2 Questions

1.  Is free-thinking and activism contrary to our faith?

2.  Is cynicism the only way to evangelise atheism?

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5 responses to “2 Questions

  1. Having been an atheist most of my adult life, I can definitely say that the answer to 2 is ‘no’. The way to evangelize to atheists is to toss aside the apologetics, get into no arguments about faith, and just be friends with him/her. Be a decent, caring person. That’s all.

  2. What about atheists who are evangelising atheism? Those atheists who try to bring down any faith? Isn’t cynicism their best effort?

    JTM, how has your previous atheism informed your Christian faith?

  3. Ah, the evangelical atheists. I just ignore them.

    How does it inform my faith? Lots, particularly how to evangelize or interact with atheists. I refuse to get into arguments with them since in a world of rationalism, they’re correct: there is rational basis for belief in (G)god short of personal, empirical experience. The Lee Strobel-style of evangelism just makes Christians look stupid.

    I also don’t see atheists, evangelical or otherwise, as the enemy. They’re just lost people in need of redemption.

    Finally, I recognize that the biggest enemies of the general spread of the Gospel are Christians. Personal example: I was very socially isolated in college. I had no real friends, and my meals were eaten alone, and I was never present at the usual Friday night parties. Out of desperation, I tried to hang out with the evangelical group on campus called Christian Fellowship. I was, of course, allowed to come to their meetings. We once went whitewater rafting and another time to a skating rink. But these Christians were snobs. I was an unpopular dork from a poor family, and not good enough for their company. I would try to speak with them, chat about this and that, and they would ignore me. Literally. As though I were not physically present.

    Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed by these Christians. It was just another clique.

    So as a Christian now, I live in the fact that I represent Christ to other people, and how I behave matters. I think that one of the core rules of being a Christian is “Don’t be an as***le.” If you’ll pardon my French.

  4. “If you’ll pardon my French.”

    I will. 🙂

  5. Oh, and my atheist experience informs me of how I speak to atheists in one particular area.

    I’ve heard Christians approach atheists and say things like “How are you going to get to Heaven?” and “Who’s going to pay for your sins?” Many evangelistic approaches to atheists assume that atheists share a Christian cosmology. To the atheist, these questions are irrelevant because the presume that there is a Heaven and that we have some say in whether or not we go there, and that there is such a thing as sin and it requirement payment. Understanding the atheist requires stripping away these presuppositions.

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