How do we handle atheists who are also geniuses?

Questions about God, the Bible and the Christian culture 

Question: How come almost every really smart person I meet—and I'm talking some real geniuses — seems to be an atheist? If they know a lot, then what do they know that I don`t that makes them not believe?

Answer: Great question! People who score well on IQ tests do indeed know a lot. But it’s not what they know that makes them atheists, it’s what they believe. Atheism, as it turns out, requires more faith than does Christianity. Atheism is simply a godless religion, although its practitioners rarely call it such.

Atheism is merely one of many philosophical positions that rail against the biblically revealed God. An atheist believes that no God exists… and any “genius” should immediately see the problem: One cannot prove non-existence. To prove that no God exists, one would have to search for God in every picoliter of the universe, in every theoretical dimension, and throughout all possible time. Additionally, since God is infinite, he can never be defined, and therefore can never be exhaustively investigated with mortal intelligence. Since atheism can never be verified as a true condition, to believe it requires faith — faith in the non-provable!

God says of such people:

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God…’” (Psalm 41:14)

“...For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools...”
(Romans 1:21–22, ESV)

By contrast, Christianity is eminently provable. In fact, we invite non-believers to investigate the person of Jesus Christ, his teachings and his historical veracity. We invite people to test the Scriptures to see if they’ve been transmitted through the ages accurately and to see if they record a correct history. We invite people to investigate a unique fact of history — the one which, if they proved as false, would cause Christianity to evaporate: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There! We’ve thrown down the gauntlet. God requires faith. We cannot escape that (Hebrews 11:6). But a Christian’s faith is supported by fact, whereas an atheist’s faith is not only 100% speculative, but it flies in the face of some pretty obvious extra-biblical evidence that supports the existence of God (See this article). Unfortunately for the life-long atheist, he shall have his ultimate proof at death, and he’ll be stuck with that proof (and its necessary outfall) for all eternity.

So, who are the “geniuses?” People who subscribe to a non-provable religious philosophy? Or people who investigate and respond to evidence? The atheistic rhetoric runs exactly counter to their behavior. We Christians are the ones who respond to the empirical evidence. It is the atheists who cling to religious philosophy. Beware of two types of people: geniuses and those who claim to be geniuses.

If you owned a business, would you rather employ a person who had an IQ of 180, but stole your inventory, insulted your customers, and lied continually, or an average guy with a 100 point IQ, who worked a fair day, treated people with respect, and always told the truth? There is no necessary relationship between raw thinking power and effective social advancement. Humility and hard work form a special genius — one that is available to nearly everyone.

Many criminals (and this includes serial killers) possess a truly tested IQ of a genius. They kill, steal, lie — then live out their days in jail — and all because these mental giants could not accomplish a simple task: make their gifts work for their own benefit. What good is all the horsepower if all you do is drive into ditches? In a non-technical sense, it ceases to be “genius”… no?

Just as raw mental horse-power has no necessary relationship to how a person turns out, so it has no necessary relationship to their philosophical assertions being objective realities. Your question surrounds only people that you have met (or perhaps only know about), but I know many really smart people (some even geniuses) who not only believe in God wholeheartedly, but who work for the advancement of his Kingdom, and who unashamedly give testimony to his wonders.

Be your own man. Ditch the geniuses… and seek God directly. That’s the only true genius — seeing clearly the one absolute truth, and then pressing forward in service and learning, all without prejudice.

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