Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

How to Talk to an Atheist

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and retailers all over the country have begun their race toward Christmas, we find ourselves quickly approaching a special and holy time of the year - Christ's birthday.

This is when all Christians honor Jesus, the second person of the Blessed Trinity and the Son of God, the Father. But not all of us are Christians. There are some who not only deny the existence of God, but also object to Him. These people call themselves Atheists. There's another type called Agnostics who say God is not knowable. The two are somewhat related, but perhaps we can help them understand.

According to the dictionary, an Atheist is a person who disbelieves the existence of God. My definition is that he is a person who displays his ignorance in public. But we mustn't say that out loud if we hope to win him over. If one confronts us, we can't change his mind by quoting scripture or referring to the Bible. He doesn't believe that either. But we can make a pretty good attempt by simply using common sense. Just use the facts that are obvious. Those he can't deny.

Let's start out by asking who made the planet we live on and all the mountains, oceans, trees, rocks, soil, vegetation, etc.

He might say it all started with a speck of dust that attached itself to another speck and so on for a million centuries until it formed the earth. Then, we calmly say, OK, but who made the first speck of dust? Someone had to start that process. Someone, not human - because we're not that smart - had to create this whole thing from nothing.

Maybe he'll say it started from the Big Bang Theory. That's the one that suggests that 12 to 14 billion years ago our universe was only a few millimeters across, and, since then, expanded into what we have now. We say, OK, but who started the whole thing? Certainly not one of us. We weren't around then, were we? Besides, we wouldn't know what to do.

As the late George Burns said to a disbeliever in the movie "Oh God", "Let's see you make me a mackerel".

Which brings us to the next step - to know God. And that's easy. Just look around us. What's He like? Well let's start with smart - a super intelligence. We know that it takes a brain and great imagination to design and construct a fine Swiss watch. How much more complicated is it to put planets in motion around the sun? It takes more than genius to design our human bodies with flesh, bones, nervous, digestive and reproductive systems, eyes that see in three dimension and in brilliant color. To say nothing of our muscle tissue, mobility and a brain that thinks, plans and dreams. How's that for smart?

We also know He's generous. He gave us food and water - in great quantities. Think of all the life-supporting vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables. He gave us protein in cattle, deer, elk, moose, caribou and more. And hundreds of varieties of birds and fish. How's that for generous?

We also know He's beautiful. Remember, we must own something before we can share it with someone else. For example, I have to have ten bucks before I can lend them to someone else. He shared his beauty with us when He designed roses, tulips, azaleas and millions of other colorful flowers. He delicately painted butterflies, peacocks, pheasants, wood ducks, macaws and other birds and animals. Snow covered mountains, big blue lakes and shimmering deserts show us just what a Master Painter He really is. How's that for beautiful?

What about love? Do you think He's a lover? I do.

He wants us to be with Him to enjoy perfect happiness forever in heaven. He sent His Son to show us the way. So there you have it. See? It wasn't so hard. Who knows? You may have planted a seed in his mind.

Maybe he'll investigate further and eventually become a believer. And you were the instrument who got him started. Take a bow.

Christmas is coming... tell Jesus Happy Birthday.

Vince Vella lives in Minden. He may be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .






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