Atheists are those who have chosen to deny God. It is a choice, not a conclusion based on disproof. Some are mad at him, many more are in rebellion & want to justify doing as they please, contrary to God’s law and responsibility to him.
Many who are mad at God wrongly presume, as do many Christians, that “God is in control” and “this is our Father’s world.” On the contrary, the Bible says that man chose his own way in the Garden, so God withdrew; satan is now “the god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air,” whose power, through our mortality via the flesh, will be defeated as “the last enemy” to be “put under [Christ's] feet.”
God made a Plan before the world was made to redeem the world, Scripture says, but until Christ comes again to “rule with a rod of iron,” He will not have reasserted his reign. In the meantime, Christ does rule in “a kingdom not of this world” which is “within” those who have made Jesus Lord.
Christians who believe the former error, that God remains assertive of his sovereignty over the world, with difficulty attempt to resolve God’s goodness with his alleged initiation of evil or neglect of circumventing it. Thus theologians of the Chicago School invented Process Theology, by which they supposed that God was “on the cutting edge of Creation” but was not able to control its evolution, try as He might (thus neither sovereign nor immanent).
Rabbi Harold Kushner is famous for his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” in which he borrowed from Process Theology the concept that God was unable to stop evil in the world. (I use evil in the Old Testament sense of “bad things,” which includes disease and death as well as bad actions.) Kushner had a son who died young from early-aging disease. One empathizes with Kushner, but his case exemplifies the risk of making up theology to fit one’s limited, human perceptions.
© 2011 Paul A. Hughes