that a scientific person cannot accept anything as true without clear evidence.

Interestingly, he does not reject the idea of spirituality, which he defines as “compassion, awe, devotion and a feeling of oneness”, regarding them as extremely valuable experiences. He has written:

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”

Paul would disagree.

He has been arguing that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we may as well live as we please – follow our own desires or follow the crowd – because with no hope of life beyond the grave, there is no point in living as if there is.

This is why he says, “some of you don’t know God at all.” The word for “know” here is agnosia, meaning “ignorance” or “no knowledge”, giving us our English word, agnostic.

“When you deny the resurrection of the dead,” says Paul, “and when some of you demonstrate this by the selfish way in which you live your lives, what you are really showing is that you are living like an agnostic, one who has no knowledge of God at all!”

It is a damning statement on the beliefs and lifestyles of some of the Corinthians! For Paul, what you believe deeply affects the way you live.

You can hear Paul saying loudly, “So then, live like resurrection people!”

Where does this leave Sam Harris and others, who want to live lives of “compassion, awe and devotion” without God?

I think Paul would commend their lifestyle but challenge their beliefs. He would ask them where their ideas of compassion and awe come from, because they do not arise from a scientific worldview that believes in the survival of the fittest!

They must come from somewhere else, which is really a Someone – God. Instead of trying to force God out of the picture, why not consider the possibility He exists and offers us the best life possible?

And for those of us who do know God – he would encourage us to live like resurrection people and not as agnostics!

Q. Am I living consistently with what I believe?