February 27, 2014
Jim Denison recently found a “15-step strategy for converting Christians to atheism” and wrote about it in the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture. Although the article is supposed to help atheists convert Christians, I think that Christians can learn some valuable lessons about how to approach and dialogue with non-Christians.
The article tells atheists to think about building relationships before trying to convert them to atheism. That is certainly good advice for Christians. Jim Denison reminds us that we should earn the right to share the love of Jesus.
The article also encourages atheists to learn the common arguments leveled by theists and the best rebuttals. Again, Christians should always be ready to make a defense (1 Peter 3:15) for the hope that is in us. I have noticed that in many of the debates between Christians and atheists that it is the atheist argument that is often inadequate.
The article also encourages atheists to understand their holy book cover to cover. This would be good advice for Christians interacting with people of other religions or people who say they have no religion. What is their standard of authority? Do they believe in truth? Do they believe in revelation?
Atheists are also encouraged to study basic physics and biology because “believers may form arguments using a flawed interpretation of physics and biology.” Actually, Christians can benefit from the great work done by leading scientists, theologians, and apologists who use a proper understanding of science to show the reasonableness of biblical faith.
The article also encourages atheists to get Christians “in the habit of questioning their own faith.” Once again, that is a great suggestion for Christians. Jesus often used questions to teach biblical truths. I have found that getting people to question what they believe and why they believe it to be a very effective witnessing tool.
The article is a reminder that Christians aren’t the only ones in the world working to convert others. Atheists and apologists for other religions are also working to convert the hearts and minds of Christians. We should be prepared, but also learn some lessons from others about how to win people to Jesus Christ.