Atheism reduces human beings to cosmic junk, moist robots with no ultimate purpose or meaning. This is where my struggle came in. On atheism, nothing quenched my thirst for significance or my desire for justice. Nothing ultimately matters on atheism. This wasn’t the testimony of my soul, though. I knew life had meaning.
I’m often asked what led to my converting from atheism to Christianity. The answer sometimes surprises: reality. Reality is the way the world really is. It doesn’t change according to our likes and dislikes. Because of this, when you don’t live according to reality, you bump into it. As an atheist, when looking for answers to important questions, I bumped hard into reality.
The first bump came as I tried to explain what caused the beginning of the universe. It’s not as complicated as you might think. There are only two options: something or nothing. This put me in a tough spot as an atheist. I didn’t want to say something caused the universe because that something would have to be immensely powerful, incredibly creative, and outside its own creation (i.e., outside time and space). That something was starting to look like God, and I did not want to say God caused the universe. Instead, I wanted to say nothing caused the universe. This is unreasonable, though.
As an atheist, I believed everything that exists is the product of blind, physical processes. I couldn’t explain where the universe came from because all I had to start with was nothing. But nothing comes from nothing. To say the universe came from nothing goes against our basic intuitions about reality. However, on Christian theism, there was more than nothing to start with. There was an uncaused cause. The Christian explanation lines up perfectly with the way the world really is.
That was the first bump. The next bump was the most difficult for me.