Author R.C. Sproul Jr. has a "doctorate" in the non-subject of Theology. It shows. Here are his five things for Christians to remember when they converse with atheists. What's wrong with this picture?

"1. There are no atheists. Romans 1 tells us that unbelievers suppress the truth of God’s existence in unrighteousness (vs 8). They want not to believe, but they know there is a God, and know that they stand guilty before Him. Do not think you are dealing with a disinterested scholar who is just lacking good information. You are dealing with someone angry and frightened, someone rightly terrified over his own guilt. If they get angry, chances are they are angry at God more than you. No matter how smart they may be, they are more afraid of you than you are of them.

"2. Their deepest need is to deal with their guilt. The best thing about dealing with atheists is we not only have what they need, but we have what they know they need. That is, because they dread their guilty standing before God they are ripe for hearing about Jesus’ solution to our guilt problem. Denying His existence is just whistling in the dark. Repenting of our sin, on the other hand, is singing in the heavenlies. As you remember point one, keep coming back to the atonement of Christ, and the offer of forgiveness for all who trust in His finished work.

"3. They are using our stuff. Their worldview allows for no transcendent morality, or purpose. But no one can live this way for ten seconds. Even their participation in the argument is grounded on the premise that it is better (a concept that is meaningless if we are grown up germs) to believe the truth than a lie. On the one hand this should be cause for hope. This borrowing that they do happens because of the remnants of the image of God in them. On the other hand, never let them forget that they have no ground to stand on, that they can’t even participate in the argument without conceding transcendent morality and purpose.

"4. As with point number 3, every time they express a moral judgment against you, or the Bible, or believers, remind them that such is out of bounds based on their foundation conviction. If there is no God, then my moral perspective is as valid as theirs. Do not be shy of using their assumptions on them. When they judge you for judging, point out that they are judging you. Remind them that they shouldn’t be privileging their own narrative against yours. This not only confuses them, but shows them that you are familiar with their tactics and won’t be intimidated by them.

"5. Remember such once were we. The difference between the believer and the atheist is not found in the believer’s superior character, more astute mind but in the grace of God alone. Without the grace of God in our lives we would be as caught up in folly, as self-referentially absurd, as blazingly hypocritical. Indeed even with His grace we are often guilty of these sins. It is sin, not stupidity that is the root of all our problems, and what sets us as believers apart is the glory and power of repentance. Don’t be shy about owning your sin. Jesus isn’t. Be bold about the truth, humble about yourself."

Tags: Jr, R.C., Sproul, hate

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Lets start with #1 I really didn't need to read further because my irony meter is already in the red:

"1. There are no atheists. Romans 1 tells us that unbelievers suppress the truth of God’s existence in unrighteousness (vs 8). They want not to believe, but they know there is a God, and know that they stand guilty before Him. Do not think you are dealing with a disinterested scholar who is just lacking good information. You are dealing with someone angry and frightened, someone rightly terrified over his own guilt. If they get angry, chances are they are angry at God more than you. No matter how smart they may be, they are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Um there are no atheists because some old book, an old book that also has waiving a dead chicken over your head as part of the cure for leprosy, tells you that there are no atheists. Ummm????????? Sorry that's a non argument from the start. You have to establish to me WHY I should believe that book, which, as an atheist, I don't. How difficult a concept is that to understand? You don't believe in the Iliad, right. Would a passage in the Iliad that says: even though some may disagree with the story know it is true be worthwhile to you, Mr. Christian? I was actually a little annoyed at the way atheists were putting "doctorate" in quotes....but if this is your opening premise, this is not doctorate worthy. It isn't even freshman in college worthy.

My answer to his first statement , just reflects ignorance. Making such a claim, only points out that he does not even understand what atheism actually is.

I think I'll comment section by section.

1. I would hate to break it to this guy, but he put a silly statement as his leading statement. I mean...no atheists? What does that make us? To say that something or someone doesn't exist, without proof (other than the Bible, which really isn't a reliable source to begin with), is folly. I mean, for every person who believes in Bigfoot, there are people who don't believe in Bigfoot. For every person who doesn't like broccoli, there is someone who does. Saying that we all believe in Bigfoot inherently, and just insist on denying the creature's existence, saying that these nonbelievers know that they're denying something true and proven, doesn't rule out the fact that there are still people who do not think that Bigfoot exists. As for being afraid of Christians? Unless one actively threatens my life, or does something else that is guaranteed to make me afraid, I'm not going to be too bothered. Also, that last sentence sounds like that one I've heard about spiders being more afraid of us, than we are of them...or something like that.

2. My deepest need is to finish my education, pay off the debt incurred, and get a good-paying job, all while finding my future spouse and living a happy life. The guilt I have has nothing to do with religion. In fact, the only guilt I have is if I have wronged someone, been short with someone, or forgot to do something important. If I want to have my guilt alleviated, I will bring the issue to the forefront to apologizing to the person involved, if at all possible. None of this applies to religious worries or guilt, simply because as an atheist (which we've established in the first point, we do exist), I don't have them.

3. Anyone who has been an atheist for more than ten seconds can automatically disprove this. Just because I don't believe in a being for my moral layout, doesn't mean I don't have morals. Any mention I might make of a God will indeed refer to my past as a Christian, but although I might miss the fun and fellowship that I had with other people during services and events, it doesn't mean I want to go back. It doesn't mean I have God in me, as that would imply that he existed in the first place. Also, atheists do have ground to stand on---science, logic, etc. .

4. For some reason, most of this point reminded me of a National Geographic/ Animal Planet program, where the wildlife nature person (I know, that was poorly phrased...please forgive me) informs the viewing audience of how to deal with a certain animal. The whole thing about “privileging” our narrative is laughable, because there is SO MUCH of that going on with Christians. And also, the line about confusing us brings me back to the National Geographic/ Animal Planet program reminder...which actually makes me giggle a little bit.

5. He automatically says that believers have a superior character and a more astute mind when compared to atheists (whom, I should add again, do exist, if for no other reason that he provided more points after explicitly saying that we don't exist), and then goes on to be hypocritical. And congratulations are in order, because he just summed up what is seen so frequently on TV and in real life within this sentence: “Without the grace of God in our lives we would be as caught up in folly, as self-referentially absurd, as blazingly hypocritical.” He can decide to tackle that by saying that there are Christians who aren't actual proper Christians, if you catch my wording, but that in itself is a silly thing to say. Also, one can own up to their wrongs without calling them sins and seeking a mythical higher power to absolve them of it.

What do I get from this in terms of understanding this article? It doesn't make sense to include points 2-5, because as he already said (falsely, of course), that atheists don't exist. Why do you need help dealing with something that, in your mind, does not exist?

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