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  • What to Say to an Atheist....

    1. Ask them to describe to you the god "they don't believe in."
    2. Listen.
    3. Ask them how they first got acquainted with "this god."
    4. Listen.
    5. Ask them anything else about their life journey.
    6. Listen.
    7. Mention that you'd like to share your own experiences with God and
    your own life.
    8. Find areas of agreement and dialog about them.
    9. If you get to see them again, keep an open heart, and

    10. Never give up on them!

  • #2
    Originally posted by parker View Post
    1. Ask them to describe to you the god "they don't believe in."
    2. Listen.
    3. Ask them how they first got acquainted with "this god."
    4. Listen.
    5. Ask them anything else about their life journey.
    6. Listen.
    7. Mention that you'd like to share your own experiences with God and
    your own life.
    8. Find areas of agreement and dialog about them.
    9. If you get to see them again, keep an open heart, and

    10. Never give up on them!
    Good stuff. Here's a couple of more.

    11. God Loves you, and hopes that you will someday acknowledge him. He sent his son to die as an atonement sacrafice on the cross in order for you to extend salvation to you and me.
    12. I am not any better than you...as I am just a unworthy recepient of God's grace/mercy like yourself.

    Matthew

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    • #3
      Good post. If anything can work, humility, respect and understanding are the key. Once you bring a person's defenses up it's hard to reach them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice Post Thanks! Really good info to remeber.
        I will sing of your works & your mighty ways
        My Rock & My Salvation
        Who will hide me in the time of trouble?
        Who is like the lord, so full of gace and truth!

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice post. Finding common ground is obviously the key instead of shoving Christ down their throat right away. Even an athiest will have a hard time denying the "fixed order of the heavens and the earth" described by Jeremiah. What we labelled "laws of physics," "laws of economy," or the periodic table of elements are all collectively one ruling force at work. Our inherent limits in language and comprehension have caused us to name these things separately in order to be able to organize and study them. It begins with the Lord and the Lord is one.

          Thomas Aquinas' definition of God as the first efficient cause may be a helpful point of departure.
          "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
          And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
          Isaiah 6:8

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          • #6
            good thread - need more tips

            thats what they seek is proof

            Comment


            • #7
              Nice post. I have found out some interesting information from Atheist when they open up their mouth and start talking. I found out that some use to believe in God, but they never experienced Him or Heard His voice. That is why many have turned away from Him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by parker View Post
                1. Ask them to describe to you the god "they don't believe in."
                2. Listen.
                3. Ask them how they first got acquainted with "this god."
                4. Listen.
                5. Ask them anything else about their life journey.
                6. Listen.
                7. Mention that you'd like to share your own experiences with God and
                your own life.
                8. Find areas of agreement and dialog about them.
                9. If you get to see them again, keep an open heart, and
                10. Never give up on them!
                I'm all for common ground. Keep working until you find some and then work from there. Couldn't agree more.

                But I'm confused by the first couple of questions. How can an atheist describe something that they don't believe in?

                If someone doesn't believe in God, or any god for that matter, then he has nothing to describe. He may well try to describe what he thinks you might believe. Is that what you're after?

                You could be jumping to a conclusion here and think that atheists don't believe in just the Christian God. The ones that I've spoken to don't believe in any god, that's the definition of 'atheist', so the answer I'd get from this...

                'So, this god you don't believe in. What's he look like, eh?'

                ...would be, at best, a puzzled look.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Advocatus Dei View Post
                  I'm all for common ground. Keep working until you find some and then work from there. Couldn't agree more.

                  But I'm confused by the first couple of questions. How can an atheist describe something that they don't believe in?

                  If someone doesn't believe in God, or any god for that matter, then he has nothing to describe. He may well try to describe what he thinks you might believe. Is that what you're after?

                  You could be jumping to a conclusion here and think that atheists don't believe in just the Christian God. The ones that I've spoken to don't believe in any god, that's the definition of 'atheist', so the answer I'd get from this...

                  'So, this god you don't believe in. What's he look like, eh?'

                  ...would be, at best, a puzzled look.
                  Because many "atheists," aren't.

                  Many are simply disenchanted believers who couldn't find their way in whatever Christianity they were introduced to, and are now stumbling around claiming "God doesn't exist" because He didn't respond to them how they thought He would. What they are, are people with some sort of personal offense and anger with a God they claim they don't believe in. Others yet are those raised in church who at one point had an idea of God, and were pulled away from Him when their faith was challenged.

                  This is why it's so important to not let anybody else's self-labelings throw you off. Find out where they really stand. And that requires listening as much as talking. And showing them love and grace. It is the goodness of God that brings people to repentance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                    Because many "atheists," aren't.

                    Many are simply disenchanted believers who couldn't find their way in whatever Christianity they were introduced to, and are now stumbling around claiming "God doesn't exist" because He didn't respond to them how they thought He would. What they are, are people with some sort of personal offense and anger with a God they claim they don't believe in. Others yet are those raised in church who at one point had an idea of God, and were pulled away from Him when their faith was challenged.

