Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Few Very Important Things to Remember While Talking To An Atheist

1. Most die-hard Atheists are smart (although we believe they are unwise) and know why they are an Atheist, just like you hopefully know why you are a Christian.

2. Christians do not believe that ancient gods of other religions are total figments of the imagination. Rather we believe that it was man reaching for a God that did and does exist and doing their best to understand him and how he governs his creation. So when an Ancient Greek prayed to Zeus, he was praying to a version of God that was partly his invention, and partly a remaining knowledge of the Living God. For after the fall, God did not leave man entirely. No, man still could sense God's presence but could not truly know God without God Himself making Himself fully known, as he did with the Jews and then fully in Christ.

3. God is not a God of the Gaps. He is the God of everything, including the Gaps. We believe he is active in some way, without destroying the innate free will, in every created thing, for He holds together all things by his thought. This may not convince, but it will keep you from trying to find the thing that cannot be explained by science. At the core of EVERYTHING created there is a mystery. Period.

4. Believing in God is not the same thing as believing in a pink burping spaghetti monster. Just like believing that my mother loves me is not the same thing as believing that my phone loves me. It is common for Atheists to build arguments built on “Straw Men.” They can no more prove scientifically that God does not exist than we can prove scientifically that He does exist. I can prove that the pink burping spaghetti monster does not exist. I made him up. I defy any atheist to locate the man that made up God.

5. They will rarely be convinced by preaching or your words but by your love. YOU, YOURSELF will NEVER convert them. Only God can draw a man to Himself.

10 comments:

euphrony said...

Good talking points. You are absolutely correct that most atheists how come there through serious thought. Don't talk down to them. In fact, don't talk down to anyone, ever. Belittling a person is a sure way to show your own arrogance while hiding God's love.

Brant said...

Definitely agree on everything.

Of course, I'd add that the atheist actually believes in God, and this is betrayed by his actions, but that's just my theory.

The Stan said...

Interestingly enough, astrophysicists and theoretical physicists have seen God in the very fabric of the universe itself. Take a look at this lecture from Dr. Hugh Ross, an imminent astrophysicist:

http://tinyurl.com/29xsot

Also, there's an interesting argument for the proof of God that centers around DNA, the very blueprint of life itself. The argument goes something like this: encoded information must be created by an intelligent being. Nature can create patterns...but not information. DNA is known to be encoded information. Therefore it could only have been created by an intelligence of immense intellect and creativity. If I'm remembering correctly, laboratory experiments have created random sections of RNA from conditions believed to exist on the early earth...but you can equate it with a random string of letters like this: asdkfkadjkla-- Clearly not a blueprint for even the simplest of organisms.

But you are correct in saying that atheists will not be convinced by logical arguments. That's because their atheism is as irrational as our faith.

Seth Ward said...

So true euphrony. Being condescending, which means "to talk down to" is very belittling. JK! It is always so strange to watch a Christian talk to a real Atheist for the first time. They somehow think that they haven't thought it through. That might be common with an Agnostic, but not a die-hard evangelical Atheist.

Brant, totally agree there, but they always try to get me going in circles on that one. AND they never seem to start with an absolute. If they can keep it all nebulous then they will argue forever. Any suggestions?

Stan, I think that is exremely interesting stuff. I love that DNA stuff. I heard that guys seminar and I liked it but I sort of remember a few holes in the arguement. Did you?

euphrony said...

I find the same to be true (well thought out reasons for belief) of many pagans, wiccans, etc. They have seriously considered various religions and intentionally chosen one over Christianity. If you talk religion with one, you had better know your Bible, because chances are they know it as well or better than you.

And I can speak with authority on belittling people; I have a tendancy to do so, very unintentionally. It comes from my personal self-confidence and arrogance.

FancyPants said...

This is awesome.

Super Churchlady said...

Well said, my fine friend!!

"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolish to him; and he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

That man will not look towards men but towards Jesus! said...

Seth said:

"Christians do not believe that ancient gods of other religions are total figments of the imagination. Rather we believe that it was man reaching for a God that did and does exist and doing their best to understand him and how he governs his creation. So when an Ancient Greek prayed to Zeus, he was praying to a version of God that was partly his invention, and partly a remaining knowledge of the Living God. For after the fall, God did not leave man entirely. No, man still could sense God's presence but could not truly know God without God Himself making Himself fully known, as he did with the Jews and then fully in Christ."


a piece of advice you should always preface your words with "Some" or "In my opinion" as otherwise you are making an invalid and false assumption and or statement.

This is in regards to you quote above. Which is an opnion of some. But is not necessarily true for all Christians.

I would say it is more true for the pragmatists who think it is ok to say that the false man made Gods that the ancients invented was their attempt to reach God when in fact this is wrong, they created these God's even though they had knowledge of the one true God. See Romans Chapter 1:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Seth Ward said...

Thanks for stopping by "The man..."

I think paul substantiates this idea that I am talking about and I see no problem with reconciling the two thoughts. You might be misunderstanding me and that might be my fault.

Man never lost a sense of the presence of God. That is how he is created. He cannot live without knowing He exists.



"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they KNEW God, "

However, I am not saying that these Gods were acceptable to God and this is where I believe man exchanged the True God and the knowledge of Him for created things:

"They did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things."

Maybe somehow you are thinking that I am saying that it was "okay" to worship false or create gods? I am not.

I am merely saying that God, in essence was and is not an invention of man. And that an Athiest cannot use the exuse of "dead gods" as an arguement to refute the existence of God. Man has always known there is a God. Man has always tried to make Him in his own immage as the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Summerians, Aztecs, Indian tribes, etc.

Even Christians try to do this by making molding him into the God of Capitalsim or their God of War, maybe the god of romantic Love if they get obsessed and decide to pray that god will force some woman to fall in love with them. Maybe they try and make him the god of luck and ask him to help them to win the lottery... All idolatry.

Paul in the passage blatantly states that man is without excuse. He cannot say he had no knowledge of God. Therefore an atheist cannot say that the Greek had no knowledge of God because they made him up, as we are making him up.

When Paul adressed the Greeks he was aware of this and used the statue to "the unknown or un-named God" to reveal to them who it was that they were searching for. Period. That is my point.

"People of Athens, I see that you are in every respect religiously exact. For as I walked about and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even came upon an altar inscribed, 'To a God Unknown.' Now what you thus worship unknowingly I would proclaim to you" (Acts 17:23).

If Christians believe what Paul believed, then I think I am okay with saying "all Christians"

Seth Ward said...

Also, without God's revelation through the Jews and Christ, we would have never fully known him again.

Man could have never known, without God revealing it, the Law. He could have never known the revelation of the Trinity without Him revealing Himself in Christ.

These things Give Christianity the element of the "uninvented" that C.S. Lewis talks about. Things that man could never come to know on his own. We would have tried and we did, but it would have always fallen short and remained in the form of idol worship.