Answering Smug Atheist Mocking Points

by Tom Gilson

The movement called New Atheism may be dying, as I wrote a few months ago, but smug atheism still survives. This smug atheism thinks it knows Christianity better than Christians do. It thinks it can deliver a knockout blow in just a couple of words.

You find this happening mostly online. Your kids find it there, too, as well as in the classrooms and on the playing fields. But here’s the strange thing: These supposed death-blows to Christianity are really obscure. Like the command in Leviticus not to wear clothes of mixed fabrics. What atheist runs across that in his own reading of Leviticus?

So here’s what I think. You’ve heard of “talking point” lists? Somewhere, somehow, there must be a “mocking point” list, all set up and ready for atheists to turn to when they feel a need to fling scorn at Christianity.

If the list were more honest and less smug, it would include the answers Christians have repeatedly given. Of course it doesn’t. But these points all do have good answers. Let me give you two examples from early in the Bible.

Example 1: “Would you sacrifice your son if you thought God told you to?”

I’ve run into this question often. The idea is that Abraham was crazy in Genesis 22 when he obeyed God’s instruction to take Isaac up the mountain for a sacrifice.

And why not? People today think they hear God telling them to do things — crazy things, harmful things — and they’re obviously not right in the head. Atheists want to know what kind of religion would glorify insanity. And there’s another side to the challenge, too: How do we know God wouldn’t do that today? How do we know God wouldn’t tell us to do some horrific evil? After all, look at what he told Abraham!

It’s easy to laugh at a religion like that, isn’t it?…

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Answering Smug Atheist Mocking Points