Christians argue they must initiate graceful conversations with atheists

The Willow Tree PeoplePhil Nichols writes on the Christian website the Willow Teee People that “the mindset of New Atheism is not one of reconciliation and dialogue, but rather one of unwavering proselytizing. In a sense, New Atheism is very similar to the dark side of Christian fundamentalism: both views are more concerned with conversion than understanding, both views are not interested in making friends with people who think differently, both views are stubborn and unyielding, and both views are not concerned with grace.So how are critically thinking Christians supposed to react to New Atheism?…our reaction must be twofold: first, to initiate graceful conversation and action that will slowly break down the stereotypes and straw men that lie at the heart of the New Atheist gospel; and second, to graciously admit where we, as Christians, have failed to live out our call to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God….

The solution…is not to eradicate religion altogether, which is the ultimate end of New Atheism, because this ignores the philanthropy, charity, and altruism that occurs when people act upon religious incentives without interference from other motivations. Instead, the solution is understanding that ridding the world of religion will not solve all of our problems, because other incentives will still exist – incentives that can be equally (if not more) destructive….

However, just as we do not want New Atheists to throw the baby out with the bathwater, Christians too must take an honest look at the criticism offered by the movement and embrace the parts that are true….it is not until we admit that we have turned our God into a socio-political tool for advancing our own personal agendas and into a shield for ignorance and anti-intellectualism that we can begin the process of reconciliation with our New Atheist neighbors. Read article


3 responses to “Christians argue they must initiate graceful conversations with atheists

  1. ‘Christians too must take an honest look at the criticism offered by the movement and embrace the parts that are true..’

    Which parts? The part which says ‘There is no evidence for any god who intervenes in the world?’

  2. While Dawkins web site allows readers to comment on any article whatever, the Willow Tree People call for dialogue and conversation, but I cannot find any way of commenting on what they say.

    Guess who is really interested in dialogue…..

  3. I’m not sure the technical specifications of someone’s website are a perfect indicator of their willingness to dialogue but it might be worth you suggesting it to them. I’m not sure if they will read this!

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