healthy atheism and the way of Jesus

June 23, 2009

I’ve mentioned my critique of the New Atheist movement a number of time now. Kevin Parry has mentioned my critique on this as well, it’s one of the things that we have in common. What we don’t have in common though, is our believe in God. I believe in God, Kevin believe that there is no God. I call myself a Christian, Kevin prefer to call himself an Atheist. We are aware of our differences, but agree that both New Atheism and religious fundamentalism is unhelpful. Funny that both these extremes do the same thing: not listening to those with whom they differ.

When I find newly deconverted people, I promtly refer them to Kevin’s blog. I do this not because I think Kevin neccesarily has the best arguments for Atheism and I think that newly deconverted people need good arguments, but because I am aware that the Atheist scene, just like the religious scene, has many different options to consider, and some of them are more healthy than other. Some foster an openness to dialogue, encourages peace with those they differ with, others tend to be militant, and cause hatred against those they differ with. As a follower of Jesus I want to help people even when choosing Atheism to find a way of living that more closely resemble that which I believe Jesus taught.

Do I therefore recommend Atheism? No. Do I believe that healthy Atheists are right? In certain things yes, but I believe that there is more to reality than they might think. I do believe that if Atheism do not conform to reality (and I believe that it doesn’t) over time the cracks in their understanding of reality would become obvious. But I can also fully understand that some people opt for Atheism because the theology (talk about God) that they recieved from their churches doesn’t seem to reflect reality either. If a time of Atheism is part of their journey, I respect their honesty (because trust me, to be an Atheist in South Africa puts in an absolute minority). But my understanding of God allows me to guide people to more healthy understandings in Atheism while on their journey of discovering God.


5 Responses to “healthy atheism and the way of Jesus”

  1. Aldi Says:

    To be honest, I find the notion of Atheism being only a phase, a “part of their journey of discovering God” a bit condescending.

    It sounds as if Christians (or followers of Jesus) have the ultimate answer* – and lesser beings will discover that sooner or later. (Of course, with the help of Christians.)

    *Personally, I think the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, is 42. 😉

  2. It would be interesting to know how you see yourself as different from atheists. Are you really religious? Or are you just repeating some slogans and performing some rituals? How would your own life be different if you were convinced that no god existed, or that god existed but didn’t care one whit for your own well-being or the well-being of humanity or life on Earth?

  3. cobus Says:

    Barefoot Bum, run some searches on this blog. I’ve addressed the Christian/Atheist thing a number of times, so I’m sure some of my thoughts is lying around.

  4. Thomas Says:

    This is what die Bible calls a healthy atheist.

    “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1)

  5. Vince Aslett Says:

    Aldi Says:
    “It sounds as if Christians (or followers of Jesus) have the ultimate answer* – and lesser beings will discover that sooner or later. (Of course, with the help of Christians.)”

    Nobody has all the answers, if you believe in God and in His Word, then Christians do believe that the only way is through Jesus, but it remains all about choices and the consequences of those decisions taken…

    Perhaps I can share my thoughts as a non-theologian;I have personally being pondering about the message many theologians are sharing with the world, I have even started wondering whether these messages are giving God the honour by drawing people to Him,or whether they have been creating confusion within those who are searching for the truth.

    There lies a responsibility with us in sharing the Gospel and telling the world about Christianity, as stated above – we do not have all the answers and will never have them untill we meet with our Maker one day.(Whether you believe you have a Maker, or not)

    I do believe that we have to be carefull in making assumptions relating to God and His interaction with humans, as it may well deviate from what His intentions really are, perhaps we should just be obedient and share the Gospel with all we meet and allow the Holy Spirit to do what He desires.

    Instead of criticizing Atheist, we should start praying for them and allow them to make their own decisions, they are afterall responsible for those decisions…

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