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First Thoughts

Why Answer Atheism?

Atheists are a small minority.

They make up for about 3% of the population of our country.

So why bother?

Why should Christians take the time to learn a thing or two about the small percentage of atheists in our country?

My goal is to show you that atheism is not something to be ignored and answering atheism is not a mere intellectual exercise.

And I’m going to do that by sharing 5 reasons Christians need to answer Atheism.

1. We answer to speak truth in a world drowning in lies.

While atheists are a minority, they are a loud minority.

And they are especially influential among the “nones.”

While most of our country is composed of religious people, the “nones” have been on the rise.

These are the people who check “no religious affiliation” on polls, and they have grown to almost 30% of our country, which makes them the largest religious demographic in our country after Christianity.

And while most “nones” will not commit to the label of atheism, atheists are extremely influential among this group.

Many “nones” still believe in some kind of vague spirituality, but the ammunition for why they don’t accept Christianity is often found in the stockpiles of atheists.

Belief in God, heaven, hell, the Bible, and “organized religion” has been declining for decades and atheism has been a leading voice in this cultural shift.

2. We answer to prepare our kids.

If our country is 3% atheist, that percentage goes up as the generations get younger.

One study says about 13% of Gen Z identify as atheists, which is a significant increase from the general public.

As atheism grows in popularity among our kids, we need to prepare them.

Atheism removes the foundation for ultimate meaning and purpose in life, and this falling domino leads to suffering kids.

Governments around the world have observed an epidemic of loneliness. Anxiety and depression are through the roof. And none of our secular solutions have been changing that trajectory.

Our kids need more purpose, not less.

When we take away God, we take away the foundation for meaning.

Atheism removes the ground of objective meaning and provides them with vacuum to stand on.

3. We answer to protect life.

When we get rid of God, we lose more than ultimate meaning and purpose.

We lose life itself.

Objective human rights are dependent upon man being made in the image of God.

If we base the value of man on his natural characteristics, we will always end up creating a world where some people are more human than others.

The image of God changes everything.

The ultimate value of man is not based on anything within himself but something on the outside—God.

God makes all human life transcendently and equally valuable.

When we “kill” God, we also end up killing man.

This isn’t just theoretical.

This happens in real life.

When atheists lead, atrocities follow.

The Soviet Union, Communist China, and other atheistic states have killed more of their own citizens in one century than all the religious wars of all of history.

Some say while terrible things have happened under atheistic regimes, atheism hasn’t been a threat to life in our own country.

But that couldn’t be more wrong.

In the world of bioethics, utilitarianism rules the day (an atheistic ethical system).

As a result, our country has killed tens of millions of our own infants and our elderly are being killed every day in our hospitals.

While many individual atheists are nice people, the fact is that when atheism rules, atrocities follow.

When God dies, man dies.

4. We answer to witness wisely.

Atheists are people too!

The great thing about all people being made in the image of God is that even those who don’t believe in God have transcendent and equal value.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we understand two core truths about mankind: (1) All are made in the image of God, but (2) they are tainted and condemned by their sin.

The good news is that we can be saved from our sin and redeemed to live in the kingdom of God through the blood of Jesus Christ.

And this is something we want all atheists to believe too (Titus 2:11).

In order to best share the good news with people, it can be incredibly helpful to learn about them and how they think.

If we want to share the gospel in a different country, we will learn their language and what their current beliefs are. This act shows love and care. It also prepares us to best communicate the good news of the gospel.

The same is true for atheists. If we can understand them, anticipate their objections, and communicate clearly, we will be more faithful witnesses.

5. We answer to know and experience the truth for ourselves.

One of the most shocking things about atheism is that it is influential on Christians too!

While most people in our country still identify as Christian, more than half of those Christians doubt miracles, heaven, hell, divine inspiration of the Bible, and even the existence of God!

Atheism has greatly altered the way even more faithful Christians understand truth and view reality.

Naturalism and materialism naturally follow atheism (a belief only in the material universe and no supernatural reality).

This naturalistic worldview has greatly hindered even many Christians’ belief in the supernatural.

Many Christians today struggle to see the world biblically because they have let a naturalistic worldview rob them of a Biblical vision of reality.

Here are just six ways atheism has impacted the worldview of Christians:

  1. We doubt miracles in the Bible and seek naturalistic explanations.
  2. We let atheists set the narrative of how we see God in the Old Testament (i.e., cruel, hateful).
  3. We don’t see spiritual warfare in our daily lives or believe it really matters.
  4. We live as practical atheists focused on earthly things rather than our ultimate purpose.
  5. We don’t believe prayer really works, and as a result, we pray weak prayers, if we pray at all.
  6. We let atheists control the narrative about the church and feel guilty about being a part of it.

Christians need to stop doubting the Bible and start doubting the atheistic worldview.

We need to recover a biblically supernatural worldview and see God’s true reality.


Atheism simply cannot be ignored.

Answering atheism is more than an intellectual exercise and these five reasons show us why.

Truth and lies, life and death, heaven and hell hang in the balance.

So we answer.

And we will keep answering until the day comes when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Listen to the midweek class Answering Atheism taught by Pastors Tim Arndt and Austin Collins.

College and Career Reach Pastor

Tim serves as the College and Career Reach Pastor at First Baptist Church. Prior to his move to Jacksonville, he was the Assistant Pastor of Allendale Baptist Church (Allendale, MI). He is one of the founders of the Michigan Apologetics Network and served as its director. He also founded and led the Ratio Christi Chapter at Grand Valley State University, which offers practical apologetics training to students.

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