The Bible provides the militant atheist (MA) with a big juicy target. Meanwhile, the MAs conveniently deny that they have any target at all, and that they merely believe that there is not enough evidence to believe in God. They will not even declare that God does not exist, lest someone might counter, "Prove it."
This puts the Christian exactly where the MA wants him to be - on the defensive. And MAs have many challenges in their arsenal:
1. What was God going before He created?
2. How could God be good if he destroyed the Canaanites along with their children?
3. Why doesn't God save everyone?
4. Why does the Bible condone slavery and even rape?
If you are talking to an MA, you need to recognize this. Why? You need to know that your answers will never be able to satisfy him. Besides, we cannot answer these questions, and many like them, comprehensively.
Of course, the MA will triumphantly proclaim:
· "You see, you cannot make sense out of what doesn't make sense. Therefore, your faith is bankrupt."
How do you respond? First, you need to see it is their conclusion that is bankrupt. How? It assumes that understanding must be complete in order to be viable.
This is not true. In all areas, we only understand in part. Take science where we admittedly don't even understand the basics, like time, space, matter, and energy. However, despite our uncertainty about these things, no one would reject science.
To apply this principle to Christianity -- it is not at all reasonable to reject it because there is much we don't understand. However, this should not become an excuse to not have to seek wisdom as we ought.
Here is a similar challenge. The MA will hurl at you many alleged Bible contradictions, and when you can't reconcile them, the MA will taunt you:
· "You see, the Bible must be the errant words of men."
Here is the simplest way to respond:
· "Can you prove that this alleged contradiction cannot be resolved?"
Of course, they cannot prove anything of the sort. But beware, they will try to shift the responsibility for proof back on you to demonstrate that these verses cannot be reconciled.
Nevertheless, for our own edification, we should meditate on Scripture until we can possibly find a solution. When we leave many loose ends untied, it becomes difficult to form a cohesive Christian worldview at the expense of our confidence.