One of the 20th century’s most influential thinkers was Sir Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM (Order of Merit). Born into an aristocratic British family in 1872, Russell, who died in 1970, was a pre-eminent figure in philosophy, mathematics, logic, and politics. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.
He was also an outright atheist, kind of an old “New Atheist” who made his views on God and faith very well known. When asked what would happen if, after he died, it turned out that God existed, and when God asked him why he refused to believe, what would Russell answer?
“I would say,” he responded, “Not enough evidence. Not enough evidence.”
Really now? Not enough evidence? That’s very interesting in light of what the apostle Paul, in the opening lines of the book of Romans, writes. After introducing himself and talking about his desire to visit the believers in Rome, Paul immediately talks about God’s wrath against those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1: 18) because, Paul asserts, God has revealed Himself to them. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” (Romans 1:20).
Wow! Paul is saying that, in the end, God has through the creation revealed enough about Himself that those who have rejected him will be “without excuse.”
That would include, one would assume, Sir Bertrand Russell. In other words, Russell’s hypothetical refrain on judgment day, “Not enough evidence. Not enough evidence,” isn’t going work, will it?
What a gift faith is. How crucial that we, day by day, cultivate it!