Atheists are hard to convert

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Atheists are hard to convert

#1

Post by spartanII » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:09 pm

Out of all the people in the world, it seems like atheists are the hardest to convert. Especially the ones that are hardcore into not believing in God. The ones who look up information each night and have so many counter arguments to things like presupp apologetics, kalam cosmological argument, certain Bible verses, and think that Genesis/Evolution aren't reconcilable. On top of, a lot of them are extremely defensive against their beliefs and are very hostile towards Christians...
How do you guys handle these situations? And for the former atheists here, what's your story, how deep were you into atheism and what made you convert to Christ?
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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#2

Post by domokunrox » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:44 am

I don't find atheists difficult to convert.

Anyone who claims to be atheist can be forced to claim agnosticism and that's a major win already towards your argument.

How you decide to present evidence for God's existance from that point on is up to you. In my opinion, proving the existence of God is best done using arguments about ethics and less about the cosmos since observations of that sort are still very raw and inconclusive.

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#3

Post by narnia4 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:04 pm

I think there are some explanations to this. One thing that I think plays a role in this is that there aren't many people who grow up calling themselves atheists in any culture. There are many who grow up with certain assumptions that don't line up with Christianity or theism or who are "culturally atheistic", but those terms usually aren't applied. So when a person labels himself "Christian", it is often just a cultural/social label. The label "atheist", I'd wager that its almost always a label that a person gives himself and shows that he's serious in his beliefs. Most conversions also take place at an early age.

In short, a person who calls himself an atheist is probably dogmatic about his beliefs in a way that people who haven't labelled themselves (even if they may actually be atheists) aren't.

Another point, in my experience you meet waaay more atheists on the internet than in the real world. I can count on one hand the number of times I recall seeing anybody change their mind about anything because of something written on the internet. Plus so many sites have such a hostile environment and it really brings out the worst in people and, frankly, the worst people.

Third, you are "further apart" than you would be with other people. With a Muslim, you agree that there is a God at least.

Finally, sometimes its just a matter of planting seeds and making people think. If someone is led to conversion, that event isn't an island with no connections... probably there were lots of people at work along with God in someone's heart. I actually read recently that something like .3% of the US population is made up of former atheists? You'd want the percentage to be bigger, but they are out there.
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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#4

Post by jlay » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:25 am

Conversion, ultimately, does not come by winning arguments.

Anthony Flew was an atheist who came to believe in God, but to my knowledge never received Christ. Winning such arguments is nothing but rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

In many respects apologetics has become a replacement for the gospel. That isn't a statement against apologetics, as I use them and teach them. But the gospel alone is what converts.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#5

Post by Silvertusk » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:06 pm

Also what we must remember is that ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that converts the athiest and not us and our arguments - All we can do is plant the seeds and hope they take root.

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#6

Post by 1over137 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:56 am

domokunrox wrote:I don't find atheists difficult to convert.
Anyone who claims to be atheist can be forced to claim agnosticism and that's a major win already towards your argument.
I agree with this dom. I was an atheist until I met one very wise friend and seriously started to discuss everything. Then I moved to weak agnosticism and finally to Christianity.

Two questions on you dom: Do you find pantheist hard to convert? Who is the most famous one in present times?
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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#7

Post by Murray » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:38 am

I think at some point,when you commit blasphemy against the lords name for such a long time your heart will wane it's natural want to experience him.
in nomine patri et fili spiritu sancte

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#8

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:18 pm

what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#9

Post by Echoside » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:11 am

StMonicaGuideMe wrote:what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
I'm not sure if the above scenario is even possible. If such a thing happened I'd question the person's faith in the first place.

