I don’t have very many atheist friends. According to Facebook, which is the source of all relevant things, I have 914 “friends,” and a very small percentage of those friends classify themselves as atheists. Where would a person go to find an atheist? Even if you saw a sign that read, “Atheists gather here,” how would that first encounter go?
“Excuse me, Mr. Atheists? Hey, my name is Dustin. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, but I need some more atheist friends. How about joining me for a round of golf on Saturday?”
Maybe I’m intimidated by atheists. They are on the opposite side of the spiritual spectrum from me. They tend to know a lot of scientific rhetoric, and science was my least favorite subject in school. They are mean and rarely smile. Just kidding.
I read the articles and other blogs online about faith and Christianity to get some fuel for this blog, and reading the comments is always very exciting. It seems to me that the Christians always look like wimps. Atheists always have trump cards.
If there is a God, why did he let the earthquakes happen in Japan? If there is a God like what the Bible says, why doesn’t he show himself anymore?
Christians do have some comebacks though: How did the earth and everything on it get here? How do the different fields of science work together perfectly to produce and sustain life?
At some point, for both atheists and Christians, the only thing left to say is, “I don’t know, but I still believe.”
In his book Life of Pi, Yann Martel tells the story of a young Indian boy who is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger in the middle of the ocean. Exciting, I know. The young boy, Pi, meets an atheists in a zoo one day, and after several hours of conversation Pi says, “I felt a kinship with him. It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith; and every word they speak speaks of faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them – and then they leap” (Martel 28).
Before reading this, I never thought of atheists having faith, but it’s true. They have faith, it’s just in something different.
As Christians, we see things that point to the existence of a supernatural Creator. We have the Bible that tells us of the hope that we have with eternity in heaven. But at some point, we have to leap. That’s where faith takes over.
How can this influence how we view and treat atheists?