To borrow a phrase philosopher Craig Gay uses in his book The Way of the Modern World, Westerners and Americans are “practical atheists.” A subtle, operational-level form of secularism, practical atheism is not necessarily to believe that God does not exist. Rather, it’s to live as if God does not exist. One major characteristic of “practical atheism” is anxiety. Anxiety is the inevitable reaction when we realize just how out-of-our-control this fallen world is, and how fragile our shoulders – which now bear the weight of the world without God – really are.
A popular scientist, podcaster and self-proclaimed devotee of New Atheism was recently asked which scientific suppositions he holds most dear. While he wasn't sure which supposition to pick, he did offer his belief that the world is totally understandable, the idea that we could eventually find every answer to every question through scientific investigation and that there was no Divine intervention or starting point required to explain life.
According to Esther O’Reilly, skeptics admitting to the Christian faith’s positive influence on history is only the headline of this story (although we’d be remiss to not include the recent book “Dominion” by Tom Holland as yet another example). O’Reilly thinks that under the surface, spiritual truth is being found too, much like the skeptics C. S. Lewis describes in the essay entitled “Myth Became Fact.”