I suppose most of us have wrestled with arguments intended to prove the existence or personality of God. Well, I am not going to raise any philosophical questions about the powers are in capacities of human reasoning in this matter. No religion ever took its origin in such reasoning, however it may have succeeded or been baffled and trying to justify itself at reason’s bar. The being and the personality of God, so far as there is any religious interest in them, are not to be proved by arguments; they are to be experienced in a kind of experienced here described. The man who can say, O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me, does not need any arguments to prove that God is, and that he is a person, and that he has an intimate and importunate interest in his life. If that is a real experience — and who will deny that it is? — And if it is not a morbid phenomenon, but one which is sane and normal, then the thou in it is just as real as the me. The psalmist is as certain of God as he is of his own existence; and indeed it is not too much to say that it is only as he is conscious of being searched and known by God — only as he is overwhelmed by contact with the spirit which knows him better than he knows himself — that he rises to any adequate sense of what his own being and personality mean. He is revealed to himself by God’s search; he knows himself through God. Speaking practically — and in religion everything is practical — God alone can overcome atheism, and this is how he overcomes it. He does not put arguments within our reach which point to theistic conclusion; he gives us the experience which makes this song intelligible, and forces us to cry, oh Lord, thou hast searched me and known me. “After that he have known God,” says St. Paul to the Galatians, “or rather” — correcting himself — “have been known by God.” Yes, it is the overpowering sense that we are known through and through by another which seals upon our hearts that knowledge of God on which religion rests.
Here is the cure for atheism: it is the answer to the question of whether one should use presuppositional or evidential apologetics. There are evidences and arguments in favor of Chrsitianity. Arguments from reason, from experience, from history exist and are good and valid. But in the end, one does not believe in the existence of their wife or husband, child or friend, on the basis of argument, but on the basis of knowing. This is the reason why the atheist will not be converted by argument: an argument of the existence of a person whom one has never met cannot convince. But one who has known God – or better, has been known by God – doubts not God