                    This is why it's so important to not let anybody else's self-labelings throw you off. Find out where they really stand. And that requires listening as much as talking. And showing them love and grace. It is the goodness of God that brings people to repentance.
                    I tend to agree with Dani,If they truly don't believe in God why would they being so hard to prove there isn't One.Also if they say science won't back up what we believe,There would already have been some kind of scientific Law rather than theories to explain their position.I am not as well educated as some on here but I do know that after a theory is proven it is considered scientific law and it is very hard to disprove or prove anything you can't naturally see or touch.My response to the old question of "what are you going to do when you die and find out There is no God?" I ask them what are you going to do if you find out there Is? I'm not mean about it,I just ask.They usually will have more questions later and I have another chance to tell them about Jesus.
                    I was alive without the Law ,the Commandment came sin revived and I died

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Denny606 View Post
                      I tend to agree with Dani
                      I see that you and Denny are from the South, so maybe the atheists that you know down that part of the world fit the profile that you gave. In that light, I can understand the question.

                      Hardly any of the guys that I know over here who class themselves as atheists come from a religious background, so the question would sound a little weird.

                      Does anyone have any figures on how many people who now class themselves as atheists were once believers?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Being from the "Bible Belt" Does tend to make me see things a little differently than others I guess.But I would be surprised if no one else had been asked the same question.As for the figures I saw on a tv news poll awhile back(and I find this a little hard to believe) that 80 percent of Americans claim to be Christians,when judging by the way our country is declining morally I find more than just a little curious. I know it is a pretty big leap from there to the figure that you are asking for.It could be part of the explanation,But your point is well taken .I am looking from a narrow perspective ,but this doesn't bother me.
                        I was alive without the Law ,the Commandment came sin revived and I died

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          rationality and proof

                          I was an atheist. Most of my friends are atheists. I live in a very strongly atheist/agnostic region. Whenever people find out that I am a person of faith, they tend to react with confusion. "but, but... but you're not a backwards hick! You're a rational person! A scientist! How can you base your life on something so superstitious and irrational?"
                          Then they tend to asume that I'm talking about God in a kind of vague, new-age, spirtitual-nature-energy type way. I respond by saying, "nope, I mean God with a capital G. Yes, I am a rational person, to a fault. Yes I demand proof and reason and logic in almost everything I do. And yes, I have absolute faith in God."

                          The best way I've found to communicate any sort of understanding about my faith to atheists is this:

                          Me: "so you're saying that my faith is completely irrational and lacks evidence and worst of all is not disprovable?"

                          Atheist: "Well yeah!"

                          Me: "I agree. It is completely irrational. But saying that faith and religion and God are irrational is a rather meaningless statement. Stating that faith is irrational is like pointing at a deer in the woods and shouting: 'you're not any good at handling money! Fat chance I'd ever give a loan to you!'. It's like going to the beach and then expressing immense confusion about the fact that there's no bison wandering around. It's a meaningless statement because the presence or abscence of rationality, financial skills, or bison tells you nothing about faith, deer, or beaches.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What to say to an atheist eh ?

                            You gonna burn in hell sucker ! .... turn or burn, that's my motto !

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                            I am only joking of course

                            I've always found listening and well constructed debate helpful.

                            .
                            "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
                            after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

                            Col 2:8

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jonahthebold View Post
                              I was an atheist. Most of my friends are atheists. I live in a very strongly atheist/agnostic region. Whenever people find out that I am a person of faith, they tend to react with confusion. "but, but... but you're not a backwards hick! You're a rational person! A scientist! How can you base your life on something so superstitious and irrational?"
                              Then they tend to asume that I'm talking about God in a kind of vague, new-age, spirtitual-nature-energy type way. I respond by saying, "nope, I mean God with a capital G. Yes, I am a rational person, to a fault. Yes I demand proof and reason and logic in almost everything I do. And yes, I have absolute faith in God."

                              The best way I've found to communicate any sort of understanding about my faith to atheists is this:

                              Me: "so you're saying that my faith is completely irrational and lacks evidence and worst of all is not disprovable?"

                              Atheist: "Well yeah!"

                              Me: "I agree. It is completely irrational. But saying that faith and religion and God are irrational is a rather meaningless statement. Stating that faith is irrational is like pointing at a deer in the woods and shouting: 'you're not any good at handling money! Fat chance I'd ever give a loan to you!'. It's like going to the beach and then expressing immense confusion about the fact that there's no bison wandering around. It's a meaningless statement because the presence or abscence of rationality, financial skills, or bison tells you nothing about faith, deer, or beaches.
                              I like it.
                              I would also say that knowledge of the Bible is critical. Many Christians make arguments based upon feelings instead of underlying truth.
                              God has changed my life, will not hold up well with Atheists, especially learned ones. But what may sway them is the argument that there is just as much "proof", proving the Bible as any other event in history.
                              Therefore, if you accept one event as true, based upon historical proof, you have to accept the Bible as truth, based upon the same proofs.
                              Last edited by tt1106; Feb 19th 2009, 11:39 PM.

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