Thursday, May 11, 2006
The Banana: An Atheist's Nightmare
Now don't get me wrong... Ray Comfort (and his ex-Hollywood co-hort Kirk Cameron) are doing a lot of good things in the area of evangelism. They are reaching a particular group with their unique style of evangelism, and they are to be applauded. But (and you knew there had to be a 'but' there somewhere), there's a video clip circulating around the internet that I think is a little silly. In it, Ray uses the banana as an example of an atheist's 'nightmare'.
He talks about how the banana fits perfectly in man's hand, how God put a kind of 'pop-top' on it; and even how it curves toward's man's mouth... all signs of the perfect food made by a perfect God for man. How could any atheist disagree?
I'm sorry, but he lost me on this one.
Is the banana a great food? Yep. Is it wonderful that God made bananas? Yep. Does a banana's curved shape make an atheist think, "Wow, God really was looking out for man because he made the banana curve toward my mouth to make it easier to eat?" Nah, I really don't think so.
Bottom line... I don't think the banana is any atheist's worst nightmare. Sorry Ray, I think this one makes you look a little silly.
Has Ray Comfort ever tried to eat a starfruit or a pineapple?
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Christians who use the natural world to force Atheists into a corner are always going to be contradicted by the evidence. Since, as Christians, we believe that God's will is not yet totally done 'on Earth as it is in heaven' (though we're called to be agents of change in that regard), so also we know that God's good creation (as evidenced by the banana's ease of consumption) will always be counterbalanced by aspects of the human and cosmic Rebellion (mosquitos, AIDS, tsunamis, bird flu, papayas, leeches, spiders, etc.).
Though there are good arguments for the Christian way, the best argument remains a holy life (and by holy I don't mean self-righteous, but rather, kind, loving, caring, compassionate, generous, humble, truthful, just, etc.--cf. fruit of the Spirit).
Posted by: Daniel | May 11, 2006 9:05:51 AM
I think Ray and Kirk are pretty ineffective with thinking atheists, some of which I HAVE had the opportunity to get to know a bit.
Proving God exists and that Jesus is true by arguing from the natural world is problematic at best, imho. Our faith is based on the absurd notion that a man died and rose from the dead. True, yes. Scientifically prove-able. Of course not, otherwise it wouldn't be miraculous.
Now, I'm gonna go have me a banana...
Posted by: Peter Hamm | May 11, 2006 9:23:21 AM
I personally believe that chocolate is a better argument for the existence of God than a banana...I don't really know why other than the fact I can get REALLY excited about chocolate...but a banana...come on! :-)
Posted by: Perry | May 11, 2006 10:04:12 AM
Sometiomes it's better if you just don't pay attention them, it just encourages them. "sigh"
Posted by: Kent | May 11, 2006 10:15:25 AM
Hey, they are trying. And, yes, sometimes they are very trying.
Posted by: DanielR | May 11, 2006 10:31:04 AM
So, if I don't like the taste of bananas (which I don't), what does that mean? Man, I am confused now.
Posted by: IndyGifford | May 11, 2006 10:38:09 AM
[Our faith is based on the absurd notion that a man died and rose from the dead.]
No, there are atheists that believe this too. When they stop breathing the have faith the electic paddles will bring them back from the dead. What they don't believe is they will live forever after that. ;)
Posted by: BeHim | May 11, 2006 12:04:24 PM
That made me laugh. Thanks Todd.
Posted by: Jade | May 11, 2006 12:42:10 PM
IndyGifford, you must not be saved! Repent and be baptized!!!
I think Daniel and Peter had the most intellectual responses, but I prefer Perry's theology on this one! Chocolate is such a statement of God's grace - incredibly good, something we don't understand, and could never deserve. But we get it anyway! Hey, Perry, there's got to be a sermon in there somewhere...!
Posted by: Randy Ehle | May 11, 2006 12:44:09 PM
I am going with Beer! not sure of any Godly qualities but it can be quite refreshing!
Posted by: Mark | May 11, 2006 12:57:08 PM
I am going with beer AND chocolate!
Posted by: Peter Hamm | May 11, 2006 1:30:02 PM
I would think the fact that humans and apes share a love for bananas would CONFIRM atheists' beliefs in evolution.
Posted by: Nora | May 11, 2006 1:33:40 PM
Ah - - - good point Nora. The human love for bananas provides a very clear and obvious link back to our ape ancestry.
But since I much prefer chocolate to bananas, I'm feeling a bit confused about which primate I've evolved from.
Posted by: Wendi | May 11, 2006 2:12:43 PM
Maybe bananas were the "forbiden" fruit?
And since we are talking about food, what about chocolate bunnies?
Posted by: Pastor Al | May 11, 2006 2:24:06 PM
So, as I ponder the theological ramifications of all this, a thought occurs to me -- anyone for a chocolate-covered banana?
Posted by: Nora | May 11, 2006 3:03:48 PM
I would have to say that a canny atheist would make the argument for evolution based on the banana. The banana is curved because of its growth on the stalk.
Now coffee...there it is! It enlightens the senses as one drinks. It wakes one up ... like life coming back to the body - a picture of the resurrection. Add a little chocolate revealing God's grace because chocolate is sooo goooood we really don't deserve it. Whipped cream - made from natural cream from cows - reveals the transformation from the old milk to the wonderful cream. The sugar adds the sweetness to ... Gotta go, there's a Starbucks nearby!
Posted by: Dan Moore | May 11, 2006 3:59:51 PM
And to think, I've been holding bananas the wrong way all these years!
Posted by: Rich | May 11, 2006 4:02:24 PM
Oh, by the way Todd, it's 'atheist', and not 'athiest'... But I'm sure you knew that... :-)
Posted by: Daniel | May 11, 2006 5:55:04 PM
There are a lot of things in this world (that to me) confirm the existence of God but bananas just don't happen to be on that list.
Posted by: Terry | May 11, 2006 6:25:09 PM
Rick says: And to think, I've been holding bananas the wrong way all these years!
Not realy, that stem is realy a handle. Everone else has been opening them
I think an orange is much better illustration for the creative nature of God. It has its own name. It comes in its own wrapper. It can be shared with two to however many other people, depending on the amount of slices. Each slice has hundreds of tiny bottles of juice in them. And if man doewsn't mess with it, it has a grove of trees in each orange.
Now that will convert an atheist, don't ya think?
Posted by: Ed Mooneyhan | May 11, 2006 6:40:34 PM
EU law is trying to control how bent a banana can be. Check it out:
Posted by: Linda | May 11, 2006 8:36:16 PM
Thanks Ed. I feel better now!
Posted by: Rich | May 12, 2006 12:31:42 AM
Guys, I think you are missing the point. I have always loved that little illustration, not because of hard science, but because it is so funny. And when you get the atheist to laugh with you, you are one step closer to being able to share spiritual things with him. Lighten up. One of the most important things about evangelism is enjoying people and building relationships and friendships with them (OK, maybe the apostle Paul had a different approach...).
Posted by: Oracle | May 12, 2006 7:51:26 PM
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