It all comes down to your view of God and your view of man.
My teacher for this course was James T. Thrasher, and he was tough as all get-out. I worked harder for this course than I did for Quantum Mechanics! He it was who gave us that quote above, "It all comes down to your view of God and your view of man."
What are the options? Well, strictly speaking, I suppose there are four; they are 1. high view of God and high view of man, 2. high view of God and low view of man, 3. low view of God and high view of man, and 4. low view of God and low view of man. Number 4 is suicidal, and probably an aberration. Though I do not say it is unimportant, I will not deal with it here. The first three are much more important, because they are more widespread. But before I go on, I need to mention something a Christian would point out. God does not change, and thus a low or high view of God is not complicated. But men change. God saves some men, and thus we should clarify whether we are talking about regenerate men or unregenerate men. I will do so from now on. It is also important to discuss this word "view". Whose view are we talking about? Are we attempting to view men and God from God's perspective or from man's? That also I will clarify.
Number 3 is the secular humanist. Men who take this position probably assume that there is no fundamental change such as salvation, and thus the position of men is not complicated. Man is man, according to this view. In addition, the view is all from men. In other words, men, men, men. Man the measure, as some of the Greeks would say.
Numbers 1 and 2, in sort of a blend, represents the biblical view. The biblical view states first that it is God's view that matters more than man's view. I shouldn't care so much about what other people think of me, whereas I should care very much about what God thinks of me. So from a God's-eye perspective, the unregenerate man is viewed with wrath, and the regenerate man is viewed with love. See Romans 9 for a discussion of the fact that God loved Jacob and hated Esau. As John Murray pointed out, the word "hated" there cannot be reduced to "loved less." The contrast implies the greater meaning.
So we really have two options, when we come down to it. One is the secular humanist position. The view is from man, and man takes a high view of himself, and a low view of God, if he even believes there is a God. The other option is the biblical position. The view is from God, and God views unregenerate men as objects of His wrath, and regenerate men as objects of His love. *plays tune from Jeopardy* Which one to take?
Some of you have perhaps heard of Pascal's wager. This wager has very much to do with this topic. You should see this for an atheist's take on Pascal's wager. He has what I would consider a decent explanation of the wager himself. And then he has a number of objections. I will assume, therefore, that at this time you have read that link, and the "flaws" he points out. I will now address his arguments, at least some of them.
Flaw Number 1. How do you know which God to believe in? It is true that many religions make exclusive claims: believe this religion or you will go to hell. But Christianity makes one claim that no other religion on earth makes. The claim is that man cannot save himself; he needs a Savior. If God is God: absolute, infinite, holy, etc., and man is finite, then how could man possibly save himself? Even if he could, how could he possibly know whether he has really done it or not? This is what tormented Martin Luther, and what the book of Romans taught him. Since Jesus saves, and we do not save ourselves, we can have assurance, unlike every other religion in existence. Ultimately, however, I do not believe you can prove the existence of God. Many have tried, and failed. The only thing that will really convince you of the truth of Christianity is if God the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and regenerates you.
Flaw Number 2. Of course God is not stupid, and yes we are trying, in one sense, to get a free ride into heaven. But if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then guess what? A free ride is the only ride! Now I am not arguing here that once you are saved, you can do whatever you want. Far from it. But our ultimate salvation is utterly free. You ask how can I believe in a God simply out of convenience? Well, the short answer is I don't. There are many reasons people become Christians, and yet there are many more reasons people stay Christians.
Flaw Number 3. If you have spent considerable time trying to obey the Scriptures, then I think there would be no waste of time. If people only obeyed the latter six of the Ten Commandments, wouldn't the world be a much better place? Naturally, if they obeyed the first four in addition, the world would be perfect. :-) But I cannot call it a waste if people treat each other well, which is really what the latter six commandments are all about. See also Jesus' explanation of how the Ten Commandments are really internal also, and not just external. So keeping the Ten Commandments is not what it may seem to the superficial eye.
Flaw Number 4. I'm not sure how this is a flaw. What he says seems to be true, on the face of it. The real question is, is this concept a real flaw, or is it simply a fact?
Flaw Number 5. He's absolutely correct here. For evidence of a God, I would simply point to creation. Naturally, the atheist would say it's not creation, but that view doesn't hold water. If I pointed out a watch on the ground, no one would even begin to say that that watch was a random collection of molecules. He would admit that there was a design. Now look at a tree. Would you say that this infinitely more complicated tree was not designed? The Intelligent Design people have some really great stuff on this. See Michael Behe's book Darwin's Black Box for a start.
Flaw Number 6. Well, yeah, it's insulting... if you think man is basically good. If man is not basically good (and this is an assumption some atheists make: examine it, atheists!), then such a threat should be expected. It could hardly be an insult then!
Flaw Number 7. Ah, but Christians do not believe that God will judge based on our actions. If He did, we'd all be dead. No, God ultimately judges us, lets us into heaven or consigns us to hell, on the basis of whether or not Christ's works and righteousness are ours. This is not to say that our works are unimportant; far from it. But insofar as heaven is concerned, our works help us not a whit. The one situation that will never occur is that someone (besides Jesus!) gets into heaven on the basis of his own good works. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags (the Bible actually uses the term menstrual cloths, so think used tampons here!). Think that will get you into heaven?
The only thing remaining is to comment on his Atheist's Wager. I believe God exists. Therefore, if you don't believe in God, his Atheist's Wager states that you will go to heaven because you're a good person. This is precisely what will not happen. You can have Christ's righteousness, or no righteousness. There is no other righteousness on the basis of which we can get into heaven.
So, by and large, I think Pascal's Wager has fewer holes than Mr. Adrian Barnett thinks. My namesake needs to do better.
Accept Christ as your personal Savior now. There's no use in waiting!