Today's guest blogger is author and television show co-host Ray Comfort. Ray is the author of more than 60 books, including, God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists, How to Know God Exists, Evolution: The Fairy Tale for Grownups, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can’t Make Him Think, and The Evidence Bible. He was a platform speaker at the 2001 27th convention of “American Atheists,” and in 2007, he appeared on ABC’s Nightline (with actor Kirk Cameron) debating “The Existence of God.” He also co-hosts an award-winning television program, and has a daily blog called “Atheist Central.”
I was a pastor for three and a half years. Three and a half years in the Bible is the time of tribulation. I disliked the experience intensely. I didn’t like being trapped between four walls listening to people unload their problems, and it was a breath of fresh air when I began to get invitations for me to travel and speak. It was the publication of my first book in 1977 that opened doors for me. It was about drug abuse, and it was eventually made into a documentary.
When I sent my cameraman to get some B-roll he captured a fight between rival gangs. They were using knives and axes, and the footage was immediately seized by police and used as Supreme Court evidence. The ensuing publicity and the inclusion of the clip in the film generated national publicity, and over 2,000 showed up for the premiere (over 1,000 didn’t make it into the theater and a second screening had to be hurriedly arranged).
The itinerant ministry was also helped by the fact that for 12 years I spoke almost daily at what was called “Speaker’s Corner” in the heart of our city. There were always atheists in the crowd, and they were always vocal, perhaps spurred on by a T-shirt I wore that said, “I don’t believe in atheists.” It was my continually addressing the issue of the existence of God that lead me to publish a booklet called The Atheist Test, that was a simple test that showed the atheist that he didn't exist. It sold more than a million copies.
Late in 2007, a courageous Christian dropped a handful of these booklets at a gathering of staunch atheists. These people were so committed to the belief that God didn’t exist they met once a month at the local IHOP (International House of Pancakes) at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California.
When they found out that I authored the booklet, they kindly invited me to join them for dinner on January 8th, 2008. They requested that I get there an hour early to “set a baseline,” because some of their members “do get a bit hot-headed when discussing religion.” I accepted their invitation and decided to take my manager with me. Mark Spence is the dean of the “School of Biblical Evangelism.”
Before we went, I received permission from them to also take a handheld camera. I was determined not to go there to win an argument, but to simply show that I deeply cared for them as people, as most atheists in this category have the impression that Christians don’t like them.
We arrived about five minutes early, shook hands and sat down. After the orders were taken, I quietly approached the waiter and told him to give me the bill for the entire party. When he brought it to me I was almost shaking with excitement. If someone had tried to take it off me I would have physically fought them. I felt like I used to feel with my kids early on Christmas morning. When they found out that I had personally paid the tab they were very grateful, polite, pleasant, kind, and extremely thankful (see 1 Peter 2:15). The experience was a highlight of my life.
Then about ten of us huddled around a table and talked about the things of God for about an hour. It was up close and personal. Mark Spence answered every question and objection they had, calmly and eloquently.
I took copies of my new book, How to Know God Exists, and all the folks at our table wanted one (it’s a strange feeling signing books for atheists). Then we posed for pictures, and left, almost bursting with joy after such a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with these dear people.
I am very fortunate in that I co-host an award-winning television program with actor Kirk Cameron. It’s in its third season, is aired in 70 countries, and is on 31 networks. This has helped to raise my profile (not my popularity) in the atheist community. On one of our programs, Kirk and I took an orangutan to lunch to discuss the subject of evolution. I also called eight major airlines and asked if I could take an orangutan on board a plane with me, because he was a “relative.” Every one of the airlines said that he had to go into the cargo hold. Needless to say, the program isn’t very popular with atheists. However, these things (and the fact the ABC TV hosted a debate between Kirk and myself and two atheists) have given me some sort of reputation, and they daily frequent my blog and bombard me with questions. Some of them boil with anger, others mock, and some are polite. But all of them obey the rules and make sure that they give God a capital “G.” If they don’t, their comment is deleted.
In a day when the foolishness of atheism is gaining credibility with so many, I thought it would be unique and extremely beneficial to publish questions that were asked by these atheists, along with my answers. As soon as I had that thought, there was a big bang, and out came the book. Amazingly, the text fell together, the page numbers fell in line, it bound itself, the cover designed itself, and then out of nowhere a title evolved: You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think. Incredibly, there was no author, no printer, and no publisher. It was a modern miracle. What sort of crazy person would you think I was if I said that nobody wrote the book? That really is crazy-talk. So why would anyone give any credibility to an atheist?
The YOU CAN LEAD AN ATHEIST TO EVIDENCE TOUR '09 will officially begin on February 2nd and end on February 27th. You can visit Ray's blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in February to find out more about this great book and talented author!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.