Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Thought or Two on the March 24th "Skeptic Fest"

As you know, I know that I posted’s announcement, but I wanted to take a few moments to carry forward some thoughts about this rally.  Why I am excited about this rally from the side of believe is because of some of the things that I have found talking to atheists on a local board (FredTalk) and in some cordial (yes, cordial) face to face dialogue.  I was excited to see that those of us on the Christian Apologetics Alliance (CAA) have heard that there is going to be media coverage.  I don’t know if it is MSNBC, FOX, NPR or a combination of networks.  At the same time, this event is being billed by the new atheists and their "groupies" as “the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history.”

Thinking about this claim for moment, one might be inclined to think, why in the world would anyone want to waste a Saturday (or why would I want to waste my Saturday and take off a day of work, since I hope to join my group of fellow apologists) paying attention to all this noise?  This event has the likes of Richard Dawkins and P. Z. Meyers preaching to a choir of their groupies and dashboard doggies (blind followers).  I am wondering myself if Meyers is the newly ordained apostle of the new atheism.

We have also heard that there may be opportunities for rational and hopefully cordial discussion and discourse outside the polemics from the lineup of speakers.  This very well could be an exciting time for Christian apologists to share the truth of the Christian message.

If I can get the time off from work, I will be looking to take the trip 45 minutes up the I-95 corridor to Washington, DC.  Would you pray for those who get to go (and myself) that God will open up opportunities to share Christ person to person?  Know that we strive to take every opportunity to live out the apologetic mandate of 1 Peter 3:15-17 with every person as God grants us opportunity.

Of the handful of atheists that I speak with locally, some are hospitable but very hard, while others are pretty hostile, almost militant.  It is interesting to see their response when they find a Christian wanting to have an intelligent dialogue with them.  Some make exigent demands encased with loaded questions.  Some commit the ad hominem while others commit a genetic fallacy here or there or use some excluded middle fallacies to defend their point.

What I have also found out is that the dialogue does not last long as I hope, but with whatever opportunity, it is always important for me to try and (as Greg Koukl would say) "put a stone in their shoe", by giving them something to "chew on" that will not digest well.

Some of the things one will experience that I have recently experienced are things like the skeptic trying to change the conversation to something that they are more comfortable talking about in hopes of winning the "debate."  It is important that we keep on the initial trail and force them to wrestle with what we are trying to communicate to them.  (Once rapport is established and the challenge has been given, I like to start on the problem of evil and origin of morality).  Atheists hope to argue origins v. evolution, or authenticity of the Bible, Farrell Till-style.  The problem of evil or the origin of (or reasons for) morality bring some curious questions from those I have dialogued.

Following this posting, up until the Rally Day, I hope to have some postings that will expose atheism for what it is, a bankrupt world view full of no hope, no meaning, no purpose, and no recovery once this life is over.  As a request for prayer for Kathy's (my wife) cousin, who was just diagnosed with cancer.  We are still learning the details.  If you are serious about praying for this lady, please email me privately at and we can give you more details.

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