But a group of prominent atheists—many of them evolutionary biologists—has launched a powerful public attack on religion in general and Christianity in particular; they have no interest in being nice. A new set of anti-religious books— The God Delusion, The End of Faith, God Is Not Great, and so on—now shapes public debate. These atheists reject the Gould solution. They say that a religious outlook makes specific claims about reality: there is a God, there is life after death, miracles do happen, and so on. If you are agnostic or atheist, you have a very different understanding of reality, one that is formed perhaps by a scientific or rationalist outlook. The argument of the atheists is that both views of reality cannot be simultaneously correct. If one is true, then the other is false.

The atheists have a point: there are not two truths or multiple truths; there is one truth. Either the universe is a completely closed system and miracles are impossible, or the universe is not a closed system and there is the possibility of divine intervention in it. Either the Big Bang was the product of supernatural creation or it had a purely natural cause. In a larger sense, either the religious view of reality is correct or the secular view is correct. (Or both are wrong.) So far the atheists have been hammering the Christians and the Christians have been running for cover. It’s like one hand clapping. A few pastors have stood up to the atheists’ challenge, but they have not, in general, fared well. Pastors are used to administering to congregations that accept Christian premises. They are not accustomed to dealing with skilled attackers who call the Christian God a murderer and a tyrant and who reject the authority of the Bible to adjudicate anything.