Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dealing with Arrogant Atheists

Thank God that the modern obstreperous atheist movement is fading. Ironically, this fundamentally flawed worldview has helped modern Christianity by forcing questions and issues into our faces that were sidestepped and ignored. (I think some of the questions were also in the minds of believers as well, but we did not bother to ask.) One reason that people have abandoned their faith is when they would ask questions about the very first book of the Bible and receive scolding or pious non-answers.

Apologists have been becoming more skilled, more knowledgeable and more plentiful. The same with apologetics ministries. I have been encouraging Christians from the beginning of this Weblog to know what and why we believe (2 Peter 3.18) so that we can share the gospel effectively (1 Peter 3.15, Jude 1.3 NASB) and be on guard against false teachers and compromisers (Matthew 7.15 ESV, 2 John 1.7, 2 Cor. 11.13-15).

This includes the so-called "New Atheist" movement. (It has been pointed out that there is not much "new" in it, just an increase in loud hatred of God and his servants.) The "Logic Lessons" are useful in defusing the intimidation of atheists when we learn that they make a tremendous number of logical fallacies.

One resource I provided here before was a set of links to a talk by Andy Bannister on dealing with atheists. Another recommendation is for True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism (only 2.99 USD at Amazon, free Kindle book software is available if you need it). My recommendation is qualified, however, because authors of the book did not take the Apostle Paul's approach in Acts 17 of going back to Genesis. I offered to remedy that in a future edition if the editors are interested. Still, there is a great deal of philosophical and rational information that dismantles the atheistic worldview.

I have a similar qualified (that is, I noticed the lack Genesis or creation) recommendation for the following article by Alan Roebuck. It's called, "How to Deal with a Supercilious Atheist", and definitely worth your time:
Not all atheists are supercilious, of course. Many are content to live and let live, and some even grant that religion (which, in America, basically means Christianity) does some good.  But atheism as an organized, evangelizing movement has been on the offensive lately.  Witness the "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, with their aggressive stance against God and their bestselling books attempting to debunk religion. So, assuming you are a theist, what do you say to the atheist who asks, "You don't (chuckle) actually believe in God, do you (snicker)?"

The natural response would be to start giving evidence for God: the origin of the universe in the Big Bang requires a cause that is beyond matter, energy, space and time, the design of life requires an intelligence to account for the information that it contains, the many accounts of miracles and the supernatural cannot all be fabrications, and so on.  Entire libraries have been written on the evidence and arguments for God.
I encourage you to finish reading the article here.

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