At first glance, the billboard above a New Jersey highway appears to be celebrating the Christmas season, with the iconic images of the Nativity; the manger, the three wise men and the Star of Bethlehem. But this holiday offering is from American Atheists, and it also features the words: “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason.”
American Atheists are trying to reach out to what they say are millions of closeted non-believers who are just going through the motions of religious observance during this holiday season.
And the American Humanist Association has launched a television and print ad campaign, quoting the Bible and the Koran, to show how religion is the root of personal and worldly conflict.
Atheists are boldly acting off recent polls that show 15 percent of Americans have no religious affiliation ... and that the number is growing.
But best-selling Christian author and pastor Dr. Timothy Keller says modern people should exercise a little "cultural humility" when reading the Bible and all ancient texts. He says people need to understand that there are words, idioms, metaphors and cultural norms in the ancient world that offend many people today, and that many of our modes of language today would be difficult to comprehend centuries from now.
Keller also points out that there's a difference in the Bible between what is descriptive and what is proscriptive, meaning what the Bible describes as happening, did happen, could happen or will happen is different from what God is actually condoning or commanding.