To whom it may concern:
I like atheists. Thanks very much.
Seriously though, I seem to have a certain affinity for these godless types. I’m not talking in a romantic sense – that would be entirely too “Just Don’t Want Coffee.” But something about these people appeals to me.
Maybe it’s because the atheists with whom I interact are a bit brash and obnoxious – and I can be too. Their wit displays a certain amount of intellect. Conversation with these guys is both stimulating and challenging; many times they’re smarter than I am, and that forces me to know my junk. Now, this is true regardless of whether we’re debating theology or not. (In fact, we usually are not.)
The atheists I know are also passionate about their atheism. It is often evidenced in their conversation, their attitude, their actions. I find myself asking, is my Christianity so obvious in my life? Does my faith come as a surprise, or is assumed from my actions?
Let me be clear: this is not a “we’re so much better than them because what we’ve got is truth” kind of post. In fact, I hold the people I have in mind in high esteem. I count one of them among my favorite professors. He’s an insightful, hilarious man. I would venture that I’ve learned more in his class than any other in my graduate program. The other man at the forefront of my mind is my favorite author. His novels are some of the most brilliant examples of prose I’ve read, and I wish I could claim the book I’m now reading as my own. His characters are deep, and his observations on culture are dead on (and again, quite funny). Oh, and he’s British – I love reading those guys.
Yes, their views are diametric to my own. That does create a degree of tension, but I also accept it as a challenge. Christ’s love is the best thing in my life, and I do wish the same on everyone I meet. So I wonder, how can I show that love to these people who are so convinced that He does not exist? How can I show them His work in my life? Am I relevant to those outside of Christian culture?
I suppose it’s more than something that appeals to me about atheists – let’s try somethings.
The title’s the best, most skeptical song lyric I could think of at this hour. Gimme a break. I don’t think heaven’s overrated.