10 Things I Wish Christians Considered Before Arguing with Atheists February 11, 2015February 11, 2015 / Mike Lehmann Christian John Lennox (left) debates atheist Christopher Hitchens (right). (Photo: Flickr/Flowerparty) OnFaith just published an article I wrote about Christian/atheist dialogue. Click here to read it. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
3 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish Christians Considered Before Arguing with Atheists”
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I read your piece at Faithstreet, and forwarded the link to my atheist brothers as well.
With all due respect to you and your genuinely good intentions, sir, I think you simply do not, and apparently cannot, understand atheism. All your nice talk of Jesus and the “joy of a Christ-filled life” will seem to most atheists like a four-year-old trying to convince a 10-year-old that there really IS a (supernatural, all-seeing, supernaturally-enabled) Santa Claus. We simply do not believe in yours, or anyone’s gods. Period. Some of us used to, since early childhood, and the adults and the culture around us reinforced those beliefs. But we do not believe anymore, and nothing you can tell us about the emotions you feel about the beliefs you hold will ever convince us. I do believe your emotions are real. I also believe my paranoid grandmother’s emotions about her imagined tormentors were real. You feel real joy; she felt real fear. But feelings and faith are not facts, and feeling and faith are simply not good enough for atheists. Toys under the tree and smarmy Christmas movies — and the aren’t enough for children who have concluded there is no supernatural Santa. We may have nostalgic feelings about the halcyon days of innocent early-childhood beliefs, but for us there is no going back. Your inability to fathom how we can manage to find meaning, and/or a “moral compass”, without your god/God/Jesus, is blinding you to the hopelessness of convincing most atheists that your beliefs constitute a/the Great Truth.
I am sure you have read a number of books on/by atheists. If you care to read one more, I recommend “That’s Me In The Corner”, by a local fellow “freethinker” I know, Mr. Jason Eden. He once felt all the joy and fervor and meaning that you speak of, but logic led him, as it does most atheists, away.
I am not trying to evangelize my beliefs to you; it is not my place to tell others what to believe. I am only trying to help Christians understand, with the best analogies I can come up with, why your tactics and earnest desires to bring us to Jesus will not work.
But I’m sure you feel compelled to keep on trying.
Late to the discussion. Just a comment on hell. As an atheist that would probably be one of the first points of discussion I would bring up. It is my raison d’être for being an atheist, at least starting the journey from evangelical, Bible believing, born-again, Charismatic, Spirit-filled, evangelistic, “on fire for Jesus” Christian to agnostic then other factors compelled me to atheism.
Hell is a complete absurdity. Every second, someone somewhere in the world dies as a non born again Christian, so will spend eternity in hell. Tick, another. Tick, another. Tick, another.
Billions upon billions. Hell is much bigger that heaven.
And God is supposed to be omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent?
No amount of grace talk and “free will” can work here.
It’s no wonder that Rob Bell and the annihilationists are gaining traction!
Of course the simpler answer is that hell does not exist and God does not exist.