One thing Christian apologists should never do

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Don’t be a spoon-feeder

I have found that many folks, abrasive atheists/agnostics in particular, aren’t willing to undertake serious research on their own. They’re armed with a hundred pop-atheism talking points that have long been answered, which goes to show they haven’t investigated the opposing viewpoint at all. Instead, they expect you to take a significant amount of time out of your schedule to distill your entire bank of knowledge on a topic into a few paragraphs and then relay it to them on social media or by email. If you do go to the effort, they often wave their hand at your response and change the subject.

Don’t fall into this trap.

Pay attention to verbal cues and the attitude of the individual to determine whether or not they are sincerely interested in your answers, give them a sentence or two to chew on and then direct them to a book, article, or lecture by a reputable scholar. If they come back at a later date, having studied the sources, further dialogue is warranted, so long as they maintain a respectful tone. If they simply dismiss your words and suggestions with poor logic, make snide comments about the scholars you recommend, or change the subject, cut off the conversation and stop wasting your time. Such a person is a distraction from ministry, not a legitimate beneficiary. Often, such persons will try to goad you into arguing with them further by questioning the depth or breadth of your knowledge or even your credentials. Don’t succumb to the temptation to defend yourself.

Never forget that one of the strongest tactics of the Enemy is to keep you busy with futile business.



Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Excellent. Right on target. Most (not all) are not interested in any productive dialogue. I this it is a “shake the dust off my sandals” and “pearls before pigs” approach.

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  2. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

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  3. Absolutely agree. Facebook comment wars don’t bring salvation. It is easy to tell if someone is actually seeking God, or just has nothing better to do with their time than to engage in social media drama!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Boghossian is author of A Manual for Creating Atheists and chief promoter of what he calls ‘Street Epistemology.’
      “This book will teach you how to talk people out of their faith. You’ll learn how to engage the faithful in conversations that help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their beliefs, and mistrust their faith. I call this activist approach to helping people overcome their faith, ‘Street Epistemology.’ The goal of this book is to create a generation of Street Epistemologists: people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, and the community–into any and every place the faithful reside–and help them abandon their faith and embrace reason.”
      What I often wonder is this. Do atheists who engage online have specific knowledge, training, an agenda, etc.? Or do they just like wasting time, arguing, and getting attention they lack elsewhere in their lives?
      My guess is that, more often than not, they do it for attention.

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  4. You’re right. We need to make sure they do their leg work more

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