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#10

Post by neo-x » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:42 am

StMonicaGuideMe on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:18 am

what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
May be, you never know God, though I'm not sure he is too keen on people who keep jumping ships. One will drown eventually :titanic:
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#11

Post by RickD » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:13 am

Echoside wrote:
StMonicaGuideMe wrote:what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
I'm not sure if the above scenario is even possible. If such a thing happened I'd question the person's faith in the first place.
I'm with Echoside, on this one. I bet if you met someone who claimed to be a Christian before, you could ask the right questions, and see that he was never really a true Believer, in the first place. Knowledge of who Jesus is, or indepth knowledge of the bible, doesn't make one a Christian. Remember, Satan knows who Jesus is, and even quoted scripture to Jesus. And we all know Satan's ultimate destination.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#12

Post by Byblos » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:21 am

RickD wrote:
Echoside wrote:
StMonicaGuideMe wrote:what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
I'm not sure if the above scenario is even possible. If such a thing happened I'd question the person's faith in the first place.
I'm with Echoside, on this one. I bet if you met someone who claimed to be a Christian before, you could ask the right questions, and see that he was never really a true Believer, in the first place. Knowledge of who Jesus is, or indepth knowledge of the bible, doesn't make one a Christian. Remember, Satan knows who Jesus is, and even quoted scripture to Jesus. And we all know Satan's ultimate destination.
So what does that do to assurance of salvation? ( :poke: ).
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#13

Post by StMonicaGuideMe » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:37 pm

Byblos wrote:
RickD wrote:
Echoside wrote:
StMonicaGuideMe wrote:what about a Christian who denounced their faith and became a "hard atheist"? Any hope for return?
I'm not sure if the above scenario is even possible. If such a thing happened I'd question the person's faith in the first place.
I'm with Echoside, on this one. I bet if you met someone who claimed to be a Christian before, you could ask the right questions, and see that he was never really a true Believer, in the first place. Knowledge of who Jesus is, or indepth knowledge of the bible, doesn't make one a Christian. Remember, Satan knows who Jesus is, and even quoted scripture to Jesus. And we all know Satan's ultimate destination.
So what does that do to assurance of salvation? ( :poke: ).
Oh it's definitely possible. People fall from the faith all the time, but I'd argue that it's usually because they simply don't have a strong enough rational foundation for their beliefs. I'm finding more and more people are being swayed by the unarguable sensationalism that's sweeping Atheist rhetoric lately, eg: "religion is so terrible because it causes us human beings, who are normally loving and accepting, to do heinous things to each other" or my favourite, " There is no God because of how much suffering there is in the world and what kind of 'father' would let his kids suffer the way we do".
So annoying. :brick:

And that's a GREAT way of looking at qualifiers for what a Christian is. You're so right, I really never thought of it like that. Knowledge of isn't enough, but it sure as heck is a good place to start. A lot of atheists simply say "there is no God" so there's not even that starting point.

Any salvation is only "assured" if we don't deny Christ. We can still be Christians and deny him through our sins and not repent for them. This is one of the problems I have with the whole "predestination" theory of a lot of Protestant religions. We still continue to sin even if we're "saved".
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge".

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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#14

Post by RickD » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:10 pm

Any salvation is only "assured" if we don't deny Christ. We can still be Christians and deny him through our sins and not repent for them.
Are you saying that we can lose our salvation, if we don't repent for all our sins?
This is one of the problems I have with the whole "predestination" theory of a lot of Protestant religions. We still continue to sin even if we're "saved".
I'm not sure what you mean here, StMonica? What about predestination, do you have a problem with?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Atheists are hard to convert

#15

Post by neo-x » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:28 pm

Any salvation is only "assured" if we don't deny Christ. We can still be Christians and deny him through our sins and not repent for them. This is one of the problems I have with the whole "predestination" theory of a lot of Protestant religions. We still continue to sin even if we're "saved".
Any salvation is only "assured" if we don't deny Christ. We can still be Christians and deny him through our sins and not repent for them.

Are you saying that we can lose our salvation, if we don't repent for all our sins?
I agree with Monica here, Rick, I think one can lose their salvation. Sure, there are people who don't have real faith to begin with and eventually leave God, but then there are also those people who reject God after walking with him. But I think we have been over this before. :esmile:
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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