A Jew, A Catholic, and an atheist are rowing in Lake Erie when their boat springs a huge leak. The Jew looks skyward, and says “Oh, Adonai, if you save me, I promise I’ll sail to Israel and spend the rest of my days trying to reclaim the land you gave us.”
The Catholic looks skyward, and says, “Oh, Jesus, if you save me, I promise I’ll fly to the Vatican and spend the rest of my days singing your praises.”
The atheist says, “Oh, guys, if you pass me that one life preserver, I promise I’ll swim to Cleveland.” “And how will you spend the rest of your days?” the Jew and the Catholic ask. “Well,” says the atheist, “I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing: I’ll never go rowing with other atheists.”
I became a Christian about thirteen years ago and about twelve years and eleven months ago I started getting my rear end handed to me by skeptics and atheists regarding my new faith on forum web sites. Yes, I am one of those people. This may have been one of the best things to happen to my Christian faith. That experience has enabled me to refine my faith, to really know what I believe and become comfortable with questions that do not have reasonable answers.
Early on I wanted to justify my faith with science. I figured if I could prove god existed through science then I can really beat those atheists and not be so embarrassed about believing in Jesus. I became consumed with reading and listening to renowned Christian apologists, who all declared two things; that we can prove god exists and that the Bible is compatible with the current scientific theories. Two ideas that I now believe to be false.
I went naively headlong into the fray with smart and studied atheists and lost time and time again. Badly. All this did at first was to make me study more, and to want to believe people who had “sciency” explanation for bible history or claims. I studied Christian PhD’s and agreed with their explanations for the flood, creation, Genesis chapters 1 and 2 etc. It seemed that every contradiction in the Bible could be resolved by someone on Google. My reading and studying time for years (yes I am slow sometimes) became all about reconciling god and nature it seemed and not about learning the word of god to let Him sanctify me.
I soon realized that skeptical atheists had good answers for most of these arguments and evidences that seemed more plausible than anything I argued. I wondered why I could not convince atheists that god exists or at least make them think about the possibility He exists.
So then I was exposed to a way of thinking that took me away from reasoning with skeptics to appealing to their conscience. It was a revelation to me that I could not prove god exists but that god would prove it to them by pricking their conscience through the knowledge of sin and let god do the converting. I believed I was on to something that I could now bring to the skeptic/atheist forums and win. Of course they would realize they had done wrong and were bad people, right? Wrong. I was once again receiving my own behind at the hands of those atheists.
So what now? Well. The next trendy thing was pre-suppositional apologetics. I dived unabashedly into the abyss and when I looked up I could not see any atheist/skeptic being able to even crack this one. In fact, at first I did not think any of the so called refutations were very valid. I was convinced this is what I had been looking for. I tried it out on atheists and it seemed to make them mad and irritated. It must be working I thought. Finally I have made them believe that god exists whether they would admit it or not.
I was wrong. It dawned on me from watching YouTube video debates between atheists and pre-suppositionalists that I did not know the atheist world view. I was trying to refute atheism but I had no clue as to what they really believed or what their world view was. If I am a Christian looking for the truth, then I needed to start with what the atheist thought was truth and how they came to truth conclusions.
This blog is a collection of questions and statements I hear regularly that Christians give to atheists and why most of them are actually detrimental to our cause. They are usually thought of by atheists as childish and actually show that we Christians do not understand the atheist’s arguments and/or world view. It also has my thoughts on how better to engage atheists with these issues.