When you read some of the “enlightened stuff” on the internet penned in by the modern atheists you can’t help but ask yourself if the modern atheists either lack logic or if there is something worse, and more sinister at work there?
They will often mention “bad fascists Christians” of far right this is also accompanied by “bigots” who dare to call themselves Christians, they will also include “hyper charismatic crazy Christians” and not list of all everyone favourites “TV evangelists” who are always portrayed as people who are after your money and their insistence on the Prosperity Gospel rubbish”.
They then make a massive jump in logic by claims that this is a proof that All christens are evil and this should be taken as a great evidence and a proof, you will even hear them saying that this is the uncontrovertibly evidence that God is only in our mind, and that this disease of the mind should be cured by their lack of logic.
God never said that our ignorance and sin should not be examined in the light of his word. Neither did he say that Christians will never make any mistakes, even early New Testament records many discourses and incorrect teachings. Just look at the book of Galatians at the very beginning we see Apostle Paul as he warns them that they are too quick to forget and desert original teaching.
Galatians 1:6-7 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Modern Atheists want you to be sterile
You should not be fruitful in your work, in your evangelism or even let others know that you are a Christian. All in the name of multiculturalism, they tell us we should just accept people for what they are. Yet they do their best to convert everyone else into their way of thinking. By claiming that you would not be a Christian if you were born in India, they forget that neither would they be Atheists if they wore born in Iran. These are not good and valid reasons, nether could not one legitimately use these to explain away Christian origins it is not logical to claim that our birth place will always have correct answer. Fact is that America and Europe have Christianity as imported cultural and religious idea. This kind of cultural relativism is good for Equality and Diversity in our politics but is of no relevance to our faith. Christianity is not intolerant just because it points to the truth. All truth is discriminatory against error, just look at any scientific study and you will understand what I’m talking about.
Modern Atheist deliberately deflect your attention from real issues.
By saying things like, God let my young child suffer so why should I believe, or Christians are bad people that proves ineffectiveness of God, or Religion was so bad for humanity and is responsible for many wars. They simply overlook the truth that their issues do not affect everyone in the same way. And also they are forgetting that this does not tackle the main question; that which they supposedly would want you to address with their disagreements grievances the very existence of God. So God end up being blames for all kinds of human sins. This is not only fallacious in their logic but clearly points that their disagreements are actually more personal in nature and not objective assertions.
They will lie and distort
They will refuse to accept that Christians should be allowed to make mistakes, so on the occasion that error is made and even when apology is made by offending Christian, they refuse to take any such retraction on board. Let me give you example Ray Comfort and his example of Banana with the complexity and design in nature is often used to ridicule Christians. Yet they will not tell you that Ray Comfort publicly apologised for that blunder. Piltdown man and many other fakes which were deliberate distortions are on the other hand overlooked as innocent attempts by evolutionist who were just keen to help us understand evolution better.
They want you to be ineffective and uneducated
Often they will point out that things of faith are separated from things of reason. And sometimes even recommend that faith may be good for you. This unfortunately came to us with the early liberalism at the beginning of the 19th century this was deeply rooted on humanistic philosophical world view. Biblical stories are suddenly to be interpreted allegorically and all miracles should be discarded as childish wishful thinking. Baffling people with science is common way of saying you don’t know anything I can show you that science supports my proposition even when he/she does not understand what they are talking about.
They don’t apply same rules to themselves
They will criticise Christians for claiming that we can know the truth, yet they will assert with great deal of certainty that “We can not know the truth” question is how did they know that? Such claim can only be made if one is to understand the meaning of the truth. They will tell us that the Bible is not reliable even when presented with much evidence, yet they will readily accept other ancient literature even when there is less than 1/100 of the evidence available when compared with the Bible. Cultural relativism does not apply to them as their truth is just as relevant for everyone, but this is not acceptable for Christianity. Murder and war are pined on Christians and religion but when pointed to the fact that atheism was just as bad if not worse when dealing with mass murder they will do their best to ignore these facts.
They use aggression and bullying in order to get you to agree with them
By calling Christians ignorant, referring to events that are 100 of years old, they will argue that this proves incompetence and ignorance of Christians. They will choose to use obscure references from King James Version to prove that Bible supports Unicorns, yet when you point out that this is rear anomaly that resulted from bad translation of the original text they will come back with some nonsensical arguments. Despite the fact that a King James translation is several hundreds years old, they insist that this translation should have been perfect from the outset. Many straw man arguments are used in order to then destroy them and claim intellectual supremacy.
They will attempt to manipulate you
First you may receive compliment then they will demand of you to agree that all intelligent people “like us” must agree with what they say is true. Distorted figures are presented as if they prove or disprove some points that are completely disconnected to the ongoing debate. This is common use of methodology that magicians use when they distract our attention away from the real issues.
What is then needed for successful conversation?
I think what both sides need to do is be honest, be open about their presuppositions. Let the other side know your ideas and understand theirs, yes there are cultural and personal family influences that are evident with those who profess their faith in God, but this is just as relevant to those who are atheists. Their desire to be accepted by their intellectually oriented friends and piers is just as strong and there is clear evidence to this that does not any further explanation. What is needed is new approach, one that says if you demand tolerance then you should listen to the arguments that may not agree with your own. Neither side should claim victory until all evidence is examined. Christians should use love and acceptance, but Atheists should not emotionally blackmail Christians into obeying the Bible if they themselves do not adhere to it. Civility and friendliness can go long way, we can agree to disagree, if we are to influence one another we must be approachable. Finally let me end with the words from the good book. Romans 12:14-21 is teaching us the right attitude.
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.10 Do not be conceited.11 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people.12 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.13 12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath,14 for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,”15 says the Lord. 12:20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head.16 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Defend the word
10 10 tn Or “but give yourselves to menial tasks.” The translation depends on whether one takes the adjective “lowly” as masculine or neuter.
11 11 tn Grk “Do not be wise in your thinking.”
12 12 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used as a generic and refers to both men and women.
13 13 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used as a generic and refers to both men and women.
14 14 tn Grk “the wrath,” referring to God’s wrath as the remainder of the verse shows.
15 15 sn A quotation from Deut 32:35.
16 16 sn A quotation from Prov 25:21–22.