What You'll Need Most to Continue to Engage Atheists

Can you love the kind of person who says this?

There is perhaps no greater contribution one could make to contain and perhaps even cure faith than removing the exemption that prohibits classifying religious delusions as mental illness. The removal of religious exemptions from the DSM would enable academicians and clinicians to bring considerable resources to bear on the problem of treating faith, as well as on the ethical issues surrounding faith-based interventions. In the long term, once these treatments and this body of research is refined, results could then be used to inform public health policies designed to contain and ultimately eradicate faith. (Peter Boghossian A Manual for Creating Atheists (Kindle Locations 3551-3555), quoted here.)

Those aren’t just words of disagreement, they’re dangerous calls to action that, if enough people were convinced to believe them in the future, would cause Christians—think specifically of yourself and the people you love—to suffer. Maybe you could love atheists like this for a while, while your passion and hope are strong, but not forever. Not on your own.

We all need to take seriously our need for God’s supernatural work in and through us, if we’re going to persevere in apologetics. Are you diligently pleading with Him for this?

What is needed is love in three interconnected areas: Love among your fellow Christians, which encourages and builds up your love for God, who provides you with His supernatural love for others.

Our love for God drives us to honor Him by drawing more and more worshippers into His presence along with us. Our God-provided love for those we seek to convince keeps us acting in a way that reflects our message, making us a parable of God’s grace for them. And the love of the Church strengthens and stabilizes our love for God.

Without the foundation of church fellowship, worship, prayer, and God’s most excellent gift of love, we won’t persevere. Are you neglecting these?

blog post |
Amy K. Hall

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