How to Witness to an Atheist
The objective is to use the law to convict the conscience, as with any lost person. Nevertheless, most atheists are arrogant, with intellectual barriers that will keep them from hearing you out. Atheists tend to think that Christians are ignorant followers of superstition, unenlightened by the “facts” of evolution. By the way, there are no practical differences among atheists, agnostics, and deists. The atheist believes that there is no God. The agnostic doesn’t know for sure, but doesn’t care to overcome his ignorance. The deist believes that there was a creator God who set the universe into motion and then took a permanent vacation. In all 3 cases, these individuals make themselves #1 in the universe, accountable to no personal God.
I have learned to enjoy talking to the polite atheist more than talking to the religious lost. If a thoughtful atheist comes to believe in God as revealed in the Bible, he is very likely to act on that knowledge and be born again – like I was. The religious lost tend to have scattered, but incoherent knowledge about Christianity, are difficult to communicate with, and are not so likely to act on truth, even when it kicks them in the nose.
You may need to “freeze” an atheist on the street before he brushes you off and gets away. When you offer him a tract and make your intro, he is typically not interested at all, because he can’t imagine you have anything of interest to tell him. In fact, if someone brushes you off with an attitude, you might just guess at his atheism and say . . .
Oh, an atheist, huh? Too bad. You know, if you’re an atheist, you have a big problem. You’re out of touch with reality.
If he is hanging around by this point, you may well be able to have a full-length conversation.
Your real problem is whether YOU exist, not whether God exists. If there is no God, then everything is just physics and matter, molecules and forces. Then your brain is essentially no different from a rock on the ground, except for the particular arrangement of those atoms. And the next thing that you say is just brain chemistry. There is no YOU that speaks, just brain chemistry producing sound out of your mouth. Is that right or not?
Whatever he says . . .
Now, was that YOU that chose to say that or just brain chemistry? Molecules can’t decide between good ideas and bad ideas, between logic and illogic, between right and wrong. Everything about YOU tells YOU that YOU exist! There is more to YOU than molecules. And once YOU admit that YOU exist, it’s easy to figure out that God exists.
See that building over there? Do you know who the architect was that designed and built it? . . . Neither do I, but there is NO doubt in your mind or mine that someone with intelligence and skill built that building. Time, physics, and chance don’t put structures like that together. Time, physics, and chance tear down structures – a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. And that building is really fairly simple. Look – mostly rectangles, perhaps some triangles, bricks, stone, glass – if an architect wants to win an award he may throw in a curve or two. YOU, on the other hand, are walking nanotechnology. Every cell in your body is far more complex than a supercomputer. And time, physics, and chance don’t make supercomputers. Nor the nanotechnology of life, which is way beyond man’s capabilities.
The designer of life is almighty God – the Lord Jesus Christ – who walked among us 2000 years ago. When an engineer builds something he doesn’t throw it away. He has a purpose for it. And God has a purpose for you – first that you find Him.
That mind of yours – your soul – is going to live forever somewhere. You have a God-given conscience – you know the difference between right and wrong. Is murder wrong? . . . Is rape wrong? . . . Is molesting children wrong? When terrorists behead a captive, your heart cries out for justice. But are you ready for justice?
Did you ever murder anyone? . . .
By this point, most atheists will be doubting their faith. You’ll have given them plenty to think about. Trust God to convict them of their need for the Saviour.
Relevant Scripture for atheists, but more for your benefit than for theirs:
Psalm 14:1-3 and Rom 3:10-25 (note the progression in Rom 3 – accusation of functional atheism, then the law, and then the Gospel.)
John 12:44-50 (how to find God)
John 20:30-31 and John 1:1-14 (how to find God)
Matt 7:7-8, 13-14, 21-23, Mark 1:15, 1 Peter 3:18, Rom 10:9-13 (how to find God TODAY)
Psalm 10, John 3:19-21, Prov 14:6, Prov 28:26 (after the atheist gets past his intellectual barriers, this is the only reason he won’t get saved)
Some relevant factoids on evolution – the underlying philosophy of the atheist’s worldview:
1. Good websites:
Search through the archived articles on these sites.
2. THERE IS NO THEORY OF EVOLUTION: Life is too complex for time, physics, and chance. Even if the whole universe were filled with amino acids, you couldn’t get one useful protein molecule in 30 billion years. Or DNA. Do the math. Also, from any kind (like reptiles) to another (like birds) requires the same mathematical impossibilities – WAY TOO MANY changes in the DNA. Also no theory for the first complete cell. Or from single cells to invertebrates, etc. Evolutionists have NO THEORIES, HYPOTHESES, SPECULATIONS, OR EVEN FANTASIES to address these problems.
3. THERE IS NO FOSSIL EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION: The fossil record shows separate kinds throughout. All of the paleontologists’ ‘trees of life’ show fossils only at the tips of the branches and none at the branch points. Ergo, no evolution in the fossil record. Many creatures, like dinosaurs and dodo birds, are extinct. Extinction is death, not evolution. Reptiles (like dinosaurs) used to be bigger. Plants and insects used to be bigger and spread from pole to pole. The evidence shows that life is de-volving, not evolving.
4. THERE IS NO TIME FOR EVOLUTION: Radioactive dating (plus hundreds of other methods) prove a “young” earth. Carbon 14, for example, has a short half-life, yet is found in coal and diamonds which are supposed to be hundreds of millions to billions of years old. For carbon 14 to be present, the age limit is thousands of years – it’s NOT POSSIBLE for carbon 14 to survive millions of years. So evolution doesn’t even rise to the level of science fiction.
5. THERE ARE NO OBSERVATIONS OF EVOLUTION: Life always comes from life. No exceptions. In fact, humans come from humans, dogs from dogs, bananas from bananas. The variations within any kind have definite limits, which has been proven by many, many experiments over the last 150 years. The entire variation among humans on planet earth is just 2 tenths of 1 percent of our DNA. (And “racial” characteristics are only about 1/20 of that.)
6. WHERE DO THE FOSSILS COME FROM? A worldwide flood, as recorded in Genesis: If it happened, what would you expect to find? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. Guess what you find?
- Dr. Dave