How To Answer An Atheist.

Most of us have encountered someone in our life who just does not believe in God.  It is difficult to witness to them because we have no common ground.  You offer your practiced, rehearsed, standard line of communication and they reject it wholesale.  You are left frustrated and feeling inept. The Devil taunts you as a poor witness of the grace and glory of God!

This blog is an attempt to give you some beginning bullets to initiate conversation and draw them into your conversation.

First of all I believe it is always polite to inquire what they believe.  Value their opinion even if you disagree.  God Himself gives that individual the prerogative to form an opinion even if it is wrong.  Should we do any less?  Listen carefully to their explanation and see if there is logic and reason in it.  Sometimes you can begin on their “turf” and get them to open up, and a door will open to you.  Be patient, they have spent a lifetime forming that perspective and usually are reluctant to surrender it quickly.

I have found if you listen long enough and show genuine interest, they many times, will in turn say something like, “what is your opinion?” Take that opportunity to share your genuine, sincere feeling about God.  Be passionate! If you do not feel it strongly, they will intuitively know it is not exciting or captivating.

Most professing atheists I have encountered are strong on reason and rationale. I believe it would be to your advantage to learn some scientific facts that support the Bible as a legitimate document.  About 20 years ago I read Josh McDowell’s books on Evidence that demands a verdict.  His approach provided me with good solid information to approach the Bible from a scientific viewpoint.  I have used this at times in personal conversation as well as in college classrooms.

I strongly believe you can put the Bible on any battleground and it will be victorious.  The Bible is the mind of God.  What argument or approach can finite man use, that God cannot show man to be a fool?

I worked on an archaeological dig in the summer of 1994.  At night there were classes by world class, and world renowned, archaeologists.  Each one I met was either an agnostic or an atheist.  They would lecture and make preposterous statements.  The other people were not inclined to challenge these professors because of their education.  I had no such qualms.  I will site just one example.  One particular professor from Penn State University made the statement one night that the majority of the stories in the book of Genesis are just fairy tales.  From the front row, before I thought I blurted out “Excuse me?”  You can imagine the quiet that fell.  All eyes turned to me.  How dare I question such a noted, learned authority as this?

I had stopped off at London for a week of vacation with my family before going to Megiddo, Israel, for the archaeological dig.  I saw the Rosetta stone at the British Museum.  I had viewed other archaeological displays. Into that silence with everyone looking at me, I calmly said, “If Abraham is a fairy tale, does that mean the Rosetta stone, and the code of Hannurabi are not credible as archaeological evidence?”

He was trapped.  If he said the Rosetta stone and the code of Hannurabi are credible, then Genesis is validated.  Abraham is validated. The Ten Commandments are validated.  The law of Moses is validated.   If he said no, it is not credible, then archaeology is not valid as evidence.  That world-renowned professor with his PhD backed up.  He turned red in the face and just looked at me.  I quietly said, “Sir you can’t have it both ways”, and smiled.  He merely nodded and continued his lecture.  But he was careful from then on because someone stood up to him and made him make accurate statements.

My point is, do not be afraid, and do not surrender because they are more educated or show condescension toward you.  You are a child of God and you have every right to your opinion.

One more example before you leave me today.  It was a geology class in college.  The study was the beginning of our universe.  The big bang theory, hot and cold diffusion, heavy planets and their orbits in our universe.  It was the whole enchilada.  We covered fossils, and the ages of the so called past.  Finally I raised my hand and asked the professor if I might ask him a question.  He said of course (with a smile!)

I asked him if it was true that I had as much empirical evidence for creation by God as he had for the theories he was promoting. He looked at me (with a frown!) and slowly nodded his head and said, yes that is true.

The Truth is neither of us has empirical evidence to support our view.  I have faith and he has supposition and theory.  Touché it is a draw.

Lastly I believe the most powerful tool you possess is your personal testimony.  Sincerely and succinctly tell them what happened to you.  No one, not even an atheist can argue with that! God has provided you with the most conclusive evidence mankind can produce.  Look at me Mr. Atheist, I am evidentiary proof there is a God.

The Apostle Paul used his personal testimony before Governors and Caesars. If it works in that arena, it will work when an atheist scoffs and sneers.  Hold your head up high. You are a child of God, and you have no reason to be ashamed.

Thanks for reading today!