So I have to admit I’m not an avid Premier radio listener, however I came across this via twitter (@UnbelievableJB) and it looks kinda interesting.
The Atheist Prayer Experiment is being run by Premier Radio and is based on the paper by Oxford philosopher Tim Mawson titled Praying to Stop Being an Atheist. They say:
‘In it Mawson argues that, on balance, it is in the interests of those atheists who don't think it's absolutely impossible that there's a God to investigate the issue of whether or not he exists by 'the experimental method' - trying to ask him’
So basically they are asking atheists to ask God to reveal himself to them by praying for 2 or 3 minutes a day for 40 days. This is a really interesting idea. On the one hand I think it’s great and actually gives people permission to try it out, to seek God but with a safety net of an experiment, if you like. On the other hand, I wonder if this is not putting God to the test. I believe that people become Christians, or experience God when the Holy Spirit touches them. Obviously this happens in a wide variety of ways, but is this kind of experiment a bit like forcing the Holy Spirit into a corner? Kind of saying ‘Come on God, if you’re real show yourself....’ Is that how we should encourage people to seek God? I’m not sure.
But that said I will be suggesting to a couple of my most avid atheist friends that they give this a go... Because, in my experience, often the reason people call themselves atheists is because of a bad experience with the church or someone religious; or that they haven’t actually explored the possibility of faith or Christianity (or any other religion) themselves. At least by taking part in this one could say at the end of it, either way I gave it a go!
I will be watching the results with interest!
For more info click here