Posted by: Billy Marsh | October 2, 2007

Are Atheists Rude Or Are They Just Honest?

This past Sunday in the Gospel of John Sunday School class of which I am a co-teacher, I read part of an article entitled, “Why Christopher Hitchens Is Wrong About Billy Graham“. At the beginning of the article, Hitchens is quoted as saying that Graham was a “self-conscious fraud” and in essence didn’t believe a word of what he preached, but instead was just in it for the money. The reason I quoted pieces of this article to the class was to help us all be aware of not only antagonistic attacks thatĀ atheists are exhibiting more and more in the public forum, but also how “evangelistic” they are becoming. In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins summons atheists to take their beliefs to the streets in order to make converts.

Today, I read another article in relation to the one which I spoke of in the Gospel of John class. Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an article on his blog called, “So What Does an Atheiest Do With the Bible? — Ideology and Etiquette“. In this post, Mohler also deals with Hitchens and his pursuit to become the “World’s Most Strident Atheist”. Hitchens recently has written a book named, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, that is currently on the bestseller list. However, Mohler analyzes comments made by Carlin Romano, a literary critic at the University of Pennsylvania, who rebukes the audacity and brashness of atheists who violently attack “sacred texts” such as the Bible. He calls all atheists to politeness and to a certain kind of etiquette in vocalizing their displeasure with regards to the Bible. Romano makes some good points, however, he seems to be only requesting atheists to tone down their comments into ambiguous, indirect remarks rather than full-fledged honesty.

Mohler, on the other hand, at the end of the article says that he may agree more so with Hitchens’ reactions to the Word of God and Christianity rather than Romano’s prescriptions. Mohler says that Hitchens’ responses reflect just what is at stake if Christianity is true and that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Mohler ends the article stating, “The Bible demands obedience and belief, not insincere compliments.”

It’s a very interesting article and sheds more light on what our Sunday School class was discussing. Click on the links above to read both articles in their entirety.

Have you encountered any “evangelistic” atheists? If so, I would be interested to know what the conversation was like and how you responded.

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