COLUMN: Dr. David Marshall and GUMC Take a Stand for God and Christianity
Dr. David Marshall was the featured speaker for an audience of approximately 250 individuals gathered last Wednesday at The Wesley Center of Grace United Methodist Church. Marshall addressed and spoke on the new atheism, the history of Asian Christianity and how Christianity relates to other religions.
He has served for 13 years as a missionary and lecturer at schools in East Asia, including Siebold and Nagasaki Universities. His credentials include a Doctorate in Theology of World Religions from Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and an M.A. from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has written for Christianity Today, First Things, Books & Culture, and Touchstone.
Marshall spoke about his most popular publication, "The Truth Behind the New Atheism," and responded to the world's emerging challenges to God and Christianity. As the worldly, popular and bitter attacks on God and Christianity continue to escalate and gain momentum, he offered bold and powerful arguments in defense of God and Christianity.
Marshall made a point, which was so subtle yet most profound: That the concept of evolution does not, indeed cannot, explain the compassion and love we have for beings outside our own families, clans or species. Evolution, as best explained by atheist Richard Dawkins, in his work "The Selfish Gene," describes the process as "red with tooth and claw." There is no room for compassion, love and no room for a sense of "how things ought to be;" only survival of the fittest.
Marshall continued by stating, "that even the fiercest modern atheists have been infected with Christian teachings of compassion, justice and righteousness." For you see, "when they complain about Christians not living up to these standards, they have implicitly endorsed these standards of Jesus and Christianity! Although, they don't realize it and refuse to even recognize them."
Marshall has long felt there is a sense of "how things ought to be" deep within all of us. The odd thing is that history records things as having never been the way we believe they "ought to be."
So, where does this sense of "ought to be" come from? Could it perhaps come from God? Marshall believes that's exactly where the sense of "how things ought to be" comes from!
God has instilled within each of us a sort of spiritual DNA, if you will. A yearning for a world of love, compassion and peace which we have never known - yet yearn for? Modern atheists reveal that they, too, yearn for that type of world. Proving Marshall's belief, there is more to us than just "random survival." There is a God who placed the "ought to be" within us.