The Atheist Delusion reveals why many deny God
Documentary | Latest man-on-the-street documentary from Ray Comfort asks interviewees to explain their disbelief
by Bob Brown
Posted 8/30/16, 10:55 am
Documentary maker and ordained pastor Ray Comfort, 66, is known for initiating sidewalk conversations about hot-button issues to create opportunities to talk about Jesus. In past films, Comfort shared the gospel by tackling abortion (180) and homosexuality (Audacity).
In The Atheist Delusion (a riff on the title of famed skeptic Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion), the evangelical answer to Michael Moore once again takes to the streets and college campuses. Comfort presses interviewees to defend their disbelief in God, which is no easy task—for the atheists. They hardly know what hit them.
Comfort hands a colorful book to David, a young man who says he hasn’t believed in God since he was 12 years old.
“Do you believe that book could happen by accident?” Comfort asks. “That nothing produced its pictures … and black ink fell from the sky, or nowhere, and formed itself into coherent sentences?” He then likens each creature and plant’s DNA to a far more amazing and complex book—an “instruction book for life” that only an infinitely intelligent mind could compose.
By asking just a few thought-provoking questions, Comfort thoroughly debunks macroevolution and makes an argument from morality for the existence of God. Then he goes for the jugular, revealing the real reason people deny God.
“You’re into porn, you’re into sex with your girlfriend,” Comfort points out to one young man. “If God exists, that’s going to put a big, wet blanket on everything.” Sinners suppress the truth because of their unrighteousness, and Comfort’s interviewees don’t disagree.
But even in confrontation, Comfort brings a message of hope. At times, the encounter is moving. He tells Richard, an older man who says he’d like to kill himself, that God’s existence gives his life value.
“You’ve got worth. There’s a reason for your existence,” Comfort lovingly says to Richard, who appears stunned by the news.
Over an uplifting soundtrack, celebrity sound bites and scenes of natural wonders tie together a fast-paced, graphically slick 60 minutes of rotating interviews. The Atheist Delusion (unrated, with an expletive bleeped out) engrossed me from start to finish. Best of all, Comfort swings each conversation around to an invitation to accept Christ. He admits he once ran from God, too.
“That’s what a Christian is, someone who has given up the rebellion,” Comfort explains to Augusto.
Thanks to Comfort’s years of evangelism experience, but also video editing back in the studio, the film makes presenting the gospel look easy. Some Christians might feel they must be less in-your-face to maintain long-term relationships with neighbors, colleagues, and family.
Still, Comfort makes a solid case not just for God’s existence but for bold witness, equipping Christians to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope that is in them.
Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.