Mistakes atheists make when dialoguing with Christians.

broken glass

The following are examples of mistakes I've seen atheists make when dialoguing with Christians. They are important to know for both sides so better dialogue might take place. First of all, the atheist must realize that making these mistakes lessens his credibility with a Christian and does not help his cause. Second, the Christian should know these errors so he can identify them during a conversation and, hopefully, not commit them himself.

  1. Condescension and insults
    1. This is the most common of all mistakes made by atheists. They are often condescending as they mock Christianity. They insult God, call him a tyrant, refer to Christianity as mythology, baseless, a fairytale, compare God to invisible pink unicorns and Santa Clause, etc. Unfortunately, this is all too typical of atheists and if they want to be taken seriously at all, they need to stop being so rude and crude because they do nothing to further discussion.
    2. Attacking the Christian God and accusing him of immorality is immensely problematic for atheists who have no objective standard of morality yet are quick to judge.  We see their inconsistency even if they don't.
  2. Misrepresentation
    1. Sometimes atheists will construct an argument against Christianity that does not reflect a true Christian position. For example, one atheist stated that the Trinity was illogical because three gods could not be one God.
    2. Another atheist said that if God is all-powerful, can he make a square circle?  This misrepresents the Christian understanding of God's omnipotence.
  3. Deception
    1. Sometimes atheists will imitate Christians to cause problems in discussion boards.
    2. They will sometimes pretend to be interested in something but are really lying in wait and looking for an opportunity to destroy someone's faith.
  4. Failing to study what they criticize
    1. Atheists very often fail to seriously study Christianity and its teachings before they start attacking it.  This is a huge problem and atheists are commonly guilty of this.
  5. Parroting anti-Christian material
    1. Often atheists will parrot what they've read from anti-Christian websites that might have, for example, lists of alleged Bible contradictions.  They will then copy and paste them into discussion boards.  Unfortunately, they tend to ignore context when they do this.  Then when an explanation is offered, they dismiss it.
  6. Atheists often challenge the theist to prove God’s existence only within the confines of science.
    1. Science has served humanity well. Through it we have discovered countless natural laws of the universe, and we use that knowledge to make our lives easier in every area of our existence. But to limit a theist's proofs to the confines of what the atheist demands is terribly one-sided. To a Christian, there are experiences that science and logic cannot explain. The atheist needs to recognize we have experiences that are life-changing. No mere psychological set of theories can explain the changes in our lives. So please, don't mock them. Can science nail down all that exists in mind, body, and soul? No. Can it quantify the beauty of a sunset, the cooing of a baby, or the love of a man and a woman? Science and logic have served us well, but they are not the ultimate truth to all things.
    2. Of course, that does not mean we ignore science. In fact, we use it in our proofs for God. But to limit the playing field to your set of rules is an improper way to start. It is mostly an attempt to initiate control and keep command of the conversation by setting the ground rules according to your criteria.
    3. Though an atheist may not accept biblical evidence as support for God's existence, it does not negate the fact that the Bible is evidence. Whether or not the atheist wants to accept it is another matter.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.