Poached Conversations

by Paul Buller

how not to do apologetics[Greg’s Note: When Paul Buller sent out a call looking for stories of encounters involving apologetics and evangelism, I was eager to share my story about my first encounter with someone I personally knew who could be described as one of the ‘New Atheists’ or as an anti-theist. It was a lesson learned in how NOT to do apologetics…]

Greg West at The Poached Egg website has been graciously shared a story of his own personal failure in dialoguing about life’s biggest questions. He described his story over Skype and I used the recording to pen this version of the story. He has reviewed it and confirmed its accuracy.

The Story

Dolores (not her real name) was a friend of Greg’s. Though she and her husband were nominally involved in the Church – she attended Church and even went to a Christian school at one time – neither of them would have been labeled as the most active Christians you’ve met. But they were good friends with Greg and his wife, and professing believers. That profession of faith was not to last.

One day, out of the blue, Dolores made it clear that not only was she no longer a Christian. She had watched the movie “Zeitgeist” [1] and its claims had seriously impacted her. She did not settle for merely rejecting Christ while maintaining some form of spirituality, she parted company with the entire world of religion and became a dedicated Atheist. That was one burnt bridge she had no intention of crossing a second time. She bolstered her new-found anti-faith by soaking up everything she could from Dawkins, Hitchens and whatever other literature she could find from the New Atheist movement. She laid out the barrage of challenges and objections to faith. The ball was in Greg’s court.

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Greg had been studying Christian Apologetics since his “reconversion” several years prior. Despite having some familiarity with the subject matter, and despite having had some prior conversations with others outside the faith, interacting with Dolores exposed him to a whole new side of Atheism. His previous conversations had been relatively cordial but what he saw in Dolores, and the online Atheist community he was compelled to become familiar with, was far more aggressive, and also far more prone to accepting and propagating misinformation, than what he was accustomed to…


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