"He has not left himself without testimony." (Acts 14:17)
GOD AND FAIRIES
Belief in God. Sigmund Freud called it a childish fantasy. Bertrand Russell compared it with believing that a celestial teapot was orbiting the earth. Richard Dawkins is fond to say that there are many things he disbelieves: woodland fairies, fire-breathing dragons, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters. God is just one more imaginary being he adds to the list.
Instead of tackling time-tested theological arguments for God, atheist popularizers dismiss Him to the realm of elves, trolls, and the Easter Bunny. It's an evasive maneuver that plays well to those inclined to disbelief.
Russell's teapot and Santa's elves are on the long list of things that lack objective evidence, but cannot be emphatically disproved (to do so would require the omniscient perspective under assault). Nevertheless, no clear-headed person accepts them as real. So, the argument goes, the same should hold for God: Even though his non-existence cannot be proved, the absence of physical data demands that rational folk place Him alongside other childish myths and imaginary figures.
It's a clever argument; but flawed for two reasons.
First, the orbiting teapot and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are admitted inventions that, like fairies, elves, and Santa Claus, are not necessary beings. That is to say, the universe, life, and the fulfillment of man's transcendent yearnings are not contingent upon the existence of such beings. So, while simple and great thinkers, alike, have been entertained by the exploits of Odysseus and Peter Pan, they have been transformed by the story of God.
Next, contrary to the things of fantasy and fancy, God is not silent. From creation onward, God's word has been broadcast in multimedia, communicating to all who would hear.
THE WORD OF GOD
The apostle Paul wrote that "faith comes from hearing the message." To a first-century audience, hearing meant more than audile reception; it meant to understand. Paul went on to explain that hearing was accomplished "through the word of Christ."
We tend to think of the "Word" as the 66 books of the Bible. But the term, as used in Scripture, more generally refers to the expression of God; whether directly by Him or indirectly through some aspect of his creation. We also tend to limit its application to the "teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training" that Paul mentions to Timothy. But, again, the scriptures reveal something far more encompassing.
The psalmist says that by God's word "were the heavens made." The author of Hebrews writes that the word of God judges, discerns, and sustains all things. Jesus says His word is life-giving. When the apostle John refers the "Word," he uses a Greek concept (logos) for the ultimate source of rational order and knowledge. These attributes suggest something that cannot be fully communicated within the limitations of human language. (In A Footnote to All Prayers, C.S. Lewis wrote that all prayers blaspheme because they are symbols for things that are inexpressible.)