Responding to the Evangelistic Outreach of Atheists

by Chuck Edwards

Atheists are finding their voice in the public square. No longer content to remain in the shadows of society, in recent years atheists have been writing best-selling books, holding national conferences, and organizing on college campuses.
An “evangelistic” fervor is evident especially on college campuses. For instance, the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), with chapters on over 400 universities, colleges, and high schools across the U.S. and internationally, is dedicated to educating high school and college students about the intellectual basis of secularism and its link to atheism and humanism. And started by two students at Missouri State University in 2008, the Skepticon Conference has exploded to over 1,500 attendees by 2012.

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This growing trend of outspoken atheists offers Christians a unique opportunity to be “salt and light” to students who are atheists or skeptics and those they influence. With “reason” and “science” being two hot buttons for atheists, Christians trained ​in the art of apologetics have opportunities to show how Christianity is grounded in reason and foundational for the emergence of modern science.

Two upcoming national days of observance promoted by atheists will give Christians that opportunity. The National Ask-an-Atheist Day (NAAAD) is focused on college campuses. Held every 3rd Thursday in April by the Secular Student Alliance, this year’s date is April 17th. NAAAD is billed as “…an opportunity for the general public—particularly people of faith—to approach us and ask questions about secular life.”

Response: Ask an atheist, “What led you into atheism?” The answer will provide a wealth of background upon which to build dialogue, correct misconceptions, and, possibly open the door for offering reasons for God and evidences for Jesus’ resurrection…

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