The incomprehensibility of Dr. Smith’s words becomes even more apparent as he attempts to play the role of victim in his introduction. “Atheism” he remarks, “is still somewhat unacceptable. Simply being an atheist may be acceptable–if, that is, one keeps it to oneself. What is frequently considered inappropriate is to advertise this fact, or openly to attack religious doctrines” (x). There is one considerable observation to make that may aid the context of this statement. The case against god was published in 1979; a time in which atheism’s voice was already something to be feared. It was only six years prior that abortion became legal in the United States and the pressure–though not particularly from atheists– helped the cause for the fight of woman’s rights (in this sense, woman’s rights are not synonymous with rights as voting or equal pay for equal work, but the rights to abort a fetus in the first trimester). Further, the 70’s led to a major revival of atheistic thinking in America unlike any other time in American history. The vulgar practices, the innumerable pregnancies out of wedlock, and the proliferation of addictions of all sorts (and their approval by the media at large) seem to convey the idea that these un-Christian activities were common. The point here does not need to be prolonged. The idea that “to advertise the facts (of atheism), or openly attack religious doctrines” (x) was unacceptable is absurd to say the least. The very propagation of freedom (being, immorality, etc.) without restraint is sufficient proof that they were at least attacking religious (particularly Christian) standards of conduct.
The author contends that there is a group of philosophers and psychologists who, “while openly admitting the irrationality of theistic belief, actually recommends it as a kind of therapeutic device designed to give emotional aid and comfort to mankind—thus lending support to the myth that the average man is emotionally incapable of facing the facts” (x). “The facts” Smith refers to is nothing more than the idea that living as if there is a God is detrimental to the well being of civilization. Certainly these trained minds that recommend religion as therapy are unaware of its inadequacy and surely they make such statements only to please the status quo of American religiosity (after all it is the “religious” in America that support their practices). Let us rephrase the question: Is the average man capable of facing the facts? This question illustrates the infelicity of the atheist mind. Can the average man face the fact? In one sense, Yes! He is confronted by the facts everyday of his life. He looks at the skies and he sees facts ad infinitum; he sees the birth of his first-born and finds it uncommonly mysterious. But in another sense, No! The Scriptures come in to the middle of this word game and shatters Smith’s argumentation. If by fact, Smith means the experience of God as attested in Sacred Scriptures then no one can know (experience) God (John 6:37-44) unless the Spirit opens his heart and mind. The facts lead ultimately to God, but the facts in and of themselves lead only to the conclusions presupposed. One final remark is helpful here, and that is, that the assumption that the facts lead to atheism is unwarranted. The greats of the Christian faith were highly attracted to Christianity and indeed came to appreciate the God of the Bible through the facts of revelation. Among these were the superb C.S. Lewis of Oxford and St. Augustine of Hippo whose mighty intellect aided the great masses of students to this present day.