C. S. Lewis said that when he was an unbeliever, atheism was not only his belief, it was his strongest desire. “No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word interference.” And he was uncomfortably aware that the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures “placed at the center what seemed to be a transcendental Interferer.” Atheism appealed to his deep desire to be left along. Rebels fear being interfered with.9

Sometimes the existence of God would turn out to be—borrowing a phrase from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore—“an inconvenient truth.” I liked Denny, but I couldn’t figure out why he kept wanting to meet. He was a large man, a construction guy, and I was a little intimidated. He wanted to talk about God, so we did, and he asked one difficult question after another about faith—one tough intellectual issue after another. We would talk each one through to as much resolution as we could get, and he would always bring up another one. Finally, I asked him, “If all of these issues were settled, if every intellectual barrier you raised were dismantled, is there anything else besides all this intellectual stuff that would hold you back from following Jesus?”

There was a long silence. Denny did not like the question. It turned out that he was involved in sexual behavior that he knew was not honoring to God and that, if he were to become a follower of Jesus, would have to change. He didn’t want to change. His mind caused him to find all kinds of objections, but the reality was that he did not want it to be true. He was afraid of what he would have to do if it were. — Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg